For those not well versed in comic history, the DC Comics character Shazam was originally named Captain Marvel way back when it was originally with Fawcett comics.
There’s a long story about how the Captain Marvel name went away (and no it’s not “trademark shenanigans”), but the short version of the story is that DC sued Fawcett in the 40’s claiming Captain Marvel was a ripoff of Superman and eventually Fawcett stopped publishing comics in 1953, after settling with DC to never publish Captain Marvel again. DC later acquired the Captain Marvel character and basically sat on it (so there’d be no competition for Superman) and the trademark on the name expired. Marvel then published their Captain Marvel in 1967, so when DC relaunched the character in the 70s, they used the name Shazam. They actually tried to use the subtitle, “The Original Captain Marvel”, but Marvel owned the name at the time and they couldn’t do that.
Basically, the Shazam comics haven’t been titled “Captain Marvel” since the 1950s, but that hasn’t stopped trolls from weaponizing their version of the events to spark some kind of stupid war between the Captain Marvel and Shazam movies. Over the last few days, trolls have been spamming social media posts with fake plot spoilers about Captain Marvel in an attempt to offend and make people not see the movie:
Last night, Zachary Levi did an Instagram live stream where he addressed the trolls doing this:
“For anyone out there who thinks you’re doing me a favor, or you’re doing Shazam a favor, or doing Warner Bros….you’re not. This is not helping anyone or anything. There is no competition. Just because Shazam used to be called Captain Marvel way back in the day, doesn’t mean that somehow Brie or Marvel’s Captain Marvel are pitted against us. Sure, we’re both movies and we’re both going to be out in theaters at similar times. The irony of that timing is really interesting for sure. There is no conspiracy, guys. Anyone out there that’s holding out to some bone like they need to pick a side and pick a fight is sorely mistaken and I really hope you’ll just chill on that. Don’t go and engage in that behavior anymore.”
You can see a video of his comments below. Thanks to Madison J. for sending the video capture in!