One of two the two end credits in the sequel film — which hit theaters on Friday, March 17 — sees Levi’s titular superhero being recruited for The Justice Society of America, a superhero team featured in Johnson’s 2022 film Black Adam. According to a report by The Wrap, published on Tuesday, March 21, Johnson, 50, prevented Shazam! 2 director David F. Sandberg from using any of the team’s characters in the scene, resulting in Peacemaker characters Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee) doing the recruiting instead.
On top of that, the report also claimed that the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star shut down a possible cameo from Levi, 42, in Black Adam — which he produced in addition to starring in — despite Shazam and Black Adam being each other’s biggest foes in the comics.
The Tangled star appeared to confirm the revelations via his Instagram Story on Tuesday, March 21. Sharing a screenshot of another Instagram Story featuring The Wrap’s reporting, Levi captioned his post, “The truth shall set you free,” complete with an upside-down smiley face and raised hands emojis.
Sandberg, 42, previously spoke out about the post-credit scene casting switch-up, telling The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on March 18 that the scene “fell apart three days before we were going to roll cameras.”
He continued: “Peter Safran, who produced this movie and Peacemaker, made some calls, and thankfully, Jen Holland and Steve Agee were able to come by on very short notice. I mean, the scene makes a little less sense with them. It’s like, ‘Why are they recruiting for Justice Society?’ but you can kind of see it as they’re working for Amanda Waller [Viola Davis]. So I was just very grateful to get them in there, and it was really cool shooting it because I’m a big fan of Peacemaker.”
All of the drama comes amid major shakeups in the DC Universe. Gunn, 56, and Safran, 57, took over as DC Studios’ new co-chairman and chief executive officers in November 2022. The duo announced they plan to reboot most of the franchise’s major properties, which includes letting go of Henry Cavill’s Superman and canceling several announced projects, including Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3 with Gal Gadot, among others. The fates of other characters, including Black Adam and Shazam, are currently up in the air.
“One of the things Peter & I were aware of when we took the job as heads of DC Studios was a certain minority of people online that could be, well, uproarious & unkind, to say the least,” the Guardians of the Galaxy director wrote via Instagram in December 2022. “Our choices for the DCU are based upon what we believe is best for the story & best for the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years. Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity & always with the story in mind.”
Gunn — who tied the knot with Holland, 36, in October 2022 — continued: “No one loves to be harassed or called names — but, to be frank, we’ve been through significantly worse. Disrespectful outcry will never, ever affect our actions. We were aware there would be a period of turbulence when we took this gig, & we knew we would sometimes have to make difficult & not-so-obvious choices, especially in the wake of the factious nature of what came before us. But this means little to us in comparison to our jobs as artists & custodians in helping to create a wide & wonderful future for DC.”