David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! earned $366 million at the box office, hardly massive by the standards of the superhero genre, but with a budget of under $100 million it was the DCEU’s cheapest installment and turned out to be the most profitable once the numbers were crunched. It also rode a wave of acclaim from both critics and audiences, so expectations have been raised for its sequel, Fury of the Gods.
The second installment has been shooting for almost a month already, even though it won’t be coming to theaters until June 2023, with Sandberg and his team having plenty of time to deliver the best possible version of the movie. There was minor backlash online when it was revealed that Michelle Borth wouldn’t be reprising her role as Mary Bromfield with Grace Fulton pulling double duty instead, but several exciting new additions have been made to the ensemble nonetheless.
The most notable is Helen Mirren as villain Hespera, with the stage and screen legend clearly keen to scratch her blockbuster itch having become a recurring feature of the Fast & Furious franchise in recent years. In a new interview, the Academy Award winner heaped praise on leading man Zachary Levi.
“Zachary, who plays Shazam, is so good. It’s just such a pleasure to sit opposite him and watch him work. I just sit there trying to be a Goddess but really inside I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, he’s brilliant’, which he is.”
Levi’s central performance was one of Shazam!‘s many highlights, with the actor effortlessly bringing plenty of charm and charisma to the title hero, as well as being utterly convincing that he was actually a child trapped in the musclebound body of a superhero. Seeing him face off against Mirren’s gravitas in an epic comic book blockbuster is a hugely enticing prospect, and the goodwill left over from the opener should ensure that Fury of the Gods stands every chance of establishing the series as one of the best the genre has to offer.