Zachary Levi speaking into microphone on stage with image of Tweet by Pop Culture (l) Zachary Levi in front of white background (c) Zachary Levi speaking into a microphone on stage (r)

Fred Duval/Shutterstock (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Literally anyone else please’: ‘Tangled’ fans hate the idea of Zachary Levi starring in a live-action remake

After joking about reprising his role in a 'Tangled' remake, Zachary Levi sparked a surprising volume of backlash.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 22, 2023

When Zachary Levi voiced Flynn Ryder in Disney‘s Tangled, the character was generally well-received. However, fans seemingly hate the idea of him reprising the role in a live-action remake, provoking a vicious reaction when he joked about starring opposite Florence Pugh.

To be clear, Zachary Levi isn’t starring in a live-action Tangled. There were some recent rumors about a remake with Florence Pugh, but amid the actors’ strike, we should take this kind of casting “news” with a hefty pinch of salt.

Also, if you watch the clip of Levi talking about this at a fan event, he’s pretty clearly joking. Reacting to the rumor that Pugh might play Rapunzel, he exclaims, “What about me?” He then cracks a joke about how his real name is Zachary Levi Pugh, so this hypothetical movie would star “pew pew.”

But as news from this event spread on X, commenters piled on with criticism for Levi. Detractors pointed out that he’s way too old for the role (correct), and accused him of being desperate for attention.

“Bud, if the Rock doesn’t wanna fight you on screen, what the fuck makes you think Florence Pugh would wanna kiss you,” quipped one X user. (For those who aren’t up to date on Zachary Levi lore, this is a reference to the conflict between Levi’s Shazam franchise and Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam.)

Others simply shared derisive reactions like “literally anyone else please,” “He’s the only one open to this idea,” and “we need to start calling men losers more frequently and aggressively.”

Many pointed fingers at the age gap between Levi and Pugh (42 vs. 27), or drew attention to the fact that he recently complained about Hollywood making too many “garbage movies.” Needless to say, a lot of people consider Disney live-action remakes to be the ultimate example of garbage cinema.

The interesting thing about this backlash is that in this instance, Zachary Levi didn’t actually do anything bad or controversial. Following in Chris Pratt‘s footsteps, he’s just a celebrity people love to hate.

In some cases this dislike is due to Levi’s political views. He’s made some dubious comments about vaccination, and faced criticism for calling SAG-AFTRA’s strike rules “so dumb.” But for the most part, it seems like a lot of people just find him extremely annoying. Hence the outsized reaction to these Tangled comments.

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*First Published: Aug 22, 2023, 11:25 am CDT