The Shazam! sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods has found another villain. Lucy Liu has joined the cast as Kalypso, sister to Hespera, the character who will be played by Helen Mirren. Zachary Levi is returning as the titular character, the adult superhero form of Billy Batson, a kid played by Asher Angel. David F. Sandberg, who helmed the first pic, is back in the director’s chair.
THR broke the news that Lucy Liu has joined the Shazam sequel cast. Liu will be playing one of the film’s villains, Kalypso, sister to another villainous character ? Hespera, who will be played by Helen Mirren. Neither Kalypso nor Hespera are characters in the Shazam! comics, but in Greek mythology, both are children of Atlas. Atlas is one of the ancient gods/heroes that make up the acronym that spells out Shazam’s name and contributes to his powers:
S The wisdom of Solomon;
H The strength of Hercules;
A The stamina of Atlas;
Z The power of Zeus;
A The courage of Achilles;
M The speed of Mercury.
Liu joins Mirren and West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler as newcomers to the series (we don’t know who Zegler is playing yet), while Asher Angel and Zachary Levi are both returning from the first film. Angel is Billy Batson, a teenager who was chosen by a wizard (played by Djimon Hounsou in the first film) to become a new superpowered champion. When Billy says the word “Shazam!” he transforms into this heroic figure, an adult played by Zachary Levi.
David F. Sandberg is back to direct the sequel, with a script from Henry Gayden, who also wrote the first film. Plot details of that script remain a secret for now, but filming is expected to start in May. The pic was originally supposed to start filming last year but the coronavirus got in the way. Now it looks like things are back on track for production to start up in a matter of weeks.
The first Shazam! was a fun, Amblin-esque adventure that basically played like a superhero take on the Tom Hanks movie Big. There’s a lot of room for growth with that concept, and I have faith that Sandberg and Gayden will put together something memorable for this sequel. Throwing Mirren and Liu into the mix as the villains certainly doesn’t hurt.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is currently scheduled to open on June 2, 2023.
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