How ‘Shazam! 2’ fits into the DC universe
The sequel to 2019′s ‘Shazam’, a movie by David F. Sandberg is to be released in theaters Friday, March 17.
‘Shazam 2′ has been a long time coming, but it has been an uphill battle amid a long struggle for DC Studios.
Following the surprise success of the first film in 2019, as the hero didn’t have a household name such as other DC heroes like Batman and Superman — but it had a decent enough storyline to attract audiences, anticipation has been building for a sequel since summer 2022.
From chaos to order
The production company has faced a lot of chaos in the past year as they have seen many projects crumble.
Henry Cavill dropped his role as Superman, ‘Black Adam’ is no longer in the works for DC, and ‘Wonder Woman 3′ has also been scrapped — leaving many fans wondering if they would see a ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ sequel at all.
According to the head of DC Studios, James Gunn, the company’s greatest challenge has been how to unify the various storylines into one coherent universe.
In January 2023, James Gunn, head of DC studios, talked about how DC movies fit into the company’s bottom line, and how ‘Shazam’ is a film meant to unify the DC universe.
Gunn said the big question is about how to unify their productions into one universe, as they produce one big blockbuster after another.
“So how can we take these things together and make them make sense and have them unified, and have it one real universe, one real world,” Gunn said.
“And I think that we’ve gotten lucky with the next four movies,” he continued “because we have ‘Shazam’ which leads into ‘Flash’, which resets everything. Which then goes into ‘Blue Beetle’, which is totally disconnected, he can totally be a part of the DCU. Goes into ‘Aquaman’, which leads into Superman, our first big project.”
Warner Bros. escalates production
It wasn’t until Warner Bros. signed onto the project in August 2022 that momentum picked up on the movie’s development.
The sequel sees the return of Zachary Levi as the lead, playing the hero and alter-ego of Asher Angel’s character, Billy Batson.
Jack Dylan Grazer will reprise his role as Frederick “Freddy” Freeman, with Adam Brody playing the grown-up version of his superhero. At the same time, Djimon Hounsou will appear as the ancient wizard.
Other superheroes in the makeshift family to return for the sequel are Ian Chen, Ross Butler, Faithe Herman, Meagan Good, along with several others.
‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ newcomers include Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, and Rachel Zegler as the daughters of Atlas.
The trailer portrays Zachary Levi’s superhero progressing with his new superhero foster family and reveals the evil force the team will battle in the film.
In the ‘Shazam!’ sequel, the title character and superhero family will take on the Daughters of Atlas, Hespera, and Kalypso, who are portrayed by Mirren and Liu, as clips from the trailer show epic battles between the Shazam family and the villainous forces.
The first trailer was released in 2022, with the second official trailer making its debut in January 2023, released by Warner Bros. The second teaser turns the action up even more, portraying several action-packed fight scenes and epic scenes of mass destruction.
The movie, set in Philadelphia, is completely destroyed, while the voice of Helen Mirren as Hespera warns of what is to come.