Actor Zachary Levi will host the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards. The annual event will take place on June 17 in Santa Monica, California. Most recently, Levi portrayed the title character in the DCEU film Shazam!
Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! is the seventh film in the DCEU franchise. Levi stars as the adult alter-ego of Asher Angel’s Billy Batson, a Philadelphia foster child who receives ancient powers and transforms into a superhero. Produced for approximately $80 to $100 million, Shazam! has thus far earned over $323 million at the box office since its April 5 wide theatrical release. Prior to Shazam!, Levi portrayed the adventurer Fandral in the MCU films Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. In January, Levi spoke with Screen Rant about his MCU character arc, stating, “The way it all worked out is exactly the way it was supposed to.” In 2018, Levi appeared in six episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2 as Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg. From 2007 to 2012, he portrayed the title character in the NBC spy drama Chuck.
Per Variety, Levi is set to host the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards. From 1992 to 2017, the ceremony honored movies only, however the rise of streaming platforms ultimately inspired the inclusion of television and the awards for Best Show, Best Performance in a Show, and Best Reality Series. While many awards have been retired over the past quarter-century, the MTV Movie & TV Awards still includes honors such as Best Movie, Best Performance in a Movie, Best Comedic Performance, Best Kiss, Best Fight, Best Villain, and Best Scared-As-Shit Performance. At the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, the MCU’s Black Panther and Netflix’s Stranger Things each won four awards, while Chris Pratt received the MTV Generation Award and Lena Waithe was honored with the MTV Trailblazer Award.
In recent years, the MTV Movie & TV Awards have been hosted by Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson (2016), Adam Devine (2017), and Tiffany Haddish (2018). For the 2019 show, Levi will undoubtedly attract a vast international fanbase, as Shazam! has become a breakout hit for the DCEU despite having the franchise’s smallest production budget. The 2017 DCEU film Justice League was produced for $300 million, whereas the other 2017 DCEU film Wonder Woman previously had the lowest budget at $149 million. In February 2020, the DCEU will release Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
For Shazam!, Levi’s new MTV hosting gig ensures even more buzz throughout the spring. And considering that Levi is an accomplished theatre performer (First Date, She Loved Me), he’ll surely differentiate himself on stage from previous hosts. Next, we’ll have to see if Levi receives any nominations for his acclaimed DCEU performance in Shazam!