Zachary Levi Interested In Playing Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Zachary Levi Fantastic Four Reed Richards

Zachary Levi has become a fairly big name throughout the years. One of the earliest fan-beloved projects was the NBC show Chuck, in which he starred for many years. 

Then, of course, there’s Tangled, the animated Disney film where he voiced Flynn Rider, Rapunzel’s love interest.

But it was Thor: The Dark World that piqued some additional fan interest, as Levi joined the project, filling in the role of Fandral, one of the Warriors Three. Sadly, everyone knows how that film turned out, and then Thor: Ragnarok went and just wiped the slate clean.

The star has now gone on to successfully embody the DCEU hero Shazam, who seems to have a bright future ahead of him. So, despite the missteps in the MCU, Levi landed on his feet. 

However, if the actor could play any other superhero, who would that be?

Fantastic Mutants


At the Atlanta convention Dragon Con 2021Shazam! star Zachary Levi was asked if there were any other Marvel superheroes that he would want to portray on the big screen.

The first answer that came to his mind was “for years [he has] wanted to be Deadpool:”

“For years I’ve wanted to be Deadpool. I was so jealous that Ryan… he rocked that… when you see somebody do something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time, and they do it great, you’re like ‘kudos, rock ‘n roll.” 

The Shazam! actor continued to think about the question, coming to a second conclusion, one that is a possibility given the MCU's upcoming reboot of Marvel's First Family.

Referencing his own “hair [which] continues to salt,” Levi said that “Reed Richards would be kind of fun," a response that prompted applause from many convention-goers. 

Zachary Levi reined it in, saying that, generally speaking, “[he doesn’t] even really allow [himself] to go down those roads:”

“But to be truthful, I don’t even really allow myself to go down those roads because I’m so good. I’m so set. The fact that I even get to be Captain Marvel/Shazam/Billy Batson, it’s such a fun dream role. And it’s got so much different DNA than almost every other [superhero]… “

The star found one superhero who shares similarities, however, and that is none other than Spider-Man, who has “the same kind of heart, and altruism, and naivety:”

“… The only other superhero that I can think of [that] is really similar is Spider-Man. The same kind of heart, and altruism, and naivety. The naivety is one of the biggest. Because most heroes, on some level, are jaded… there’s a lot of bad things going on in the world, they’re constantly ‘grrr, gotta go save the world again’––[clears throat] Batman. He’s the most jaded.”

Despite earlier saying that these thoughts aren’t usually a road he travels, Levi had another answer as to whom he may want to be.

Having been “born in Louisiana,” the actor really “wanted to be Gambit for a long time:”

“I really wanted to be Gambit for a long time, that would be super dope. He was actually my favorite X-Men for a long time. Like all my buddies wanna be Wolverine…we’d all play outside [as kids with their imagination]. Maybe I had a some kind of stick that I pretended to be a bow [staff] that I charged and threw my charged cards at everybody… I was [also] born in Louisiana… so I was always like ‘that’s my guy!’ So then I had these dreams of oh my god, maybe I can be Gambit. And then, you know… that didn’t happen. But again, it wasn’t supposed to. Because I get to be this guy. And this guy’s super fun.”

Zachary Levi, Worthy of a Fantastic Second Chance

Zachary Levi is an incredible actor, so literally, any one of the options that he listed would be given justice by the actor.

Deadpool is certainly the option out of the three who would let the actor express that childlike energy he has, which is the star of the show in Shazam! Though, as everyone knows, Ryan Reynolds kinda has the role on lock.

As for Reed Richards, he doesn’t have the childish energy that Shazam and Deadpool bring to the table, but he has a similar excitement when it comes to exploring and discovering—and that’s the aspect of the character in which Levi would likely connect with the most.

The Fantastic Four is gearing up to start in the near future, so there's a window of opportunity for the actor to bring Reed Richards to life—especially given his popularity as Shazam; though that could also go against him.

When it comes to Gambit, that’s certainly the most far-out option. But it’s important to try not to typecast, and Levi has incredible talent, so there’s no doubt he could pull off a more serious, mischievous character such as Gambit. 

Not to mention that being one of the first MCU mutants would be a pretty big deal.

While fans will have to wait and see if he ever gets to dip his toes back into the MCU pool, Levi can next be seen as a superhero in the upcoming DCU film Shazam! The Fury of the Godswhich hits theaters on June 2, 2023.

- In This Article: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Release Date
March 17, 2023
Asher Angel
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.