C2E2 Recap: Zachary Levi Talks “Tangled,” “Thor,” and His Feelings on a “Chuck” Movie

We’re back at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) and this year’s line up is so tailored to our tastes! We are attending more main stage panels than ever before—6 in total—spanning everything from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and X-Men: The Animated Series to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Marvel characters too. Today our morning kicked off with a spotlight panel for Zachary Levi who fans best know as Shazam (Shazam!), Chuck Bartowski (Chuck) and Flynn Rider (Tangled).

Unlike other Main Stage panels, Zachary didn’t have a moderator, and for the entire hour it was just him answering fan questions. He genuinely seemed excited to be here and helped to set the tone for our C2E2 2023 experience. He first asked fans which role of his they were most familiar with and received an equally enthusiastic response for the above mentioned characters. I personally love Chuck, but think Flynn Rider aka Eugene Fitzherbert is pretty great too. I don’t know the first thing about the Shazam movies, though I get the impression I’d like those too.

Zachary answered a wide range of questions and was both funny and serious depending on the context. Some guests asked about the different Shazam! suits and we all got a detailed explanation on why he liked the second version best;  another wondered if there were a highlight reel of his life what it would include, and while Zachary is still living his life, he pointed out that he’s been a Marvel superhero, a DC superhero, and a Disney Prince, not many other people can say that.  

On a more serious note, a student asked about breaking into the industry and handling mental health issues. Zachary pointed out that he was a legal adult when he started acting and strongly encouraged working in theater to hone skills and then worry about entering a different performance arena. But as for mental health he says go to therapy. Everyone can be the best at their job when they’re the best version of themselves, and to be the best version of oneself, it’s important to figure out what’s going on inside your heart, mind and body.

Turning back to some more lighthearted moments, someone wondered if his characters were to meet in real life, who would have the best stories? He thinks Flynn’s tales would probably outshine everyone else's, and I think I’d agree with that. Speaking of Flynn Rider, Zachary says Disney’s original version for the character had an English accent and they almost didn’t want to hear him audition. But his agent persisted and he got the role by using…an accent. Somewhere along throughout the process, a Tangled producer realized that none of the previous Disney Princes had spoken with a plain American accent and decided to make the change. Would Zachary be able to adapt? Fortunately, he could!

Aside from his Flynn Rider story, he brought up the character of Fandral from the Thor movies. I did not know this, but Kenneth Branagh originally cast Zachary in the role, but due to filming conflict, he couldn’t accept the part, so it went to Josh Dallas. When it came time for Thor: The Dark World, Josh was busy with Once Upon a Time, and so the role was once again offered to Zachary. He also appeared in Ragnarok, but was only needed on set for two days. Yep, Fandral was going to die! He expressed his disappointment that the Warriors Three didn’t have a larger part to play in Thor’s stories, but did admit that if you had to die with daggers to the heart, getting killed by Cate Blanchett was the way to go.

While the much loved NBC series Chuck has nothing to do with Disney, I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t my main reason for attending the panel. Zachary has been very passionate about the character and series throughout its entire run and is still hoping to get a movie made. He’s not sure what that will look like, studio vs. streaming or if it would be a crowdfunded project, but he’s anxious to explore that world a bit more…and pick up where the series left off. And yes, he’d drag Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin and the rest of the cast along for a convention tour should this dream project become a reality. “Aces, Charles. You’re aces!”

C2E2 2023 takes place from March 31-April 2 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Digital Tickets are available and include access to Livestream Panels like this one and more.