Zachary Levi says Shazam! will be like Tom Hanks’ Big, but with superpowers. Warner Bros’ DC movie universe is about to get even bigger this weekend with Justice League hitting theaters, and it will hopefully serve as a launching point for a much bigger world. Filling out this world, and WB’s DC slate, is the first big screen appearance of Billy Batson aka Shazam. His solo movie made big strides this year with David F. Sandberg joining as the director, and recently saw the casting process begin.
The most recent announcement named Asher Angel as Billy Batson, but he’s only one half of the superhero. Levi will be playing the actual superhero form of Shazam, and the role will give him a new opportunity to show his range as he has to be a big, powerful hero, but also maintain the approach of a kid. Thanks to this dynamic, Levi is comparing Shazam! to a classic Tom Hanks movie.
Twitter user oberelias (via Heroic Hollywood) shared a clip from Levi’s recent interview with KTLA5 where he discussed his approach to the movie, and what he ultimately hopes the movie will be. In doing so, he says Shazam! will be like the Tom Hanks-led 1988 film Big.
zachary levi talking about shazam "and now it begins, the puns!" we love a man pic.twitter.com/9cTPJAxYxk— haz (@oberelias) November 14, 2017
The comparison to Big is an obvious one to make, but a fitting one at that. Big is a very fun movie about a kid finding a place in the world as a grown up. Hanks does an excellent job of keeping the child-like spirit alive throughout the movie, but while Big only sees the switch from child to adult happen once, Shazam! should continue to see the switch happen throughout.
Levi is a very likable actor and has shown his natural ability for comedy and lighter roles in the past, so there is little reason to believe he won’t be able to pull off the childlike nature in Shazam. Whether or not he will be able to match what Hanks pulled off in Big remains to be seen, but with filming only a few months away, Big should be a film in terms of its style, story, and tone to keep in mind when thinking about what direction Shazam! is going to take.
Sandberg has previously stated this will be the most lighthearted of DC’s movies, and Big is a very light and funny movie. The obvious difference between the two films will be Shazam!‘s usage of superpowers, which should lend itself even more to Levi being able to embrace his inner kid. Levi reiterated how honored he is to take on this role and have a job lined up for potentially years to come, so hopefully the Big approach is the start of just that.
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