DC Universe star Zachary Levi has defended James Gunn and Peter Safran, who are the new top brass at DC Studios. Levi is a fairly recent addition to the franchise, appearing as the superhero Shazam in 2019’s Shazam!, a role he will be reprising for the first time in Shazam! Fury of the Gods on March 17, 2023. Shazam!‘s connection to the DCU at large was tenuous (the film featured an appearance by Superman, but with his face out of frame), and Levi has previously reported that his and his co-stars’ jobs are safe during DC’s changing of the guard, which has resulted in some planned Justice League actor returns being scrapped.
Yesterday, Levi took to Instagram to share a video breaking down the future of Shazam! and his thoughts on the changes at DC Studios. He urged the fans to quell knee-jerk reactions to the news coming out of the studio and wait for the dust to settle a little bit. With patience, he says, fans can give Gunn and Safran space to “try and really make something special,” something that the fan-beloved DC auteur Zack Snyder attempted though it “didn’t ultimately materialize.” Read his full quote below:
[Give James Gunn and Peter Safran] time to make something special.”
You have no idea the reasonings behind any of the decisions that are going on. The amount of conjecture and rumor mill and drama and nonsense that keeps getting spun around out there on Instagram and Twitter is laughable. It is unbelievably laughable. So I would just say be patient, and give them some space and some time to try and really make something special. And I think something that DC deserves to have, and something that Snyder tried to do and it just didn’t ultimately materialize, guys.
A Timeline of the Recent Shakeups at DC Studios
While Levi’s comments about allowing Gunn and Safran to establish themselves and reconstruct the DCU franchise is likely a course of action that will yield dividends for fans in the long run, it’s hard to deny the fact that a lot of the recent goings-on at DC Studios have been alarming for fans. Although the DCU was plagued with various production delays and other behind-the-scenes issues beforehand, their recent woes began with the merger between parent company Warner Bros. and Discovery. New Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav initiated a restructuring of HBO Max that involved layoffs, the removal of many previously available titles, and the outright cancelation of the DCU film Batgirl in early August, even though the film was already in post-production.
In mid-October, it was announced that DC Studios president Walter Hamada had exited the company, and by late October the company had made the surprise announcement that The Suicide Squad director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran would be stepping into the role as co-CEOs. In the two months that have followed this announcement, the DCU has been undergoing radical reconstruction. Rumors have been swirling around each of these decisions, obfuscating the truth of what’s going on behind the scenes, but several significant cast departures and canceled projects have been officially announced.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Wonder Woman 3 was no longer in development, as was a Batman Beyond movie featuring the return of Michael Keaton (who was also slated to appear in Batgirl, though his role in the upcoming 2023 The Flash is intact for the time being). Last week, Gunn also confirmed that he is writing a new Superman film to feature a younger actor, meaning that Henry Cavill would not be returning as Superman despite his appearance in the post-credits sequence of Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson is also not returning as Black Adam anytime soon, something the star recently announced on social media. The future of the DC Universe will become clearer in the new year when Gunn announces a more concrete plan, but in the meantime, it’s been all too easy for fans to panic about all the changes.
Source: Zachary Levi/Instagram