No matter which way you slice it, these days we live in a pretty dark world. It constantly feels like something is bad happening and at times, it’s easy to lose hope. That feeling, relatable to so many, is why entertainment can be so important. Movies, television, music, these things help us remember the good things in this world—and one star thinks one character in particular will soon do this better than most others.
That actor is Zachary Levi, and—while he may be biased—he feels Shazam is a character destined to inspire in 2019 (when the movie opens).
“We need heroes,” Levi told CBR.com. “That’s why I think we flock to superhero movies. We wanna see ourselves in them, we do see ourselves in them, but we also feel kind of inspired and more hopeful that there is good in the world that is vanquishing the evil in the world. That is standing up for the everyman and going and trying to make a difference. But again also, it’s the wish fulfillment. Other characters, other superheroes...it’s difficult to see yourselves in those shoes. But Billy Batson is every kid. Adults still have that [dream of] ‘Wouldn’t it be so cool if?’ and Billy Batson is the manifestation of that. ‘Wouldn’t it be so cool if you were transported to a magical dimension and a wizard says I pick you and boom, now you get to go fly?’”
He added, “While we all like seeing movies that challenge us with the darker underbelly of life and we need to shine lights on those things and tell those stories, there’s a lot of heaviness in the world and I think that it’s really beautiful when you can go and cheer for [a character] that’s just got a good heart that really does mean well and they’re trying to find their way in the world.”
That is the cool thing about Shazam, right? While we can see ourselves as Batman, Wonder Woman, or Black Panther, Shazam has an even bigger dose of wish-fulfillment and childhood wonder. He’s literally a 14-year-old boy who just so happens to have the body and abilities of an adult superhero. He’s the manifestation of a very relatable dream, and dreaming is never bad.
Shazam opens in theaters April 5, 2019.