Shazam 2 is slowly working to build up excitement for its March 17 release in theaters, even with Levi's future in the role still unclear as DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran develop their new story.
But Levi himself isn't doing his imminent movie any favors thanks to a couple of social media posts that have been in poor taste in the eyes of some.
In late January, Levi shared apparent support for a COVID-19 conspiracy theorist and expressed views that many took as anti-vaccine sentiments, leading many fans to share their disappointment in Levi as he touched on a still serious world matter.
Zachary Levi Throws Shade on Britney Spears
Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Zachary Levi shared a post on his Instagram story mocking Grammy-winning singer Britney Spears' recent release from her conservatorship.
Levi shared an article from a fake news website with the headline "Millions Who Hashtagged 'FreeBritney' Starting To Change Their Opinions On Conservatorships," with the article making fun of Spears' public and online behavior after being released from her conservatorship that was in place from 2008 to 2021.
While he didn't add any of his own thoughts, Levi seemed to support the sentiment of this fake article:
This has led to a number of DC fans sharing their disappointment in Levi on Twitter over these sentiments towards Spears' situation.
@TheFirstOkiro speculated that this sort of behavior from Levi may have influenced Dwayne Johnson's reluctance to want to take a role in Shazam 2:
"The Rock not wanting to be in 'Shazam' honestly makes sense. We’re sorry, King"
@cocainecross criticized Levi heavily for being an adult and still mocking somebody who dealt with a troublesome situation:
"You’re a grown ass man picking on an abused woman"
@joshyyy_spears saw a bit of irony in the fact that Levi has a book out on mental health and mental struggles while making fun of someone going through a similar battle:
"how ironic it is to release a book about mental health & struggles while also picking on someone who suffers from the same situation and abuse. Yeah, I guess everyone is really a mental health advocate and mentor... until it comes to Britney."
@TWOBADDlES called for Warner Bros. to recast Levi as Shazam after seeing him give his sequel "the worst [public relations] ever:"
"please just recast zachary levi that man is singlehandedly giving that movie the worst pr ever"
@sunnyisshere called Levi "one severely unhappy fool" for making comments like this about Spears:
"one severely unhappy fool making fun of an abused woman in recovery. f*ck u zachary levi!"
@ivirzg held nothing back on Levi, calling him a "misogynistic ableist POS" that doesn't respect Spears or human rights as a whole:
"So, Zachary Levi you are saying that you are misogynistic ableist POS who has no respect for human rights. Ok, we noted. #JusticeForBritney"
@WandasAttorney shared a video of United States Vice President Kamala Harris breaking out into laughter, calling it funny to see Levi "sabotage his career" in this way:
"Watching Zachary Levi sabotage his career is so funny like it’s just ignorant take after ignorant take"
@comicxbook called James Gunn fans "weird" for comparing Levi's situation to that of Ray Fisher, who was publicized for standing up to reportedly racist behavior from Warner Bros:
"James Gunn stans are so weird. putting Ray Fisher (a black man who dared to speak up about racist behavior in WB) next to Zachary Levi, an anti-vax man that is constantly mocking women on his instagram stories is so out of place..."
Will the Levi Controversy Affect Shazam 2 Opening?
This comes as just the latest round of controversy surrounding the DCU, which is already a problem for two other DC movies this year, The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. And with it being the second separate issue for Levi alone, it certainly puts a damper on the release of his upcoming movie.
Britney Spears' conservatorship has been one of the hottest topics in the entertainment world over the past couple of years, especially after the singer was released from it in late 2021, which was seen as a triumph for the pop star.
Seeing Levi bring up the situation in this context isn't something that's sitting well with fans, especially since Levi has written his own book about his own mental health and struggles for which he was celebrated and praised.
Shazam 2 already has its fair share of problems on top of everything Levi has added with his commentary, as the sequel is tracking for one of the worst opening weekends in DC history at the box office.
It's still unclear how this controversy will affect the film further, but it won't make the situation any easier as Gunn and Safran look to kickstart a brand-new era of exciting storytelling.
Shazam!: Fury of the Gods will debut in theaters on Friday, March 17