Director David F. Sandberg claims that Shazam! Fury of the Gods is bigger than the first movie. Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Sandberg’s 2019 Shazam! movie chronicled the tale of disturbed teenage orphan Billy Batson, who after a run-in with an ancient wizard’s staff, develops the ability to transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi). As the film progresses, Billy passes down his strengths to his foster family as well, who then help him defeat the nefarious Seven Deadly Sins and the evil Dr Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong). Grossing $366 million worldwide against a $100 million budget, Shazam! proved to be a stirring success at the box office. Its light-hearted tone was generally applauded, with the positive reception inspiring Warner Bros. and New Line Cinemas to quickly get a sequel in development.
With a full two years Shazam 2’s June 2023 release date, there is quite a lot that’s not yet known about the sequel. Originally, the film was tipped to premiere in April 2022, but as with all other DCEU projects, Shazam! 2 was also delayed repeatedly due to COVID-19 induced production woes. Although there is still a lot of time before the movie bows in cinemas, production has already commenced on Shazam! 2. Sandberg and Levi feared that if they wait too long to shoot the film, the young cast will be too grown up to play their parts convincingly. That is why WB is moving fast to get the movie completed, with hopes that the sequel will surpass the success of the first movie.
While answering fans questions about his upcoming sequel through his Instagram stories, Sandberg commented on the scope of Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Acknowledging that the movie isn’t exactly self-contained, Sandberg said that Shazam! 2 will decidedly be bigger and broader than its predecessor. He did not exactly go into details about the span of the forthcoming film, but his comment is fair evidence that Shazam! Fury of the Gods is looking to dive deeper into the comics lore and expand the franchise’s horizons.
The notion about Shazam! 2 aiming for superiority over the original movie was apparent when the film set itself up for success by casting A-listed performers Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu as its central villains, sisters Hespera and Kalypso. Earlier Rachel Zegler was also roped in as an unknown character, and it is believed that she will play another sister to Mirren and Liu, thereby rounding out the movie’s new evil trio. Additionally, besides the new cast additions, Shazam! 2 is also trying to improve on some aspects from the 2019 movie. The first film spent a lot of time focusing on Billy’s transformation and as a result, it couldn’t fully flesh out the arcs pertaining to his siblings. But now Shazam! Fury of the Gods will explore individual metamorphoses of Billy’s brothers and sisters while also depicting more Shazam family team-ups.
Sandberg’s new remarks add to the general excitement around Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The movie might be a couple years away, but with its prestigious casting, snappy costume upgrades, and promise of a larger scope, it’s hard for fans to keep from discussing and anticipating the film. Shazam! had always meant to be part of the broader DCEU story. But with the franchise’ earlier iterations being critically panned, the first film benefited by maintaining its distance. Now, however, the groundwork for Billy Batson’s tale is already out there, so it makes sense for Shazam! 2 to spread out and incorporate more storylines and connections to the DC universe. That said, fans should learn more about the range of the new movie as set photos and teasers begin rolling out, and that is inevitable as the film is in active development.