Zachary Levi says “Shazam!” director David Sandberg brought a little “darkness” to the DC superhero film.
The Swedish filmmaker is best known for his work in the horror genre, and Levi, who stars in the title role, believes Sandberg’s background helped the story – about an orphan boy and his superpowered adult alter ego – become more “grounded” than “silly”.
“Inherently, it’s a movie about a 14 year old that gets a superpower to be a superhero but he’s still 14 inside. I mean, there’s no way to do that movie without it being funny and heartfelt.
“And so in order for that to not just become silly, you need somebody like David to come in and ground it and give it some darkness and some grit and balance it out and I think he’s done that in spades, so we find a really nice sweet spot in the middle of it all,” Levi told SciFiNow.
His co-star Mark Strong, who plays the antagonist, Dr Thaddeus Sivana, in the next film, echoed the sentiment about the director’s credentials as a horror filmmaker.
Strong said Sandberg ably combined “humour and horror” and delivered the two sides of the coin needed to make a successful film.
“You need to have real fun with ‘Shazam!’ and the guys but you need to be truly terrified by the forces of evil, otherwise you never really believe that there’s a genuine competition going on there.
“I could always sense he had in his mind exactly what he wanted and little tiny details of things he would be hot on. I remember one day I found him pushing a door to see if it would creak and I realised he was just finding a moment to put in a little creaking door noise in there, it’s the archetypal horror moment,” the actor said.
“Shazam!” is set to hit the screens on April 3.