Zachary Levi doesn’t need Dwayne Johnson, Dave Bautista should be his new DC nemesis

With the power hierarchy really shifting, we won’t be seeing Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam again anytime soon in the DC Universe, and nobody’s more disappointed by that than Zachary Levi. For years the Shazam! Star had expressed excitement at one day getting the chance to “smack The Rock in the face,” but now that dream is never meant to come true. And yet Levi shouldn’t despair, because there might be an even better choice for his ultimate DC nemesis.

Although Johnson was increasingly interested in staging a showdown with Henry Cavill’s Superman, the original plan was to pit Billy Batson and Teth-Adam against each other Shazam! 3. There’s still a decent chance thanks to Levi’s friendship with new DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran, who will likely ensure he survives most of the Justice League in the franchise Shazam! 3 will happen, which means he needs a new enemy for the threequel. Enter Dave Bautista.

Bautista is really done with the MCU at this point, but his own relationship with Gunn means the door to the DCU is wide open for him. There are many potential roles for that glass onion Actors in this rival superhero universe, but with Shazam crying out for someone of Johnson’s caliber to make his mark in his next film, there’s no one better suited to step into the role than Bautista. Shazam’s comic history even offers the perfect role for him.

Ibac is a potential contender, but the character of a criminal gaining Shazam’s abilities would be too similar Black Adam‘s Sabbac to really justify an adjustment now. Instead, let’s play as Bautista King Kull, one of the heroes formerly known as Captain Marvel’s oldest enemies. The ruler of the barbaric, prehistoric Beast-Men, Kull is not only a hulking brute, he also possesses an ingenious intellect that makes him a cross between Conan the Barbarian and Bautista’s beloved Bane.

Superhero cinema is obsessed with ancient hidden kingdoms right now Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to the coming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomso Shazam! 3 with Kull and his race of primitive but technologically advanced Beast-Men seems like a real possibility. And if the filmmakers don’t think Kull is good enough on his own, they can always borrow a brilliant idea from the Batman: The Brave and the Bold Cartoon that combined Kull with the more iconic villain, Vandal Savage.

The fact that we’re not going to have the promised Shazam vs Black Adam fight (nor the even greater Shazam vs Black Adam vs Superman Mega Match) is a little disappointing, though Shazam! 3 still has the potential to be the most suspenseful of the trilogy if only Gunn hires Bautista to follow in The Rock’s footsteps. Hey, punching him in the face instead must be just as much fun for Levi, right?

Shazam! wrath of the gods opens in theaters on March 17th. Zachary Levi doesn’t need Dwayne Johnson, Dave Bautista should be his new DC nemesis

Adam Bradshaw

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