James Gunn Responds To Zachary Levi’s Potentially Anti-Vax Tweets

Shazam in therapy
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

This week fans of DC Comics and movies got the news they'd be waiting for when James Gunn and Peter Safran, the new heads of DC Studios unveiled the first set of movies and series that will make up the new DC Universe. However, there are still some questions regarding what is happening with some of the legacy DC film characters, and one of them, Shazam!’s Zachary Levi, is currently making news for the wrong reasons 

This past weekend Zachary Levi posted a tweet in response to a comment about pharmaceutical company Pfizer that some are seeing as anti-vaccine. Many have been quite critical of Levi’s comments, and CinemaBlend was in attendance at the DCU media event when Gunn was asked his thoughts on the DC star’s tweet. Gunn replied… 

Actors and filmmakers that I work with are going to say things that I agree with and things that I don’t agree with. And that’s going to happen. I don’t have a list of things that somebody should say because of what I think. And you know, I can’t be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don’t agree with. By the same token, if somebody’s doing something morally reprehensible then that’s a different story. We have to take all that stuff into account. It’s a balance. It’s a modern world and it’s a different place.

While James Gunn is clear that there are things that an actor could say or do that would lead to him cutting ties with them, merely speaking an opinion that Gunn doesn’t agree with isn’t one of those things. As he says, it would simply make doing the work too challenging. Without saying so Gunn seems to make it clear that he does disagree with Levi, but that’s where it begins and ends. Voicing the opinion isn’t worth the fight.

Having said that, it’s unclear just what sort of future, if any, Zachary Levi has with DC under the new regime. In the video released on social media, Gunn mentioned Shazam: Fury of the Gods, the upcoming sequel, and said that the character existed “in his own part of the DCU” but did say that he “connects” to the universe. Still, since the Shazam! sequel comes prior to The Flash, which we know will reboot the universe, we don’t really know if the character will move forward, or if Levi will play the character if he does.

It’s even been suggested by some that Levi’s attention-grabbing tweet may have been an intentional move designed to harm the film, perhaps because the actor knew he wasn’t moving forward with the franchise. Having said that, there’s no direct evidence that is the case. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.