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“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is still almost two years away, but during Saturday’s DC FanDome 2021, the cast debuted a behind-the-scenes featurette that gave us our first look at Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren’s demigod supervillains.
You can see for yourself below, but before we get to those images, let’s hash out some context for you.
Liu plays Kalypso, a daughter of Atlas and sister to Hespera, played by Mirren. Both characters are inspired by ancient Greek mythology — as is Atlas, the inspiration for several DC Comics characters, the famous and enduring created by the legendary Jack Kirby in 1975 —and while plot details are still unknown, those ancient Greek roots might provide some clues about what to expect.
In “The Odyssey,” Calypso, Atlas’ daughter by the sea nymph Pleionea, can (among other things) enchant mortals through singing. It’s Calypso who keeps Odysseus a captive for 7 years in an attempt to turn him into her immortal husband. She eventually sets Odysseus free after Zeus steps in and according to some myths, raises the children he fathered with her.
Hespera was one of several daughters Atlas had with Nyx, the goddess of night, who collectively are known as the “Hesperides,” nymphs of evening and the light of sunset. Like Calypso, the Hesperides are known for their singing, but they also tend beautiful gardens somewhere in the west, near the setting sun.
So feel free to start speculating about what any of that could mean in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” But first, let’s get to the goodies.
Here’s the featurette:
And here are the images:
My immediate takeaway? Helen Mirren clearly spent the 40 years since “Excalibur” came out keeping her “credibly wear old timey fantasy clothing” skills sharp. And that work paid off because she looks awesome. Liu is no slouch either, however, and really I can’t wait to see what they’re up to.
But while we’re waiting, I do have one lingering question: Are we also going to see Mr. Mind? He was, after all, in the “Shazam!” post credits scene. Surely the filmmakers won’t deny us the pleasure of a super-intelligent worm who forms a group called “The Monster Society of Evil,” and then ends up sentenced to die in the electric chair, right? Read more about what I’m talking about here.
From New Line Cinema, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is the sequel to 2019’s “Shazam!,” and continues the story of teenager Billy Batson, granted the ability to transform into Shazam, a hero with the power of 6 gods. In case you’re curious those powers are: The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. And yes, we get that it’s a Judeo-Greek-Roman mashup, Shazam’s just that open minded.
Along with Liu and Mirren, Asher Angel returns as Billy, with Zachary Levi once again playing the Big Red Cheese himself, Shazam, with Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy’s best friend and foster brother Freddy Freeman. Also returning are Djimon Hounsou as the Wizard Shazam (who gave Billy his powers), along with the other members of the Shazam family: Faithe Herman, Meagan Good, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Ross Butler, Jovan Armand, D. J. Cotrona, Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews. And as the wrap exclusively reported, Rachel Zegler will appear in an as-yet-undisclosed role that will be key to the story.
David F. Sandberg returned to direct the sequel from a screenplay by Henry Gayden. Peter Safran is producing through The Safran Company. “Shazam!” is based on the DC character created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck.
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” will be released on June 2, 2023.
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