Zachary Levi on Fighting a Dragon in Sequel

Mar 3, 2023

On March 17, lightning strikes twice with Zachary Levi (Shazam!, Tangled) returning as the titular hero in the DCEU’s long-awaited sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods. While gearing up for the movie’s theatrical release, Levi spoke with Collider’s Steve Weintraub about bringing some of those formidable foes to life on the big screen. He also shares the music that he jams to before filming scenes to prep for battle and where he would wear the Shazam suit in public, and under what circumstances.

In Fury of the Gods, the Daughters of Atlas – Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren’s Hespera, Lucy Liu’s Kalypso, and Rachel Zegler’s Anthea – are coming for the ancient magic they believe was taken from their father. This magic just happens to be the powers bestowed to Billy Batson (Angel Asher) and his siblings by a mysterious wizard (Djimon Hounsou), and the Greek goddesses aren’t taking this lightly. While Billy and his family are still learning to harness their new abilities, the Daughters of Atlas come armed with vengeance and dragons, proving to be these kid heroes’ greatest threat yet in a battle that could destroy the world.
In addition to Levi, Angel, and the Daughters of Atlas, Fury of the Gods also stars returning cast members Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, Grace Caroline Currey, and D.J. Cotrona. You can watch the interview with Levi in the player above, or read the full conversation below.

COLLIDER: So I am curious – I don’t want to spoil any aspect of the film – if you could actually leave set wearing the costume, where is the place you would most want to go and why?

ZACHARY LEVI: Honestly, there’s only one place that I would go, which is like a children’s hospital. I don’t really… The idea of going and wearing that suit anywhere else… I mean look, you’ve gone to concerts before, you don’t wear the band shirt to the concert, particularly if you’re the band. So I don’t know that I would want to go and wear anything that’s drawing attention to the fact that, “Hey, look at me, I’m Shazam, and I’m wearing my Shazam suit!” That could get a little awkward unless I’m just gonna go and blow some kids’ minds who would, you know, be stoked to meet Shazam in real life. I think that could be a lot of fun.

Image via Warner Bros. 

First of all, I think you should absolutely do that because it would be amazing, and second of all, one of your castmates mentioned Hollywood Boulevard.

LEVI: [laughs] That actually could be fun.

And the concept of all of you guys going to Hollywood Boulevard and just pretending and just having fun. It’s a cool viral moment, it would be cool.

LEVI: Listen, I’ve had thoughts like this before. I wanted to go do D23. I was doing a D23 convention for some Tangled stuff–

You’re involved in Disney?

LEVI: I know, it’s crazy. But I thought it’d be really fun to dress up like Flynn Rider, but get a prosthetic nose where my nose was wrong because if I just had a slightly different nose a lot of people wouldn’t know that it was me, but that would be kind of part of the fun that I’m incognito, like Undercover Boss-ing it. So if we got some prosthetic noses or things that made us look a little bit different, then I would totally wear the suit and go to Hollywood Boulevard. That could be fun.

Image via Walt Disney Pictures

I heard that you like to play music before a scene. So I’m curious, how do you select the songs that you want before what scene, and is there a lot of thought process into that?

LEVI: So I basically play the same playlist every day. Well, I switch it up a little bit and I’ll go with some other Spotify pre-made playlists. But my particular playlists, just my Liked Songs playlist, it’s like 550 songs at this point. Basically, the litmus test is this, if I’m ever listening to a song and my body starts to move like involuntarily where your hips just start moving a little bit, or your soldiers start moving, and you’re like, “I don’t even feel like I was consciously trying to do this, but okay,” that means it goes on the playlist. And so that’s the kind of music that I play.

It’s mainly more upbeat kind of dance-pop stuff, but across the decades, you know, from the ‘30s and ‘40s and ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, all the way up to today. Probably heavy in the ‘70s, ‘80s, current. Those three decades are the most, but it’s everywhere.

Image via Warner Bros.

One of the highlights of the movie is you get to fight a dragon, which is obviously awesome. So I want to find out, when did you first find out you would be fighting a dragon, and what is it actually like to film fighting a dragon?

LEVI: Well, I first found out I was fighting a dragon when the team pitched me. Before the script was even written they had a treatment for it and I knew that we were gonna go with the Greek goddesses and the dragon, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is so cool.” And then, what is it like to actually film fighting a dragon? Lots of blue screen, as one could imagine. Some interesting props, like, you know, there’s a scene where I’m pulling on his tail, where we have a big practical dragon tail, but it was connected to nothing, and then the rest of it’s all CG’d in, you know? So that’s that kind of stuff.

Listen, what’s fun about that is, you might not have a real practical thing that you’re interacting with, but you get to utilize your imagination on really, really high levels like you did when you were a kid. I mean, you know, you’d run around with nothing in your hands, and me and my buddies would pretend to be X-Men all the time. We had nothing, we didn’t have fake claws to be Wolverine, we just pretended to have them, and your imagination is just kicking on a high level, and I love doing that.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theaters March 17.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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