The Improvised Shazam: Fury Of The Gods Line That Jack Dylan Grazer Loved So Much, And Why
The latest DC Studios movie Shazam: Fury of the Gods rekindled our relationship with the “Shazamily,” and gave more scenes to Super Mary star Grace Caroline Currey and Billy Batson’s foster brother, Freddy Freeman. In fact, one of the main selling points (in my opinion) for the DC sequel is the comedic chemistry shared between Jack Dylan Grazer (as Freddy) and Djimon Hounsou, once again playing the wizard who granted Shazam (Zachary Levi) his powers. There’s a subplot that teams Freddy and the Wizard on a side mission through Shazam: Fury of the Gods, and it was during these sequences that Grazer came up with an improvised laugh that he fought hard to keep in, because it made Hounsou laugh.
At one point during Shazam: Fury of the Gods, Freddy and the Wizard find themselves imprisoned by the Daughters of Atlas, played by the royal trio of Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler. And while digging around in the dirt seeking for a way out of their prison cell, Freddy wonders if he has discovered a tooth… which naturally freaks him out. Only, this line wasn’t in the script. As Grazer noted to CinemaBlend during our recent interview:
I know that if I can get a laugh out of Djimon, I’ve done something right. … There was, they kept it in the movie I think, something that I improvised. I was like, I really wanted to get a laugh out of him. It’s so hard to. And I knew that if I can do that, then it’s an indication that I’m doing something. So the line where we’re in the prison, and I;m looking through the ground, trying to find something, I find a tooth. And I go, ‘What is this? A tooth?’ And that made him laugh! And David was like, ‘What was that tooth line?’ And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, can I please say that again? Djimon laughed at it! Can I do it again, please?’ And he was like, ‘...okay?’ And so I did it every take.
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It is a funny line, one of many that Jack Dylan Grazer gets in this sequel. Because Helen Mirren’s character steals his Shazam powers away from Freddy early, Grazer gets to play the powered-down version of the character for longer stretches, which gives him time to expand on that unexpected chemistry he ends up having with Hounsou.
And as I mentioned to Jack Dylan Grazer, the scene resonated so strongly with David Sandberg, he used the tooth moment as the sketch that accompanied the young actor’s credit in the final moments of the film. Of all the scenes that Sandberg could have selected for Grazer, he chose the prison-tooth line. It’s a funny improvisation, and one I’ll personally remember long after Shazam: Fury of the Gods has come and gone.
Which might happen sooner than expected. The box office for Shazam: Fury of the Gods wasn’t really what the studio was hoping to see, meaning the end-credits scenes that connect the DC hero to the JSA probably isn’t going to pay off in the DC Universe moving forward. Some of this might have to do with the controversy surrounding The Rock’s reported refusal to have Zachary Levi’s Shazam cameo in Black Adam. And it could just be that DC fans are ready for new beginnings, with the slate that James Gunn and Peter Safran recently announced.
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