With just a week left until the wide release of the DC Extended Universe film “Shazam!” FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention has announced that the film’s star, Zachary Levi, will make his third appearance at the Utah event, set for April 19-20 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
Set to release April 5, “Shazam!” has already been ranked “Certifiably Fresh” by popular film and television quality guide Rotten Tomatoes, with a handful of hype making expectations pretty high for the film.
“Well just obviously the timing of it, of (Zachary Levi) being willing to come and be at our show again is fantastic, just on the association with ‘Shazam!,’” said FanX co-founder Dan Farr in a Friday morning interview with the Daily Herald. “The other thing though, is the fact that he would come back to our show is really indicative of just how amazing the fans are with him at the show. He just loves it here because of how the fans treat him. It’s really a nod back to them.”
Levi is well known for his time as Chuck Bartowski in the television series “Chuck,” as well as for his roles as Flynn Rider in “Tangled” and Fandral in “Thor: Dark World” and “Ragnarok,” not to mention his strong lead in the popular alt-con Nerd HQ.
“He started off being a perfect fit for our market when he first came to our show,” Farr said of Levi. “He was so amazing with people that he gained a lot more fans. He loved it so much he came back again which created more fans, so it’s been just this kind of synergy wheel. His popularity here is just phenomenal.”
That statement is readily backed up with data pulled from Google Trends, which gauges interest in search terms based on total searches as well as in which locations the term is most popular or searched for most frequently, with Levi pulling up a perfect score of 100 for interest in Utah, along with other pop culture favorites such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and even Marvel.
“What it indicates is just search volume geographically,” Farr said of the Google Trends data. “It takes into account searches being done coming out of a state and what people are searching for. The state of Utah shows up at 100 percent, so number one.”
Though different factors can influence popularity by state, Farr said it’s something that, along with fan feedback and celebrity availability, they take into account as a factor when scheduling and reaching out to potential convention guests.
“It’s clearly a symbiotic relationship with us doing events here and the rankings individuals have,” Farr said. “It’s a portion of what we look at when we decide about bringing a guest in. We also love to see how they do at other shows. We love to gauge fan interaction and how excited fans get to see them.”
Another thing Farr said he loves about Levi in particular is his personality.
“There’s humility and graciousness there,” he said. “He’s enjoying what happening, but also using it as a tool to help people and make them happy. He’s leveraged his talent network to make a lot of money for Operation Smile and just does a lot of amazing things.”
Levi is joining an already star-studded lineup set for FanX, including Lynda Carter (“Wonder Woman”), musician and actor Alice Cooper, Paul Bettany (“Avengers,” “A Knight’s Tale”), Clark Gregg (Marvel), Brian Baumgartner (“The Office”), David Bradley (“Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones”), Warwick Davis (“Willow,” “Harry Potter”) and Tom Ellis (“Lucifer,” “Miranda”), among many, many others.
For more information on FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention or to purchase tickets to the event, visit fanxsaltlake.com. You can also get regular updates, including guest announcements and convention features by visiting heraldextra.com/comiccon.