At one point and time, the likes of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman were the main focuses of DC's cinematic efforts, given they're, arguably, the biggest names in DC's long list of comic book heroes. However, things change—especially when bad box office numbers are involved.
After Justice League's critical and financial failure in 2017, Warner Bros. and DC had to pivot—no longer could they depend on those once-prestigious names. Instead, the companies started branching out into lesser-known characters similar to what Marvel has done several times now. Among those new character was Shazam.
Billy Batson was very much unknown to wider audiences. That started to change when Shazam! not only released to good critical reception but also gave Warner Bros. a successful box office run. People liked the feel-good, family-focused tale about a little boy gifted with other-worldly powers by a long-forgotten wizard.
So, of course, a sequel was planned to continue Billy's adventures and the rest of his Shazam family. While fans will have to wait until 2023 to see Shazam! Fury of the Gods come to fruition, they can at least feast their eyes on a big reunion while they wait.
FURY OF THE REUNION
Shazam! star Asher Angel posted on his Instagram story a picture of himself reunited with several key cast members from the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods film—including a brand-new face.
The photo, from left to right, includes Jack Dylan Grazer (Freddy Freeman), Ian Chen (Eugene Choi), Asher Angel (Billy Batson), Rachel Zegler (unknown new role), and Grace Fulton (Mary Bromfield).
SHAZAM FAMILY IS BACK IN ACTION
What's most notable about the picture is newcomer Rachel Zegler. No details about her role in the film are known, but at the very least, this photo seems to indicate that her character will be closely associated with the main cast of kids.
The photo also seems to indicate that filming for Shazam! Fury of the Gods has just begun or is right around the corner. Something notable is that the film's production is located in the same location as the upcoming Black Adam film. While that would normally be a good sign of the possibility of some sort of crossover or cameo, the signs aren't looking great.
Plot details for the film are being kept under wraps, but there is some major casting news. Helen Mirren has joined the film as the main villain, Hespera. She is joined by Lucy Liu, who is set to play Hespera's sister, Kalypso. Sadly, fans shouldn't expect to see Mark Strong's Dr. Sivana join for the second round.
The wait for Shazam fans is notably long, but as they say, good things come to those who wait. While audiences wait for June 2, 2023, to get here, they can rest easy knowing that at least they have Black Adam to look forward to in the meantime—a film that will inherently hold very strong ties to the mythology behind the original Shazam! film.