DC Comics’s sequel starring Levi as the titular superhero has been a critical and financial bomb following its 17 March release.
On Tuesday (21 March), The Wrap published a report claiming that Johnson had vetoed a post-credits scene featuring Levi’s character – a move that would have provided a marketing boost for Fury of the Gods.
Levi has since posted a screenshot of the article on his Instagram Story, captioning it: “The truth will set you free.”
Citing two “high-level Hollywood insiders”, the article alleges that Johnson “vetoed a planned post-credits scene in Black Adam, which would have seen Shazam recruited by Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, and other costumed heroes, into the Justice Society of America”.
Johnson wanted his character to change the “hierarchy of power in the DC universe”, the sources allege, so pushed for his character to meet not his comic book rival, but the much more popular Superman, played by Henry Cavill, at the end of the movie.
The Independent has contacted Johnson’s and Levi’s representatives for comment.
Fury of the Gods took just $30.5m (£25m) on its opening weekend at the US box office, down more than $20m (£16.3m) from the first film’s domestic opening in 2019.
The DC Comics film cost $110m (£90m) to make and Warner Bros spent another $100m (£100m) in marketing, making a financial failure seem more than likely for the movie.
The news was no better on Rotten Tomatoes where its critics’ score sits at 53 per cent. The original boasts a 90 per cent score.
On Twitter, Levi also suggested that the film’s poor box office turnout was due to Warner Bros’ marketing campaign.
“I think the biggest issue we’re having is marketing,” he wrote. “This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren’t aware of that. Which is just a shame.”
This is also true. Sad, but true. How much that actually affects the box office is anyone’s guess. But I think the biggest issue we’re having is marketing. This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren’t aware of that. Which is just a shame. 🤷♂️ https://t.co/Fpw6Ja384F
— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) March 21, 2023
Meanwhile, the film’s director David F Sandberg has vowed to leave the world of superheroes behind for a while.
“I wasn’t expecting a repeat of the first movie critically but I was still a little surprised because I think it’s a good film,” he tweeted.
“Oh well[...] After six years of Shazam I’m definitely done with superheroes for now.”
Sandber’s star Rachel Zegler defended the sequel against “senselessly mean” criticisms.
In a two-star review for The Independent, Clarrise Loughrey described Fury of the Gods as “a film that isn’t without promise, but feels far too messy and corporatised to have any real affection for”.
Last week, Zegler had an unusually candid response when asked what drove her to take on a role in the DC superhero franchise.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is out in cinemas now.