There were many skeptical about Shazam! as a movie, and of Zachary Levi as a star. But the offbeat superhero movie grossed $366 million worldwide, becoming a modest hit with solid critical reception. It’s helped turn DC’s superhero output around from the disappointing days of the DCEU, and has probably opened the doors for more esoteric superheroes to get the silver screen treatment.
It’s also helped open doors for its star too. Levi has reportedly signed on to star in Spy Guys, an action comedy that was originally developed for The Lonely Island trio of Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. The trio are no longer involved on camera, but will be producing the movie alongside John Rickard, who also produced Rampage and Horrible Bosses.
Levi will play a spy along the lines of Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt. However, when he runs into trouble on a high-octane mission, he’s forced to recruit some of his old friends from college to help. They’re not spies at all, just regular guys willing to do anything to help a friend in need.
If that sounds a little similar to last year’s star-driven comedy Tag, you would be spot on. New Line has tapped Tag director Jeff Tomsic to helm Spy Guys, with a script written by Adam Sztykiel (Due Date).
Production is reportedly being fast-tracked, as the studio wants Levi to topline another movie before starring in the inevitable Shazam! sequel. New Line obviously see Levi as a homegrown star and don’t want him to jump to another studio and make a potentially hit film for them. So it’s smart of them to lock him up for another project so quickly.
Levi was previously best known for starring in Chuck, and also played Fandral in the Thor sequels. It’s a good chance those won’t be noted as major roles for much longer.