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Shazam! 2 blame game heats up as star tags The Rock, Zack Snyder fans


The allegations have started again Shazam! Anger of the Godsunheroic performance at the box office. And like all things related to the DC Universe during this uneasy transition period into a new era under DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran, things get pretty messy.

The Shazam Zachary Levi, the star of the sequel, has fanned the flames on social media, endorsing a narrative that the series was undermined by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s power play to place his character Black Adam at the core of the DC Universe, and agreed that bitter fans of the Zack Snyder DC Films wanted his film to fail.

On Tuesday, Levi posted an Instagram Story (captured for posterity by Home of DCU on Twitterand verified by Polygon). a report from The Wrap that Johnson had vetoed pairing Black Adam Unpleasant Shazam! in post-credits scenes, despite the canonical link of the characters in the comics. “The truth will set you free,” Levi remarked, his face smiling upside down.

According to The Wrap’s two “high-quality” sources, The Rock personally vetoed a post-credits scene Black Adam that would have shown that Levi’s Shazam was recruited to join Justice Society’s hero team in that film, in favor of Henry Cavill’s Superman’s now-infamous cameo. Johnson was betting on fan appetites that Cavill’s return would spark in a sequel to Man of Steel – which it almost did, until it didn’t at all – and perhaps thought Superman would be a more prestigious adversary for his anti-hero than goofy Shazam.

Furthermore, The Wrap reports that when Safran and director David F. Sandberg shared the same post-credits scene Shazam! Anger of the GodsJohnson concluded using one of the Black Adam Actors of the Justice Society. Safran and Sandberg had to use two federal agents – members of Gunn’s Amanda Waller’s team Peacekeeper series – to recruit Shazam, instead of actual JSA heroes.

The Wrap piece, which, it is important to note, arrives perfectly timed at a heated moment of the Hollywood blame game, plays a big part in Johnson weakening both franchises by refusing this link and insisting on his misplaced bet on Cavill, and proceeds to throw out the actor’s arrogance full-on. But the question is how much influence a scene has after the credits Black Adam – which outperformed Shazam! 2but still struggled to break even – could have saved the later film’s fortunes.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Levi risked the wrath of DC’s most venomous fandom by agreeing a fan’s analysis that fans of Zack Snyder were “happy about the failure of your movie”, as a kind of punishment to DC for not sticking to Snyder’s continuity and casting choices, captured in Snyder’s Man of Steel, Batman vs SupermanAnd Justice League. (Gunn will recast Superman in his upcoming Superman: Legacy.) In a now-deleted tweet, if reports Variety, replied Levi, “This is also true. Sad, but true. How much that actually affects the box office is anyone’s guess. But I think marketing is the biggest problem we have. This is a perfect family movie, and yet many families are unaware of it. That’s just a shame.”

At least Levi has a point on that last point. Warner Bros. is in the predicament of releasing no less than four previously made DC movies this year, as Gunn and Safran talk publicly about rebooting the franchise. While this summer The flash gets a huge boost with prime “Big Game” TV spots, vocal support from Gunn in his promotion of the new DCU slate, and even a supposed nod of approval from Tom “savior of the movies” Cruise, Anger of the Gods has seen little of the same support than typical trailer dumps. It’s not quite one bat girl situation, but from the outside the release feels like an old write-off.

Other members of Anger of the Godscast and crew have publicly defended the film, though they have largely taken the much safer and more conventional route of blaming the critics for not getting it. “On Rotten Tomatoes, I just got my lowest critic score and my highest audience score for the same movie,” Sandberg tweeted, with a shrug emoji. “I wasn’t expecting a repeat of the first movie critically, but I was still a little surprised because I think it’s a good movie. Oh yeah.”

In the meantime, star Rachel Zegler tweeted, “Hey, our movie is actually really good! (…) Some people are just… pointlessly mean. And it’s unnecessary. (…) It’s just cool these days to hate fun.”

Why is all this DC drama so… dramatic? As directors and actors are left unleashed or wondering what their future might be under the new regime, and as a vocal fan base continues to feel its presence, DC is clearly struggling to get everyone on the company’s line – if there is one. With the rollout of The flash (starring the controversial Ezra Miller), Blue BeetleAnd Aquarius 2 yet to come this year, and with Gunn’s tone Superman: Legacy not expected until 2025, it looks like the chaos could continue for a while yet.

At least one person is happy to leave it all behind. “One thing I’m really looking forward to is disconnecting from the superhero discourse online,” Sandberg said. “A lot of that stresses me out so much and it will be nice not to have to think about that anymore.”

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