Zachary Levi Almost Didn't Audition For Shazam Because Of The Rock's Black Adam

Despite not resonating with critics and having a less-than-stellar box office debut, fans helped secure the sequel "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" a solid audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. But those loyal to the teenage superhero's big-screen saga might not realize that Zachary Levi almost bailed on the entire franchise for a fascinating reason involving the star that played Black Adam.

Beforehand, Levi knew his fair share about the character, especially his arch nemesis, and that Dwayne Johnson was pursuing the Black Adam role. This apparently caused the actor to look in the mirror and lose all faith in his ability to play the character. "A couple months before I got the job, I was offered an audition for the role of Shazam," Levi said on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. "But I knew enough about the character of Shazam/Captain Marvel, that he had an evil twin named Black Adam, and Black Adam was being played by The Rock. I was like, 'Wait, they're supposed to be twins? There's no way I'm getting this job!'" His inability to look like Johnson made him believe he was out of the running for the role, but the studio decided to handle things differently with the two characters, and Levy was eventually given the part.

But Levi isn't the only one who envisioned the character going down a bit differently. It's no secret that Johnson's relationship with the franchise has been a bit rocky, and not only has he gone out of his way to avoid appearing in movies with Zachary Levi, but the Black Adam star also had someone else in mind early on to play Shazam.

Johnson's history with Levi's Shazam is less than ideal

It probably feels like Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam ambitions have been around forever, and now that the dust has settled on that mess, people can finally move on. But before he failed to meet expectations in his solo DC movie, Johnson wasn't as against meeting up with Shazam in the films, even going as far as naming a possible candidate to play the role. "I remember telling our producer, who I've worked with for a long time, Hiram Garcia," Johnson recalled in an interview. "We both looked at each other and were like, 'Possibly Shazam?' I'm like yes. I'm not even gonna tell you his name, I'm just gonna say, Lone Ranger." Johnson's first choice to play his superhero nemesis was the star of the 2013 film, Armie Hammer. But the studio felt that Zachary Levi was the right choice. Hammer may have been a good option at one point, but his career has been hit with controversy, which would have just added to the DCEU's smorgasbord of off-screen issues, some of which have involved the "Shazam/Black Adam" debacle.

While Johnson made it clear he believed it would have been "an incredible disservice" to just shove Black Adam's origin story into his rival's flick, according to The Warp, an insider claimed the actor has a thinly veiled disdain for "Shazam." And his motivation to take on Henry Cavill's Superman eclipsing any desire to fight Levi's persona only arguably adds to the drama.

While it's unfortunate fans never got to see Johnson's Black Adam take on Shazam in the DCEU, Zachary Levi has done a remarkable job bringing the character to the big screen, possibly opening up many different possibilities for the DC superhero down the road.