Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to bring back Zachary Levi's DCEU hero to the big screen alongside the Shazam family, but the imminent threat of the powerful Gods could spell trouble for the team. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the sequel to 2019's Shazam! will showcase new villains into the mix with the likes of Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu playing Hespera and Kalypso respectively.
Plot details of Fury of the Gods are still being kept under wraps, but the presence of these villains will serve as a challenge to Asher Angel's Billy Batson and his foster siblings. A good chunk of the cast from the first film will also return, including the rumored comeback of Djimon Hounsou's ancient wizard that gave Billy his powers.
Aside from Hespera and Kalypso, it is unknown if they will be joined by more villains in the sequel. However, it looks like the chief villain of the first film, Sivana, will not join forces with the Gods to seek revenge against Shazam and his family.
MARK STRONG ADDRESSES SHAZAM FUTURE
Mark Strong, who played Sivana in 2019's Shazam!, confirmed in an interview with Den of Geek that he will not return in the DCEU sequel. The actor addressed the rumors head-on, explaining that he spoke to the film's producer after he saw the production update that Zachary Levi posted on social media:
“I literally spoke to the producer last night, because I saw that Zach Levi tweeted that they’re about to start shooting in Atlanta.”
Upon confirming the news, the veteran actor expressed his excitement for the female villains of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, admitting that he is “very happy to take a back seat” to them and “let them have a go:”
“Dr. Sivana isn’t in Shazam! 2. What’s happened is, I think Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu and perhaps someone else — they’ve got some female villains in. And to be honest with you, I’m very happy to take a back seat to some female villains and let them have a go, because judging by the work that Emma Thompson and Emma Stone have done in Cruella, it’s about time.”
The mid-credits scene of the first film teased a potential future for Strong's charismatic villain. To recap, Sivana was last seen alongside Mister Mind inside a jail cell, with the latter seemingly hinting at a nefarious plan to take out the Shazam family for good.
Will Strong return to the third installment of the Zachary Levi-led project? The actor played coy, with him only teasing the fact that the villain has “unfinished business with Mister Mind:”
“Who knows? He’s still got unfinished business with Mister Mind.”
NO MORE SIVANA IN THE DCEU?
Mark Strong portrayed Sivana in a memorable fashion in the first film, and he would've been a strong addition to Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Still, delaying his return for a potential third installment creates a welcome opportunity for a special comeback down the line.
Many would agree that Sivana's return would undermine the introduction of Helen Mirren's Hespera and Lucy Liu's Kalypso, thus potentially stealing the spotlight from the female villains. On a plot level, seeing Sivana again doesn't make sense for the immediate follow-up, especially after being defeated (convincingly) by Shazam.
The prospect of pitting Shazam against two powerful female villains is exciting in many ways since it creates a new challenge for the young hero.
Strong's comment about taking a back seat to give way for these female villains is a welcome sight. That said, there's even a chance that Strong's Sivana could be paired with another female villain alongside Mister Mind in a potential Shazam! 3 down the line.
It's no secret that the mid-credits scene of the 2019 DC blockbuster teased a brewing team-up between Sivana and Mister Mind, and it seems that something major will happen that could lead to a much-heated confrontation in the threequel. The exact quote of Mister Mind from Shazam! was:
"I named the gods, doctor, not the other way around. Oh, what fun we're going to have together! The Seven Realms are about to be ours!"
Based on Mister Mind's devious tease combined with DC Comics lore, there's a good chance that the magical worm is setting up the introduction of the Seven Realms. For those unaware, the Seven Realms are magical kingdoms sealed off from the world of humans by the Council of Eternity.
Exploring these mysterious realms for Shazam! 3 has the potential to be a visual treat. In addition, Strong's inclusion as Sivana will likely up the stakes for the beloved heroes.
For now, the Shazam family will need to deal with the powerful Gods before looking ahead to the heated rematch against Sivana and his newfound ally.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will premiere in theaters on June 2, 2023.