Shazam! brought a levity that was missing from the DCEU when it released in theaters in 2019. Zachary Levi's comedic performance as the Shazam'd Billy Batson was well-received by audiences around the globe. 

At its core, the story is about family, and it gave audiences the unique experience of seeing what a child would do if he had the power of Superman. The sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, is currently in the works at Warner Bros. and DC Films. Levi recently teased that filming for the movie will soon begin in Atlanta, GA.

The cast is shaping up with Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren playing Kalypso and Hespera respectively. These two villainous sisters are set to be the main antagonists against Shazam and his family.

Now, a surprise return from the first film has been reported to also make an appearance in Fury of the Gods.

ANCIENT SHAZAM RETURNING FOR FURY OF THE GODS

Shazam Wizard
Shazam! (2019)

In a recent report from Murphy's Multiverse, the ancient Wizard Shazam played by Djimon Hounsou will reprise his role in Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

This comes with some confusion as the character died on screen in 2019's Shazam!. How he will return remains unclear.

FURY OF THE GODS CONNECTED TO BLACK ADAM?

Hounsou played a major role in the first film as his character introduced the mystical origins of Shazam. In a way, his presence represented more of the serious aspects of the film along with Mark Strong as the villain, Dr. Sivana. 

The ancient wizard had a long history before choosing Billy Batson to become Shazam. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's upcoming Black Adam film is set to release prior to Fury of the Gods. Rumors are also circling that Black Adam will take place over a long period of time which could include the ancient Shazam. 

In the comics, Black Adam is an Egyptian slave that gets his powers from the Wizard Shazam. If the DCEU tells a similar origin story, Hounsou as the ancient wizard will likely reprise his role alongside The Rock. Shazam and Black Adam are poised to meet sometime on the big screen, but while that may not happen until a potential crossover film down the road, characters from both interwoven stories are sure to appear.

Black Adam is set to release in theaters on July 29, 2022.

WILL FURY OF THE GODS OUTPERFORM ITS PREDECESSOR?

The first Shazam! film only made $366 million worldwide. For some perspective, four other comic book movies made $1 billion at the box office in the same year (Joker, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Avengers: Endgame). So, was Shazam! a flop? Of course not. 

Considering Shazam! Fury of The Gods was immediately greenlit by Warner Bros., it shows that the studio has faith in this franchise making money. This is a film that made the studio money but didn't over-perform like DC's Aquaman and Joker. It performed adequately for its $90 million budget and was a critical success, bringing in a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and 71 Metascore on Metacritic.

Another superhero film that quickly became beloved amongst fans, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, made $375.5 million globally. These tame numbers are quick to underwhelm fans scoping out the box office performances, but studios don't seem worried that these critical successes will outperform the originals.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is bringing back its main stars and adding some well-renowned ones to play villains. It also comes out a month after the MCU's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

It remains unclear how much the box office will bounce back after the global pandemic. However, Fury of the Gods is shaping up to be a big hit in 2023, hopefully when cramming into a theater will no longer be a major health issue.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods will burst into theaters on June 2, 2023.