After a surprise hit among critics and fans in 2018, the Shazam! cinematic franchise may move toward Shazam 3 following Fury of the Gods.
The future of DC Studios, many believe, could be bright under new management. Kicking off the cinematic reboot, Superman: Legacy is set to hit theaters during the summer of 2025, not only introducing a new Clark Kent but also several other heroes already living in the universe.
None of which are Zachary Levi's Billy Batson/Shazam.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise as Shazam 2 grossed just $133.4 million worldwide, the lowest-grossing film in the DCEU's history.
However, there is some marginal hope for the hero's return to the big screen.
Could Shazam 3 Still Happen?
It'd come as a great shock if there was a Shazam 3 following the same cast headlines by Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Adam Brody.
So far, only a few DCEU actors have been confirmed to be rolling over into the DCU, including Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, John Cena's Peacemaker, and Sean Gunn's Weasel (he's also playing G.I. Robot in Creature Commandos).
While this is unlikely, especially considering the current mess between Gal Gadot and the future of Wonder Woman at DC Studios, there is a sparkle of hope due to the fact that the reboot isn't 100% moving past every previous actor.
Even Shazam! director David F. Sandberg added that "...there’s nothing in the Shazam films that contradict the future plans for DC. So the possibility for more Shazam is there..."
However, the majority of evidence points to Shazam! 3 never happening, especially considering the new regime is already moving away from previous plans including the character.
Why Shazam 3 Will Likely Never Release
The poorly-handled transition from DC Films producing the DCEU to DC Studios producing the new DCU has been well documented. At its core was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson trying to turn his Black Adam film into the catalyst for the future of the DC universe.
Black Adam Drama
After fighting for the return of Henry Cavill in a post-credits scene, Johnson was setting his sights on a future in the DCEU with Black Adam, Superman, and possibly even Shazam.
Zachary Levi said that "down the road," Shazam and Black Adam could've faced off, but "nobody ever told [him]."
What is certain is that Johnson had a vision for the Man of Steel (played by Cavill) to square off against his Black Adam. A sequel was rumored to already be in the works but was quickly snuffed out when WB adjusted its DC executives.
Superman being set up in Black Adam was bizarre, especially when Shazam 2 was set to release the following year. Shazam and Black Adam are basically opposite sides of the same coin and have a long-standing rivalry in the comics.
However, Dwayne Johnson was reportedly never a fan of his character being connected to Levi's live-action Shazam. 2019's Shazam! even deleted a scene that alluded to Teth-Adam.
It was also reported after Peter Safran got the DC Studios gig, "Dwayne Johnson's thinly veiled disdain for Shazam" meant that he "probably [wasn't loving the idea that his boss is now the guy that produces 'Shazam.'"
This report was followed by Zachary Levi essentially confirming that his character was kicked to the curb in favor of Superman at the end of Black Adam.
At the time of the Black Adam reshoots pigeon-holing Cavill into the film, executives Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy were temporarily in charge of DC (and the entirety of Warner Bros. Films. This was one of David Zaslav's biggest hires after taking charge as the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery.
A New Era of DC Movies
If DC was still under the same guidance, prior to signing on James Gunn to take creative control of the universe, Shazam 3 would've been much more likely, but now the hope is all but lost.
Levi has addressed Gunn and Safran's new DCU, stating that he "doesn't know" what the plans are, but is certain that they're "really cool:"
"They’re both friends of mine who I trust very deeply, and I know that they are concocting really cool plans. I don’t know what they are, but I will trust wherever they want to take us.”
Generally speaking, a sequel that earns $230 million less than its predecessor is never going to get a threequel greenlit. Shazam! Fury of the Gods was in many ways a failure, as was much of the 10-year DCEU run.
The new DCU's Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters has made no mention of Shazam yet, but Gunn confirmed "less than half" of its total projects has been announced, so there's plenty of potential opportunity.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is streaming on Max.