Shazam! actor Zachary Levi has responded to fans caught up in an internet rivalry pitting the film against Captain Marvel, in part because the character Shazam was originally known as Captain Marvel in comic books prior to Carol Danvers taking the name decades later.
In an Instagram live stream, preserved by a mirror video right here, Levi said that there is no "conspiracy" to pit fans of the two characters against each other and that moviegoers should be able to enjoy both films.
"There are people out there making inflammatory, defamatory, and completely fictitious reviews and posts of Brie Larson's Captain Marvel - and trying to pit Shazam! against it, saying they're gonna support us and not them because of things they are, by the way, making up," Levi began, referencing an alleged 'review bombing' campaign to discredit Captain Marvel on online review aggregators with fake negative ratings. "For anyone out there who thinks you're doing me a favor, or you're doing Shazam! a favor, or Warner Bros., you're not. This is not helping anyone or anything. There is no competition."
"Just because Shazam used to be called 'Captain Marvel' way back in the day doesn't mean that somehow Brie or Marvel's Captain Marvel is pitted against us," Levi continued. "We're both movies and we're both going to be out in theaters at similar times. And the irony of that timing is really interesting, for sure, but there is no conspiracy. Anyone out there who's holding onto some bone like they need to pick a side or pick a fight is sorely mistaken. I really hope you'll just chill on that. Don't go and engage in that kind of behavior anymore."
"If you want to be passionate about either movie, rock and roll! If you want to be passionate about both movies, rock and roll!" the actor concluded. "But this is really low blow kind of stuff. To be lying is the bottom of the barrel, but to be lying in an attempt to discredit somebody is really sad."
Captain Marvel opens March 8 in North American theaters, followed by Shazam! just a month later on April 5.