Zachary Levi’s ‘Shazam!’ Is ‘Pure Superhero Entertainment’ and 6 Other Electrifying Reviews

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Reviews are in for Zachary Levi’s “Shazam!” and most critics agree — it’s a “slick” and “entertaining” superhero film, and “DC’s most joyful and sweet movie since the days of Christopher Reeve’s ‘Superman.’”

The DC film starring Zachary Levi in the title role of an adult superhero with the spirit of a 14-year-old won’t be hitting theaters until April 5, but it’s already showing signs of blockbuster potential, thanks to word of mouth from impressed critics.

While one critic called “Shazam!” the “slickest DC movie in years,” TheWrap’s own film critic Alonso Duralde says, “This new DC entry has a lovely lightness, both in the visuals and in its tone.” Overall, the film currently holds a score of 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Also Read: ‘Shazam!’ Film Review: DC Comics Gets a Bouncy Burst of Big-Screen Ebullience

“‘Shazam!’ is such an unexpected joy from start to finish — at a time when Hollywood is choking to death on all the superhero films that studios keep ramming down its throat, here comes one that looks at the genre in a different light and reconceives it on a human level,” said IndieWire’s David Ehrlich. ‘Shazam!’ is easily one of the most fun superhero movies ever made.”

However, Entertainment Weekly‘s Chris Nashawaty wrote: “Whenever Levi is on screen […] the movie soars… ‘Shazam!’ is basically two movies in one. One with Levi and his wiseass foster brother (a fresh Jack Dylan Grazer), the other with Strong and all his snarling, computer-generated gobbledygook. And they both have the other in a headlock, wrestling for the soul of the story. I loved one, yawned through the other.”

“Shazam” follows foster child Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who is chosen as “Champion of Eternity” by an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) and granted the ability to transform into the superhero Shazam (Levi). With the help of his foster brother and superhero fanatic Freddy (Grazer), Billy learns to master his powers and takes them out for a joyride but is forced to get serious when his powers attract the interest of the twisted industrialist Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).

“Shazam” is directed by David F. Sandberg from a script by Henry Gayden, with Peter Safran producing.

Also Read: ‘Shazam!’ Reaction: Zachary Levi’s Superhero Stint Is a Jolly Good Time (Video)

See seven of the best reviews below.

David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“‘Shazam!’ is such an unexpected joy from start to finish — at a time when Hollywood is choking to death on all the superhero films that studios keep ramming down its throat, here comes one that looks at the genre in a different light and reconceives it on a human level. It doesn’t break the mold so much as it plays with how flexible the mold can be. Warm, witty, and bursting at the seams with great characters, ‘Shazam!’ is easily one of the most fun superhero movies ever made; even after the euphoric ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,’ that’s still a low bar to clear, but it’s worth celebrating all the same.”

Lindsay Bahr, Associated Press

“OK, so it’s basically ‘Big’ with superheroes and villains instead of businesspeople and girlfriends, but director David F. Sandberg has infused his film with so much heart and charm that it hardly matters. Even the deficiencies, like the sluggish beginning and the random, ridiculous villains, fade away under a haze of goodwill because unlike so many big spectacle action pics with sequels in mind, ‘Shazam!’ actually sticks the landing.”

Hugh Armitrage, Digital Spy

“Back in the dark days of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad,’ the idea that DC would one day bring us a delightful, family-friendly comedy never even crossed our minds. Things started to look up with ‘Wonder Woman,’ which mixed some typically lame CGI blob-fighting with a genuinely stirring storyline (not to mention that powerful no man’s land scene). Then – after the blip that was ‘Justice League’ – came ‘Aquaman,’ which was a bit of a mess, but, critically, a loveable mess that became DC’s highest-grossing movie ever. Now comes ‘Shazam!’ a (mostly) family-friendly movie that is not only a delight, but probably the slickest DC movie in years.”

Also Read: ‘Shazam!’ Trailer: Zachary Levi Leaps Tall Buildings in a Single Bound – Almost (Video)

Matt Singer, Screen Crush:

“Let’s get the big gripe out of the way, because I really only have one, and otherwise ‘Shazam!’ is a pretty terrific superhero entertainment…  It’s filled with sharp humor, strong relationships, and big exciting (and clear!) set-pieces. It’s thrilling. It’s an escape from your troubles. You feel good when it’s over. In other words, after ‘Aquaman’ and now ‘Shazam!’ we’ve stumbled into a delightful Bizarro Universe where DC movies are suddenly fun again.”

Jim Vejvoda, IGN

“‘Shazam!’ is a DC’s most joyful and sweet movie since the days of Christopher Reeve’s ‘Superman,’ a funny yet earnest coming-of-age story about a boy who learns that, well, with great power comes great responsibility. So obviously, Shazam! doesn’t reinvent the superhero movie, but it’s an undeniably fun time that left me wanting more big-screen adventures with these charming characters.”

Also Read: ‘Shazam’ Set for $40 Million Opening in First Round of Box Office Tracking

Brandon Davis, Comic Book

“‘Shazam! shapes up to be the best movie based on a DC Comics character since ‘The Dark Knight’ changed the comic book movie game in 2008. Christopher Nolan’s film probably still holds the torch for best film in the genre given its ability to transcend the comic book movie world and become a psychological thriller, above all else, but Shazam! certainly gives the film a run for its money. It’s the sheer levels of fun, heart, and terror ‘Shazam!’ masterfully balances which make it a lightning bolt of joy.”

Alan Cerny, ComingSoon.net: 

“‘Shazam!’ invites everyone to have a good time. It doesn’t have a mean-spirited bone in its body. It’s well-paced, not too long, and never overstays its welcome.  Even the scenes that are simple character moments pop, and Zachary Levi isn’t afraid to look silly if the moment calls for it. ‘Shazam!’ has a big, goofy smile on its face, and you can’t help but smile back.  This is a puppy dog of a movie, and it does exactly what it wants to do – give us heroes to cheer for, villains to hiss at, and laughs aplenty.  It even throws in some welcome monster mayhem and raucous action sequences.  In the pantheon of the genre, ‘Shazam!’ is pure superhero entertainment.”

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Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

[Spoiler alert: Do not read on or watch the video above if you are worried about “Shazam!” spoilers or teasers.]

Guys, DC has done it. We have an entertaining, lighthearted superhero movie that awakens the child in all of us, but also, at times, can give us a big fright.

David F. Sandberg directs Zachary Levi and Asher Angel in this superhero iteration that follows a kid who can transform into a muscular, good-looking superhero by simply saying “Shazam!”

Watch the video above.

Also Read: Why Warner Bros.’ Big Change Won’t Disrupt the DC Universe

Warner Bros./New Line’s “Shazam!” got its first round of opening weekend estimates, with independent trackers setting it at a $40 million launch.

Although that would be a drop from the $72.5 million launch “Aquaman” had in December en route to a $334 million domestic/$1.14 billion global gross, there’s still plenty of reason for optimism for this lighter, sillier DC film.

For starters, it was made on a smaller budget. While “Aquaman” was reported to have a budget well north of $150 million, individuals with knowledge of the production tell TheWrap that the budget for “Shazam!” was closer to $100 million, similar to what Sony spent on its 2018 comic book hit “Venom.”

Along with the lower price tag, “Shazam!” has enjoyed positive social media buzz since its first trailer debuted at San Diego Comic-Con last year. Telling the story of a teenage boy who gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero, “Shazam!” has won over fans with marketing that has promised a more humorous and lower-stakes movie than many of DC’s recent films.

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“Shazam!” follows foster child Billy Batson (Angel), who is chosen as “Champion of Eternity” by an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) and granted the ability to transform into the superhero Shazam (Levi). With the help of his foster brother and superhero fanatic Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), Billy learns to master his powers and takes them out for a joyride, But when his newfound abilities attract the interest of the twisted industrialist Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), Billy is forced to get serious.

“Shazam!” is directed by Sandberg from a script by Henry Gayden, with Peter Safran producing. It hits theaters April 5.

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If the “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman” movies represented DC Comics’ first big-screen steps away from the austere color palette of the Zach Snyder movies, “Shazam!” takes us deeply into primary colors in a single bound. There’s still a touch of urban decay and kitchen-table warmth on display — this is by no means Warren Beatty’s “Dick Tracy” or a candy-colored Cartoon Network production — but this new DC entry has a lovely lightness, both in the visuals and in its tone.

Before the 1940s serials and the 1970s Saturday-morning TV show, “Shazam!” was born in a magazine called Whiz Comics, published by Fawcett and later acquired by the company that would be known as DC Comics. (Of course, the character used to be called Captain Marvel, but that’s a long story.) And to use a 1940s expression, there’s a gee-whiz ebullience to the movie that makes it stand out among the last several decades’ worth of caped crusaders.

Young Billy Batson (Asher Angel, “Andi Mack”) has spent most of his childhood escaping foster homes in the hopes of finding his mother (Caroline Palmer); as a 4-year-old, Billy got lost at a carnival and never found her again, although he’s sure she’s still looking for him. So when a new set of foster parents take him in, he’s got one eye on the door, even though everyone seems really nice, particularly Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer, “It”), a Superman fan who’s never without a quip or the crutch that helps him walk. (“You look at me and you think, ‘Why so dark? Disabled foster kid, you got it all.’”)

Watch Video: ‘Shazam!’ Trailer: Zachary Levi Leaps Tall Buildings in a Single Bound – Almost

Everything changes when the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) summons Billy and gives him the power to transform into a superhero who will protect Earth against the Seven Deadly Sins. When Billy says, “Shazam!” he is transformed by a bolt of lightning, magically imbued with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. And while Billy and Freddy try to figure out how these powers work — even when he changes from little kid into strapping Zachary Levi, the new Shazam is still immature Billy inside, wisdom of Solomon or no — Shazam’s appearance stokes the fury of Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).

Sivana, as a young boy, was himself summoned by Shazam to the Rock of Eternity before the wizard rejected him as unworthy, leading Sivana to spend his life trying to return. Over the years, Sivana realizes that Shazam turned away hundreds of candidates, only finally selecting Billy out of desperation. But since Sivana is greedy and venal, and burdened with daddy issues of his own, he’s easy pickings for those Seven Deadly Sins, who possess him and force him to do their bidding.

Confronted by Sivana, who wants the Shazam powers for himself, Billy/Shazam’s first instinct is to hide and run away. But when Sivana comes after his new foster family, will Billy figure out how to be a hero and also how to depend on others for love and support? The answer to these questions won’t shock you, but “Shazam!” does offer some surprises along the way. Critics on Twitter have compared this movie to both “Shoplifters” and “Meet the Robinsons,” and they aren’t wrong. The way that Billy resolves his own issues regarding family as well as the larger crisis of the end of the world makes sense in the context of the script (by Henry Gayden, “Earth to Echo,” from a story by Gayden and Darren Lemke, “Goosebumps”) while also honoring the original comics by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, who very quickly gave Billy a cadre of co-heroes known as the Marvel Family.

Also Read: ‘Shazam’ Set for $40 Million Opening in First Round of Box Office Tracking

Fans of those comics might not recognize this Sivana, much taller and more handsome than the creepy mad scientist of the original, and even though “Shazam!” doesn’t give us any talking tigers, there are some hints that one of the series’ most ridiculous yet most beloved villains will be popping up in future installments. (As always for movies like this, it’s a good idea to stay through the credits.) What’s most important is that the movie does capture the original comics’ combination of breezy heroism and nutty plotting, transferred from the 1940s to the modern era with great skill.

An old hand at horror, director David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle: Creation,” “Lights Out”) does throw in a few scenes that are too dark for the otherwise amiable tone of “Shazam!” And when we finally see the Seven Deadly Sins, they look like the kind of bargain-basement CG creatures that you get when a game on your phone shows you an ad for a different game that you would never want to play. But neither of these problems inflicts much damage. The cast is consistently sharp, with Grazer in particular managing great chemistry with both versions of Billy. Levi’s body language is constantly inventive, as he plays a tween who still isn’t used to a grown man’s body, let alone a superhero’s. (And yes, Gayden even throws in a gag to acknowledge the fact that we’re all thinking about “Big.”)

Also Read: Why Warner Bros.’ Big Change Won’t Disrupt the DC Universe

It’s worth highlighting Leah Butler’s costume design; her Shazam costume is great — on paper, the character had one of the weirdest capes in all the comics, but she’s managed to turn it into something more along the lines of a hoodie — while the family of foster kids all wear outfits that convey distinct personalities but still look appropriately like they’ve been curated with love and care at a Goodwill.

One of the delights of DC Comics over the years is that the unlikeliest characters can bump up against each other; you can stick Batman on the same page with The Phantom Stranger, Amethyst of Gemworld, the Doom Patrol and Rip Hunter, Time Master, and somehow they all fit. As the company’s films move in the same direction, it will be interesting to see how well “Shazam!” will play with his super-peers.



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He missed it by that much! In the new trailer for “Shazam!” Zachary Levi tests out some of his classic superhero abilities, like being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

He can jump! But maybe not that high. Ouch.

The long-awaited second trailer for “Shazam!” gives a fuller sense of this quirky DC Comics origin story, with a 14-year-old boy (Asher Angel) acquiring superpowers from an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) to transform into the adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi). Here’s more of the official logline:

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Still a kid at heart — inside a ripped, godlike body — Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!  Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands?  Can he skip his social studies test?  Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child.  But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).

We also got a longer look at Strong’s villain in this latest trailer and how the growing pains of Shazam’s powers create some bigger problems.

“You electrocuted a bus and then almost killed those people,” Shazam’s teenage friend says. “And then I caught it!!”

“Shazam!” opens April 5 in theaters and on IMAX.

Watch the new trailer for the film above.

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Trailers for Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Shazam!” have been a lot of fun, but so far they haven’t actually shown the big red cheese in action. Until today, thanks to a new promotional clip featuring scenes of the DC superhero fighting the villain Dr. Sivana. Watch it above.

The clip is an edited-down version of footage showed off by “Shazam!” director David Sandberg and producer Peter Safran during a preview event on the Warner Bros. lot last Friday, which also included: an extended look at the Rock of Eternity scene where Billy Batson (Asher Angel) first meets the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) and receives the power of Shazam;  more scenes of Shazam (Zachary Levi) getting accustomed to his new powers with the help of his friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer); Shazam’s super speed as he tries to stop a robbery; and an longer version of the grocery store scene where Shazam discovers he is bulletproof.

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During the event, Sandberg and Safran also explained why Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) was used as the main villain instead of Black Adam, another Shazam mainstay who will be portrayed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a future film.

“Sivana is kind of the oldest villain almost for Shazam,” said Sandberg. “It was always that, when I come on board, it was always Sivana. I think they sort of played with the idea of having the first movie be both Shazam and Black Adam and felt like it needs more setup than you want to spend.”

That’s true: created by Bill Parker and C. C. Beck, he debuted alongside Shazam (the called Captain Marvel) himself in “Whiz Comics” #2 (1940).

“Shazam’s origin story is big enough to merit its own film, and I think that’s really what everybody discovered early on and when you see the movie you’ll see that’s what it deserved and that’s what it got,” added Safran.

And for those hoping rumors that Johnson’s Black Adam might show up in a “Shazam!” post-credit scene are true, stop hoping. Safran says it isn’t happening.

“Complete myth. He might have been available,” said Safran. “That’s the only thing about that statement that might be true. I don’t know if he was or not, but no. There was never a conversation with him about a post-credit sequence.”

That is not to say audiences won’t see Black Adam in a SHAZAM! sequel. Sandberg added, “You’d want to see it at some point, cause he’s a classic villain.”

“He’s a perfect adversary,” added Safran. “One would hope that eventually, you see those two on-screen together, at some point, but not going to be in this one.”

“SHAZAM!” will be released in theaters on April 5.

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In the upcoming DC film “Shazam!,” Billy Batson gets to enjoy the perks of being a superhero… which includes being able to buy a 12-pack without getting carded.

“I’d like to purchase some of your finest beer, please,” he says to a disinterested cashier in the film’s latest TV spot, which you can watch above.

“Shazam!” follows the teen-aged Billy (Asher Angel) after he is chosen as the vessel of Shazam (Zachary Levi), an ancient wizard with extraordinary powers. But Shazam probably didn’t count on Billy reacting to becoming a super-powered adult the way most middle school boys would: by buying beer, goofing around with his excited foster brother, and going to a real estate office to find a super-cool hero lair that would blow Superman’s Fortress of Solitude out of the water.

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But Billy isn’t the only one that has encountered Shazam. Many years earlier, another boy named Thaddeus Sivana came face-to-face with the wizard but was not chosen as his champion. Now, as a billionaire industrialist, Sivana (Mark Strong) wishes to acquire the magic Shazam has mastered for himself… and only Billy can stop him.

“Shazam!” is directed by David F. Sandberg and also stars Jack Dylan Grazer, Michelle Borth and Djimon Hounsou. The film hits theaters on April 5.

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‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: Zachary Levi on Midge’s Season 2 Finale Choice and What It Means for Benjamin (Video)

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(Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the Season 2 finale of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”)

Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) made a giant choice at the end of the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” A couple of big decisions, actually. But one is truly more of a twist than the other.

For starters, she is going all in on standup now, taking off on tour with Shy Baldwin, which means leaving her family and would-have-been fiance Benjamin (Zachary Levi). And second, and even more shockingly, she went back to her ex Joel (Michael Zegen) — the husband who left her for his secretary in Season 1 — for a one-night stand in the closing moments of the episode, saying she didn’t want to be alone before she left. And he sealed that proposition with a kiss.

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TheWrap sat down with Levi to ask the Amazon Prime Video star about why he thinks Midge made these choices.

“Well, seemingly, she was doing everything she could to live the perfect life,” Levi says in the interview above. “Like, literally, you know, that was what drove her down to measuring herself and being the perfect wife, the perfect wife, the perfect wife. And she did everything and that still ended in Joel leaving. Not her leaving him, him leaving her.”

“And that, I think, when somebody feels like they’re doing everything by the book and that still doesn’t work that means the book kind of crumbles,” he continued. “And then while the book is crumbling, for her to find standup and find seemingly kind of what I think she feels to be her absolute purpose in the world, no matter what you find outside of that, you feel like you might be losing yourself again to not travel down the road that you have found now.”

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Levi says “no matter how good Ben might look on paper or even coming back to Joel might look on paper” Midge has a journey she thinks she needs to follow now, adding: “I mean, obviously, from Ben’s point of view it’s like, ‘Look, I’d still support you in that. I don’t know why you gotta…’ But I think that flipped something in her like, ‘I don’t want to drag him through whatever the rest of this is and I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out who I am.’”

As for why Midge went to Joel, Levi believes it was for exactly the reason she said: “She just didn’t want to be alone right then.”

But what that means for Ben in Season 3, Levi says he has “no idea.”

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“I would be delighted if I got to go back and reprise my role of Benjamin on the show to wrap it up or keep it going or, you know, have a spot here and then a season later come back again, you know, in the same way that other great guest stars on other shows kind of keep circling back into people’s lives,” he says. “It’s an incredible sandbox to play in and those are the only sandboxes I want to play in, the really awesome, excellent ones.”

Watch the interview above.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.

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Zachary Levi puts on a superhero suit in next year’s “Shazam!,” but would the character win in a fight against super-villain Black Adam?

“Physically, they are literally exactly matched,” Levi told TheWrap while promoting “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” “Then it’s just a matter of will and I think good has to prevail over evil. This is a tale as old as time — good has to win. Otherwise, I don’t know what the hell we’re doing!”

Black Adam is best known in DC Comics as the main nemesis of superhero Shazam.

See Video: DC’s ‘Shazam!’ Makes a ‘Big’ First Impression in Comic-Con Trailer

DCEU films thus far have included “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” “Justice League” and “Wonder Woman,” most of which were panned by critics. But that didn’t deter Levi from wanting to be part of the shared universe.

“I feel nothing but excitement and gratitude — such tremendous gratitude,” he said. “These roles come along once in a very blue moon: playing superheroes, getting to be the titular character of a franchise and in this character specifically, it’s the movie ‘Big’ meets the movie “Superman!’ I get to play a 14-year-old living in an adult superhero body!”

See Photo: ‘Shazam’: First Look at Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in DC Comics Movie

While he can’t tell us a lot about the upcoming film directed by David F. Sandberg (sorry guys, we tried!), Levi does promise a movie that will “speak to the kid in all of us” and also pay homage to all iterations of Captain Marvel. Technically, Shazam was the first Captain Marvel, resulting in one character of the name for Marvel and one for DC. Because of trademark conflicts, DC has branded and marketed the character as Shazam.

“It’s super fun and wish fulfillment for me but the movie itself is very wish fulfillment because it speaks to the kid in all of us who dreamt of being a superhero one day,” Levi explained. “There have been so many iterations, and I think we were able to compile them all into this movie and into this character and hopefully diehards of all ilk will be able to watch it and enjoy. It might not be everything they ever wanted it to be, but what movie is?”

“Shazam!” will hit theaters on April 5.

Watch the video above.

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If you’ve managed to binge the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” since it dropped late Tuesday, then you’ve already discovered series newcomer Zachary Levi is a natural with rapid-fire dialogue. And that skill has earned the Season 2 star his stripes as a new member of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s fast-talking club.

The “Maisel” creator and her husband, writer/director Daniel Palladino, are known for writing quick, witty banter for their characters, and Levi’s Benjamin — a Jewish doctor introduced as a new love interested for Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) in the Prime Video comedy’s second installment — is no exception.

“I think I’m pretty good at the rapid-fire speech. You know, when I don’t stumble over my own tongue, which is easy enough to do,” Levi told TheWrap in an interview Wednesday.

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Levi says, “Amy and Dan and that writers’ room, they write just excellent material” and notes there is definitely a particular way that they want that material delivered on screen.

“Not only is it rapid-fire, but they want you to be word perfect as well,” Levi said. “And sometimes the way that they would word things was just really — I don’t know, it felt very counter-intuitive to the way I would word it.”

The actor says the duo were “collaborative” and open to letting him do what he needed to do so he could remember it all — and ended up nailing it on screen.

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“I mean, look, I’m fast-talking right now!” he said. (Which he was.)

Benjamin and Midge meet about halfway through Season 2, when both of their families are staying in the Catskills for the summer and their mothers try to set them up.

“It’s a slow burn, you know? Because she’s very bossy, and Benjamin’s just not having it,” Levi said. “People have kind of likened the character to a Mr. Darcy archetype, and I think that’s actually a really good, classic way to explain him. And he’s a progressively-minded guy, particularly for the late 1950s. He doesn’t want just some doting housewife; he wants somebody that challenges him. And Midge turns out to be quite a challenge… as she is to most of the people in her life.”

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Watch the fast-talking snippet of our interview with Levi above and check back with TheWrap for the actor’s thoughts on the end of Season 2 (once you are done binging it, that is) and his upcoming DC film “Shazam.”

“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.

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The original Captain Marvel is finally hitting movie screens next April, but you don’t have to wait that long to see for yourself if the Big Red Cheese is ready for the big time — the first trailer for “Shazam!” debuted during the Warner Bros. Hall H Comic-Con panel Saturday morning. And you can watch it here, right now.

Directed by “Lights Out” filmmaker David F. Sandberg from a script by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke, “Shazam!” stars Zachary Levi in the title role, with Asher Angel as Shazam’s alter-ego Billy Batson. Created by C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker for Fawcett comics in 1940, “Shazam,” originally called “Captain Marvel,” follows the adventures of teenager Billy Batson, who can transform into a full-grown adult superhero with the power of six gods after saying “Shazam!” Think “Big” meets “Batman and Robin.”

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Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong, Grace Fulton, Cooper Andrews and Ian Chen also star, with Djimon Hounsou as The Wizard, the powerful mystic who gives Shazam/Billy his powers.

And for those of you asking, yes, he really is the first hero called Captain Marvel, debuting 20 years before Marvel Comics existed as a brand. Fawcett Comics was sued by DC in the early 1950s over claims that “Captain Marvel” ripped off “Superman,” and went temporarily out of business after it agreed never to publish the character’s comics again. However, in 1972 DC licensed “Captain Marvel” from Fawcett and brought the character into the DC universe.

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But during the intervening decades, Marvel realized the trademark on the name “Captain Marvel” had lapsed, and introduced its own character of the same name. Which is why, to avoid legal problems, DC called its re-launched comic book “Shazam” and eventually changed the character’s name outright.

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After numerous leaks and paparazzi shots, the first official look at Zachary Levi in costume and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman from DC Comics movie “SHAZAM” has been released online. (See it below.)

“I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that’s something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman,” the director David Sandberg told Entertainment Weekly. “It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I’m going for.”

After photos surfaced in March of Levi in full costume on the set of “Shazam,” Men’s Health took a swipe at the actor, asking if he was wearing fake muscles under his costume. “The actor’s arms looked huge in recent set photos, but are they real?” they wrote. “We’re still not buying it.”

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Despite what has been jokingly referred to by fans as “LeviGate,” Levi has remained enthusiastic about the project, regularly posting pictures on social media of his time in the makeup trailer and on set. He even compared the immense amount of hair gel he used to get Shazam’s famed slicked-back do to LazyTown villain Robbie Rotten.

Yes, he’s getting help from costume padding (as most movie superheroes do), and, yes, Levi will fly into the DC Universe when “Shazam” hits theaters on April 5, 2019.

The first trailer for the movie will debut inside Hall H during San Diego Comic Con in mere days.

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Djimon Hounsou to Play The Wizard in DC’s ‘Shazam!’

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Djimon Hounsou will play the 3,000-year-old Wizard in DC’s “Shazam!”, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

In the comic book, the Wizard gives young Billy Batson his powers. Production has wrapped, so this casting was clearly kept under wraps. “This Is Us” actor Ron Cephas Jones was previously reported to have been cast in the role.

This isn’t the first time Hounsou will have a role in a superhero film — he played the Kree mercenary Korath the Pursuer in “Guardians of the Galaxy” as well as the upcoming “Captain Marvel.”

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Hounsou’s other credits including “Amistrad, “Gladiator,” “Furious 7,” “The Legend of Tarzan” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” He is represented by Elevate Artist Management, The Safran Company and CAA.

“Shazam” is directed by “Lights Out” filmmaker David F. Sandberg from a script written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. Production wrapped in May in Toronto.

The film will star Zachary Levi as the titular character, as well as Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Grace Fulton, Cooper Andrews and Ian Chen.

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Shazam, who was first introduced into DC Comics in 1939, is an acronym of the ancient world gods and historical figures — Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury — from whom William Joseph “Billy” Batson’s alter ego derives his heroic attributes when in adult form.

Warner Bros. will release “Shazam!” on April 5, 2019.

Entertainment Weekly first reported the news.

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