A series of photos from director David F. Sandberg on the set of Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods have surfaced. The sequel to the first Shazam! film that is part of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is bringing back the Shazam family with brand new sets of threads, as well as a new villain. Or should we say, villainess, in the form of Dame Helen Mirren as the demigoddess Hespera!
Fury of the Gods: What We Know So Far
The first Shazam! film released in 2019 followed the origins of the Wizard Shazam and how Billy Batson (Asher Angel) was chosen to be his champion in the form of an adult superhero (played by Zachary Levi).
At the climax of the movie, Billy shared his powers to his adoptive brothers and sisters. Now, all of them change into idealized and older superhero versions of themselves whenever they say the magic word Shazam!
After defeating Sivana (Mark Strong), the Shazam family move in to the Rock of Eternity as their lair, while also continuing their civilian identities as children and teenagers in their household.
Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods is set shortly after the events of the first film. Although details are sparse, the plot does not appear to involve the end credits from the previous film. In that end credits scene, Sivana seems to have discovered and is teaming up with Mr. Mind (another of the classic villains from the Shazam mythos), alluding to another source of magical power that Sivana lost after his defeat.
Instead, based on the current details, the plot will revolve around the battle between at least two factions of gods. One of the factions will be under Kalypso (Lucy Liu) and the other will be led by her sister Hespera (Helen Mirren). It is unclear whether both will be villains or if one or the other will be aiding the Shazam family.
Costumes for Both Old and New
In this era of leaks and set photos, the hype for films can be negatively impacted, especially if the shots are of poor quality. Shazam 2’s director, David Sandberg wisely chose to do the leak himself on his own terms. On his Twitter account, Sandberg shared a high quality photo taken of the Shazam family’s new superhero duds:
Don’t know how long we can keep the new suits from leaking so here’s a pic I took the other day pic.twitter.com/41wStJ6oe2
— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) June 21, 2021
Immediately noticeable is the texture and color of all the new costumes. Where the previous film had a smoother cloth texture and more saturated colors, the new costumes sport a snakeskin design (similar to Henry Cavill’s Superman suit). The color saturation is also more muted, and somewhat darker in shade. Could this be a hint of a darker tone to the story?
Another interesting detail is that the powered up Mary will no longer be played by actress Michelle Borth. Instead, both the civilian Mary and superhero form will be played by Grace Fulton. Fulton was already 22 years old at the time of the 2019 Shazam! film's release. Given that the transformation into their superheroic forms are based on idealized and older versions, it makes sense that Fulton, now 24 years old, would play both roles. There is no official word on Michelle Borth returning or playing a different role in the film.
Meanwhile, Helen Mirren has also been spotted sporting her costume on the set. The 75 year old Oscar Award winner is seen shooting a scene with Zachary Levi in what appears to be a conversational setting. As Hespera, Mirren will be wearing a more traditional warrior-style armor made of leather and plate. The costume also comes with a crown, sword, and scabbard.
New set photos show Helen Mirren’s Hespera and Zachary Levi’s #Shazam on the set of Fury of the Gods. pic.twitter.com/Vy3gl5s7mB
— DC Updates (@UpdatedDC) June 21, 2021
As there is no actual DC Comics comic book counterpart to the Hespera character, there is little known as to what her role will entail or what her powers will be. As of this date, the only definite character details are that Hespera will be one of the daughters of the titan Atlas (who is coincidentally, one of the mythological figures that give Shazam his powers). Aside from Lucy Liu’s Kalypso, another sister will be portrayed by Rachel Zegler, although there are no details yet as to the latter’s character name or role in the plot.
Black Adam Connection?
One question that many fans of the DCEU are asking is if Shazam: Fury of the Gods will have any connection with the other upcoming movie also in production, Black Adam, which stars and is produced by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
In the comics, Black Adam was the first champion of Shazam from ancient Egypt, but who became corrupted by the power. The first film even had scenes that alluded to this backstory.
Sandberg has stated Black Adam will not be appearing in the film, but also has not mentioned if there will be story threads that hint at the future of the two films being tied together. Fans have stated that it would seem like a wasted opportunity, given how the comic book histories of these characters are intertwined. But we will have to wait and see.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Meagan Good, Ross Butler, D.J. Cotrona, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film is currently scheduled for a June 2, 2023 release date.