Zachary Levi Condemns Angry DC Fans Attacking James Gunn

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Zachary Levi, James Gunn, DC

While many DC fans are criticizing DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn over the departure of Henry Cavill as Superman and the coming recasting of other beloved heroes, Shazam star Zachary Levi came to his defense.

Gunn and his partner, Peter Safran, are only a few weeks into their tenure as DC Studios co-CEOs as they diligently prepare their plans for what the new DC Universe (DCU) will look like. However, even while many fans wait for these plans to be unveiled to the public in early 2023, a number of DC loyalists have been less than complimentary of Gunn as he tries to do his job.

Following the news regarding Henry Cavill’s departure as Superman and rumors that the entire franchise will be recast, many have already called for Gunn to be removed from his position. There’s even a sect of fans that have continued their calls for the SnyderVerse to be restored, leading to Gunn calling out the negativity on multiple occasions.

After seeing Gunn take countless punches over the past few weeks, one DC star had enough of the madness.

Zachary Levi Backs DC Head James Gunn

Zachary Levi, Shazam, Justice League

In a lengthy video post on Instagram, DC star Zachary Levi addressed the harassment James Gunn has received online in recent weeks, along with misleading reports that have been circulating on social media. 

According to Levi, a lot of the rumors about DC's future are "just blatantly false" and "just blatantly wrong takes," noting that he feels much of it is on purpose from people who don't like Gunn or Levi himself:

"I've seen a lot of chatter, a lot of people online saying so many things. And a lot of those things are just blatantly false, are just blatantly wrong takes. And I think a lot of that is also on purpose, I think a lot of those people out there, I don't know if they're looking at this live right now, because a lot of those people are the type of people that don't like people like me."

He made it clear that he is "not the boss" while also expressing how much he loved former President of DC Films Walter Hamada, and he expressed his own feeling that Gunn and Peter Safran are the best people for the job at hand:

"But the type of people that are drumming up all this, if I could just take a moment, if you are listening to this... I'm not the boss, I don't know what ultimately is going on, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that... Listen, I loved Walter Hamada, I loved him as a boss, I love him as a human being, and I hope to work with him wherever he goes, but, I couldn't have hand-chosen two better people to be the people that are helping to now guide where the DC universe is now going."

Once his work on Shazam!: Fury of the Gods debuts, no matter "whether it succeeds or doesn't succeed," he has full faith in Gunn and Safran to make "the best decisions that they can for the DC Universe:"

"So there's all that. And after [Shazam!: Fury of the Gods] comes out, whether it succeeds or doesn't succeed, I will trust that James Gunn and Peter Safran are making the best decisions that they can for the DC Universe. That's their job, that's what they're tasked with. There's so many things that everyone is saying, like, 'Well, they did this for this...' You have no idea the reasonings behind any of the decisions going on."

Levi acknowledged how so many people didn't enjoy the old DC Universe and how the team should try to make "as many people happy as possible" moving forward. Levi bluntly told fans attacking or questioning Gunn and Safran to "just fucking give ’em a break:" 

"If you’re out there and you really like what happened before, you can do that, that’s fine. But realize that there’s a lot of people who didn’t like those things, and we should always be trying to tap into as much audience as possible, making as many people happy as possible. That’s what we’re in entertainment for, and that’s what I think Peter and James are trying to do. And it’s not an easy position, they got handed all of these things that were already in a lot of conflict. So guys, just fucking give ’em a break. Take it easy. Take a breath. It’s the holidays, for god’s sake. Just go enjoy what these holidays are, give them some time to enjoy these holidays, and let’s see what happens on the other side of this."

Shazam Star Backs New Management in Tough Times

Even considering that Zachary Levi's own future with the DCU is uncertain after his appearance in Shazam 2, he made it perfectly clear that he's in full support of James Gunn and Peter Safran in their new endeavor. And with so much negativity being hurled in the new CEOs' direction, the DC star only wants the best for all parties involved, particularly considering that he has great relationships with both DC leaders.

Having seen Gunn's past work on the Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad franchises and Safran's work on Levi's own Shazam movies, the actor has seen the excellence from both of them over the past decade. He's also been one to share his own passion with fans of all the franchises within which he's worked, making it only fitting that he address the matter this way with Gunn's new position.

Now, as fans wait to find out more of what Gunn and Safran have planned for the next era of the DC Universe, Levi appears to be completely on board with what the new bosses are working on for the future. And thankfully, with Gunn never being one to hold back on his own reactions, anticipation continues to build for what will come to life in the next stage of DC storytelling.

Shazam!: Fury of the Gods will debut in theaters on March 17, 2023.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.