The Shazam sequel, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, has just found its main baddie in Helen Mirren. Deadline reports that the renowned actress has closed a deal to play the villain Hespera, daughter of Atlas, in the upcoming sequel to the 2019 film starring Zachary Levi as Billy Batson.
As far as we can tell, Hespera has no obvious comics counterpart in the DC universe, but given her godlike stature (a fitting character for Dame Helen to play), one could posit the theory that she’ll definitely be tied up in something related to the powers of the Shazam alter-ego — which, when activated by Batson, include the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.
Levi will be reprising his role for the sequel alongside Rachel Zegler (West Side Story), whose casting was reported back in February as a currently unknown but apparently critical role. Additional casting includes Adam Brody as well as Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer and Faithe Herman. David F. Sandberg is attached to direct with script duties by Henry Gayden and Peter Safran producing.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods was among the Warner Bros. slate of films impacted by a release date shift back in October, in addition to fellow DC movies like The Batman and The Flash, but director Sandberg was quick to reassure fans that the delay wouldn’t impact the planned shooting schedule for the sequel — or run the risk of aging any of the younger actors up past a believable point. Either way, this franchise has clearly cornered the market on casting absolute legends between Mirren as well as her fellow Dame, Julie Andrews, who played an ancient sea creature in 2018’s Aquaman.
Currently, Shazam: Fury of the Gods is slated for release on June 2, 2023.
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Regal Cinemas agreed to Warner Bros.’ 2021 day-and-date release strategy in exchange for a 45-day theatrical window in 2022.
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