After the first few entries in the DC Extended Universe, from Man of Steel to Batman v Superman, were criticized for being too dark and dreary, David F. Sandberg came along with the perfect antidote. With a comical tone that even Marvel would call lighthearted, Shazam! brought Billy Batson’s story to the big screen essentially as Big with superpowers.
The refreshing Zachary Levi-starring superhero comedy performed well enough at the box office – largely thanks to positive reviews from critics – for the studio to greenlight a sequel, subtitled Fury of the Gods. Here’s everything we know so far about the next Shazam! movie.
9 The Writer, Director, And Producer Of The First Movie Are Coming Back
David F. Sandberg is joining the ranks of Patty Jenkins and James Wan as the latest DCEU director to sign on to helm the sequel to their own movie. Producer Peter Safran and screenwriter Henry Gayden are also returning for the Shazam! sequel.
Prior to spearheading the Shazam! franchise, Sandberg was best known for his work in the horror genre with his directorial debut Lights Out (adapted from his own short) and Conjuring spin-off Annabelle: Creation.
8 Zachary Levi Is Back
This one should be obvious, but Zachary Levi is confirmed to reprise the title role in the Shazam! sequel. Asher Angel is also reprising his role as Billy Batson, the teenager with the ability to turn into a Levi-sized superhero by uttering the titular word.
Just like Ryan Reynolds’ zany portrayal of the Merc with a Mouth is the Deadpool franchise’s greatest asset, Levi’s hilarious performance as a kid in a man’s body was Shazam!’s greatest asset.
7 The Release Date Was Delayed Twice
For fans following movie news, the past year has been pretty disappointing, because most of the headlines have revolved around studios delaying their tentpole movies to accommodate the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2019, Shazam! 2 was dated for April 1, 2022, around the Easter release window where the original movie found success. However, when COVID went worldwide, it was pushed back to November 4, 2022. Its original release date was taken by The Matrix 4. In October 2020, the release was delayed yet again to its current spot.
6 It’ll Be Released On June 2, 2023
Although the release date is subject to change (as its handful of previous date changes would suggest), Shazam! Fury of the Gods is currently set to hit theaters on June 2, 2023, more than four years after the original.
There are a ton of exciting movies coming in 2023: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Dungeons & Dragons, Mission: Impossible 8, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – the list goes on.
5 YouTuber Rachel Zegler Is Playing “A Mysterious Key Role”
Actor, singer, and YouTuber Rachel Zegler has been cast to play “a mysterious key role” in the Shazam! sequel, although the exact details of her character are being shrouded in secrecy. Zegler’s only other film credit is the lead role of María in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story remake.
Angelique Jackson of Variety noted that Zegler is the second Colombian American to be cast in a DCEU movie, following the announcement that Sasha Calle will be playing Supergirl in the new Flash movie.
4 Mark Strong Isn’t Returning As Dr. Sivana
In the mid-credits scene of the first Shazam! movie, Mark Strong’s villainous Dr. Sivana is visited in prison by a talking caterpillar – later confirmed to be Mister Mind – seemingly setting up a team-up between the two in the upcoming sequel.
However, Strong recently confirmed that his character won’t be appearing in Shazam! 2, which he was surprised to learn when he saw Zachary Levi tweet that filming had begun and he hadn’t received a call. Maybe he’ll be back in Shazam! 3 instead.
3 Filming Is Already Underway
Faithe Herman, the talented young star who played Darla Dudley in the first Shazam! movie and will reprise her role in Fury of the Gods, confirmed earlier this month that filming was about to commence.
Zachary Levi has since celebrated the beginning of production on social media. Due to all the effects and big set pieces, it’ll probably need to be in production for a few months.
2 Helen Mirren Has Been Cast As Hespera
Helen Mirren has joined the cast of the Shazam! sequel in the role of the villainous Hespera, a demigod whose DC Comics counterpart was inspired by Greek mythology.
Mirren, a four-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner, is surprisingly no stranger to action-packed blockbusters. She played a gun-toting badass in the RED franchise and currently plays Jason Statham’s ice-cool mom in the Fast & Furious movies.
1 Lucy Liu Has Been Cast As Kalypso
Helen Mirren’s Hespera won’t be the only villain appearing in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Alongside Mirren, Lucy Liu will play the role of Kalypso. Liu’s character is the sister of Mirren’s character, and the second daughter of Atlas.
Since breaking out in the Charlie’s Angels movies and Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1, Liu has been one of the most beloved action stars in the world, so this casting is a no-brainer.
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