Zachary Levi, soon to be better known as Shazam!, took those trolling Captain Marvel online pretty seriously.
Prior to Captain Marvel’s release, the film, which may perhaps be considered a rival superhero movie to Shazam!, was plagued with fake reviews and other loathsome online abuse.
Some fans have even taken the fact that the DC Comics character of Shazam was also called Captain Marvel back in the 40s and 50s (it’s all a bit complicated) as a reason to pit one Captain Marvel against another.
Levi took a vocal stand against it, posting a video online excoriating such behaviour.
“For anyone out there who thinks you’re doing me a favour or you’re doing Shazam! a favour, you’re not,” he said.
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) February 24, 2019
Speaking to Yahoo Movies in the US, he’s now explained why he thought it was necessary to speak out.
“I was just getting hit on Twitter by a lot of people… saying what was clearly false, inflammatory things about Brie, about Captain Marvel and looping us as Shazam! into that,” he said.
“I’m not going to be a part of lies or defamation, nor is this movie. Nor should any of you! There’s no reason why any of this needs to be going on.
“I don’t think Brie needs me to defend Brie. But we all need to defend what is true. If we have an opportunity to do that — and I had an opportunity to do that — than I wanted to be able to do that.”
He also said that we should stop giving such stories oxygen in a separate interview with AP.
“Unfortunately, people who are negative online get amplified even though they have very few followers and that becomes a story. I think it’s probably more effective if we stop giving them a voice if they’re going to be negative with it,” he said.
Shazam! has received great buzz from early screenings, and is set to hit screens on April 5.