‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ director explains how that top-secret cameo ruined by the marketing came to be

Shazam! Wonder Woman tease
Image via Warner Bros.

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

With Shazam! Fury of the Gods finally in theaters, plenty of people can’t wait to continue the story of Billy Batson. Played by Asher Angel and Zachary Levi, Shazam and his superpowered foster family continue to prove they’re not your average heroes. Having to deal with homework and saving the world seems kind of like a drag, but somehow, this lovable cast of characters makes it look easy.

As is tradition these days, in accordance with superhero movie law, there must be at least one jaw-dropping cameo to blow our collective minds before it’s all said and done. Seeing that Fury of the Gods is a DC film, it then stands to reason that one of the heavy hitters of the DCU would show up, and, boy, did they. Before we continue, again, be warned — spoilers ahead.

Slash Film recently sat down with the film’s director David F. Sandberg to discuss the first movie’s tongue-in-cheek Henry Cavill cameo, and how they emulated that aesthetic for the second film.

“On the first one, Henry Cavill was going to appear in it, and then that fell through … We shot everything with a stand-in because they were like, ‘Oh, Henry’s not going to make it to this day, but we’ll get him later and shoot his pieces in there.'”

This became a running joke for the series where a massive cameo is teased only to ever see the character from the neck down, which continued in Shazam! Fury of the Gods — except the second time around, it was Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in the spotlight.

“On this one, Wonder Woman was always in the script, but I was like, ‘I don’t really believe that.’ And then when we shot the majority of that scene, we did it with a stand-in because they were like, ‘Oh, Gal can’t come here for this day.'”

Thinking that perhaps Gal’s situation would be similar to Henry Cavill’s, Sandberg felt it necessary to stick to the script, and not show the actress in full until he knew she was committed.

“So that’s when I started thinking about, ‘Well, what’s plan B? We’re going to need a god to resurrect.’ So I was thinking, ‘Can we bring Helen (Mirren)’s character back?’ I mean, that’s not going to be great. But we had to have some sort of Plan B in my head. But then, yeah, she actually did it, Gal. She’s actually in the movie, which is fantastic. And that meant that we could have some fun, poke some fun at the first movie where you don’t see the head.”

In the end, it seems all Sandberg ever wanted to do was tell an entertaining story, and he pulled that off faster than we can say, “Shazam!” So get to the theaters, grab some snacks, and settle in for a wild ride.