The first Shazam! film was directed by David F. Sandberg and starred Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a foster kid who gains magical abilities and who can transform into a superhero. When he says the word “Shazam,” he’s changed into the best version of his future adult self, a tall, muscular hero played by Zachary Levi. The film received strong early critical reviews and ended up being a hit with fans too, grossing a worldwide total of $366 million. The Shazam! movies are based on the DC Comics character of the same name, although Shazam used to be named Captain Marvel. The Shazam! franchise is part of Warner Bros. and DC’s DCEU, and the first movie arguably helped reinvigorate the waning Marvel/Disney MCU rival. Shazam! Fury of the Gods will be the 12th film in the DCEU cinematic universe.
Shazam 2’s Helen Mirren Role Creates A Weird DCEU Paradox
The Shazam! climax included Billy’s five adopted brothers and sisters receiving Shazam powers, and along with Shazam became the Marvel Family/Shazam Family – a team that fans of DC comics instantly recognized and includes the well-known superheroine, Mary Marvel. But what’s next for Shazam, the Marvel Family, and Billy Batson? With the Shazam! Fury Of The Gods release date set for 21st December 2022, here is everything we know about it so far including plot details, release info, and Shazam’s DCEU connection,
Shazam! Fury Of The Gods Release Date
Shazam! Fury of the Gods has a confirmed release date of 21st December 2022. There’s been a lot of confusion around when the Shazam! sequel would release, as the date has been changed multiple times. It’s now set in stone for the prime Holiday season slot on December 21st, with a trailer debuting at SDCC 2022 that assuaged any concerns about further rescheduling. Shazam 2 was originally slated for April 1, 2022, leading to many jokes about it being an April Fools prank. Unfortunately, that release date had to be scrapped thanks to the ongoing pandemic, with the DCEU sequel Shazam: Fury of the Gods then rescheduled to November 2022, and then June 2023.
The new release dates were partly due to Warner Bros. having to make multiple reschedules of other DCEU movies like Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Outside of slate-balancing issues across the wider DCEU franchise, filming on Shazam! Fury of the Gods wrapped at the end of August 2021, which left plenty of time for the film to get post-production done before a 2022 release. The team of the Shazam! sequel beat other DC projects to completion, and so Shazam! Fury of the Gods was brought forward for a confirmed December 21st release date, wrapping up DC and Warner Bros. 2022 schedule before 2023 brings along the likes of Aquaman 2, The Flash, and Blue Beetle.
Shazam 2 Director & Cast
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will reunite most of the original cast and crew of the first film, as director David F. Sandberg is back onboard along with writer Henry Gayden and producer Peter Safran. Additionally, Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and the rest of the main Shazam cast — Djimon Hounsou, Meagan Good, Grace Fulton, Ross Butler, D. J. Cotrona — reprised their roles for the sequel. Interestingly, in the sequel, Grace Fulton will be playing both the child and adult versions of her character. The villains in Shazam 2 will be ably conveyed by Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu. They’re playing Hespera and Kalypso respectively, known as The Daughters of Atlas.
While Levi confirmed that The Rock’s Black Adam won’t be making an appearance in the film, Fury of the Gods has added Rachel Zegler as Anthea, another Daughter of Atlas. It’s also been confirmed that Mark Strong is not returning as the villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ben Affleck were all shown in the trailer in their respective DCEU roles, but there’s nothing to indicate the Flash, Aquaman, or Batman are in Shazam 2.
The SDCC Shazam! Fury Of The Gods Trailer Revealed Some Plot Details
While no official plot details for Shazam: Fury of the Gods have been released, it’s clear from the Shazam 2 trailer screened at SDCC 2022 that Hespera and Kalypso will serve as the sequel’s primary villains. With Dr. Sivana no longer a factor in the sequel, it’s unclear whether Mister Mind, the villainous caterpillar, will be back after an appearance in Shazam’s post-credits scene. Interestingly, Hespera and Kalypso don’t appear in DC Comics, so it’s unclear what role they will play in the film, but they are described as having ill intentions. It’s possible that Zegler’s character Anthea, the youngest of Atlas’ daughters, will be going up against her sisters. Either way, their involvement in the plot explains the title of the sequel, Fury of the Gods.
Outside of the Shazam 2 villains, footage in the trailer from a counseling session shows that Billy isn’t in a good place emotionally (as revealed by Zachary Levi as the adult Shazam in the confused pediatrician’s office). He’s unsure of himself, and suffering a severe case of imposter syndrome despite he and the rest of the Marvel family living the dream of being real-life superheroes. The movie is canonically set a few years after 2019’s Shazam!, and so Billy and his siblings have had some time to adjust to their newfound abilities. There may be fractions in the Marvel Family though, with Shazam remarking in the trailer “Now everyone’s trying to do their own thing, and I’m the only one trying to keep it together!”
Billy’s emotional struggles and Shazam Family team drama seem to be happening just as Kalypso and Hespera arrive. Mirren explains in some of the footage that she and her sister take children having the power of the Gods very personally (her exact words). As revealed by Djimon Hounsou’s Wizard, though, it’s not just the Marvel Family who have to worry about the Daughters of Atlas, as the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance. Footage has already shown plenty of big-budget superhero action, but like the first Shazam!, the movie will probably come with a core message about Billy and the Marvel Family learning to work together, value each other, and leverage their bond to overcome the villain at the 11th hour. In terms of the movie’s core theme, as indicated by Levi’s phenomenal reference to the Fast and the Furious meme in the trailer, “it’s all about Family.”
Black Adam Is Not In Shazam! Fury Of The Gods (Apparently)
Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam movie is about a Shazam adversary, and the Black Adam release date is 21st October 2022, two months before Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The showdown that many fans have been waiting to see since the casting was announced is Shazam battling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Black Adam. Black Adam is a former Champion in his own right, and Shazam! actually did quite a bit to lay the groundwork for his eventual introduction. Despite it being denied that Black Adam will appear in Shazam 2, his solo movie’s arrival a mere two months before the Shazam! sequel are making many fans hopeful for a cameo. Perhaps Warner Bros. are taking the lead from Marvel/Disney when it comes to spoiler misdirection.
Even if this doesn’t come to pass, there’s always hope that Black Adam could appear in a future Shazam 3 if the movie hits home and Levi’s character gets another sequel. Black Adam will introduce the complex Shazam villain/antihero to audiences, and it seems fitting that Warner Bros. would hold off on the long-awaited Shazam vs. Black Adam big-screen fight until after his establishment in the DCEU canon. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a movie megastar, so limiting his involvement and box-office pull to a single-movie villainous stint would be financially counterintuitive for Warner Bros. and DC. Despite Black Adam’s proclaimed absence from Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the Shazam! sequel looks set to match the first in terms of heart, humor, and large-scale action.