Warner Bros. Makes DCEU History With First Movie Without a Villain from Comics

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Shazam 2 DC Warner Bros

Warner Bros. Discovery is set to feature four DCU movies in 2023, with the likes of Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Flash included. And now, a new update has indicated that one of them is set to make history in an unexpected way. 

DCU has experienced a shakeup in the past months due to the takeover of James Gunn and Peter Safran as co-CEOs of DC Studios. In fact, an official announcement of the next big plans for the franchise could arrive as early as January 2023

While fans are patiently waiting for what's next for DCU's future, it seems that one of its highly-anticipated movies will look to cement a mark of its own when it premieres next year. 

Shazam 2 Makes DC Villain History

Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg revealed in the latest issue of Empire that the villains of the sequel are completely original and not based on any comic book characters, marking the first time that a DCEU project has touted main villains who haven't originated in the comics.

Shazam 2 joins three other DC movies that also featured solely original villains, namely Nuclear Man from Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Nathaniel Burke from Steel, and Laurel Hedare from Catwoman

Sandberg explained that this was due to the fact that "Shazam's powers come from the Greek gods:"

“We landed there because Shazam’s powers come from Greek gods. So what if those powers were stolen from the gods and now they want revenge?”

Helen Mirren as Hespera, Lucy Liu as Kalypso, Shazam 2

The villains in question are the three Daughters of Atlas, namely Hespera, Kalypso, and Anthea. 

Veteran actress Helen Mirren portrays Hespera, Lucy Liu plays Kalypso, and Rachel Zegler stars as Anthea.

Rachel Zegler as Anthea, Shazam

The Shazam 2 director also revealed that Mirren is at the top of his wishlist to play Hespera, with him even noting that "she wanted to do all her own stunts" while filming: 

“She wanted to do all her own stunts. We had to tell her sometimes, ’We need an actual stuntperson to do that.’” 

Moreover, the DCU director also opened up about filming the sequel's action sequences, saying that "it was fun destroying things:"

“It was fun destroying things. We wrecked so many cars, dropped them from the sky. There’s one scene where we have cars flying up in the air and smashing into each other; we didn’t even put it all in the movie, because it was a lot of cars.” 

Sandberg continued by revealing that creating the monsters of the sequel's "god realm" tickled the horror lover inside of him during production: 

“We have this dragon that’s sort of made of wood and emanates a fear effect, and a tree of life, a minotaur, a manticore... It was really cool diving into mythology, rather than comic books.” 

Shazam 2's Original Villain Idea Benefits the Sequel 

Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg's confirmation that the sequel will feature original villains that are not from the comics could be a good thing, allowing the filmmaker to have the creative freedom to use those characters. 

Doing so also allows the team to use these villains without restrictions while also not being affected by the pressure from diehard fans. 

It is unknown how the three villains would fare against the might of the Shazam family, but the fact that they are gods essentially proves that they can hold their own. 

Aside from being non-comic villains, the sequel also marks the first time that the Shazam family will face actual gods. It's possible that they could be overwhelmed, but past rumors indicate that Wonder Woman may appear so her presence could even the odds

Whatever the case, the Shazam family's next big screen outing is proving to be a challenging affair. 

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to premiere in theaters on Friday, March 17, 2023.

- In This Article: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Release Date
March 17, 2023
Asher Angel
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.