'Shazam!' Sequel to Be Written by Henry Gayden

Shazam! opened in theaters last week and quickly exceeded all expectations for the DC Extended Universe film. With the film garnering both critical and audience praise as well as bringing in over $53 million for its first weekend, it's no surprise that Shazam! is getting a sequel -- with Henry Gayden coming back to write it.

According to The Wrap, Gayden will be returning to write the Shazam! sequel while director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran are both expected to return as well. Gayden will be fitting in the Shazam! sequel on a fairly busy slate of work. He's adapting the science fiction film Last Human from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller -- the film is based on the upcoming novel of the same name by Lee Bacon and has been dubbed a "reverse E.T."

As for Shazam!, the film has a hit for the DCEU. Not only did the film have the third highest opening in China ever for Warner Bros., but the film has also tied for the highest DCEU CinemaScore. It's that kind of success that will allow DC to explore even further stories with Shazam, something that to an extent is something that was being considered before Shazam! hit theaters. Dwayne Johnson's long-anticipated portrayal of Black Adam, which was originally slated to debut within Shazam!, was ultimately spun off to its own solo movie -- but one with the idea to bring things together down the road by having Black Adam and Shazam face off eventually.

"Early on before I came on board they had experimented with the possibility of doing a Shazam vs Black Adam movie but I think they felt that that was, you know, it was better to just focus on Shazam first and give him his proper space and not have to also do Black Adam," Shazam! director David F. Sandberg explained to ComicBook.com. "So it was a way of, like, have Sivana take more space and that, actually let him have some powers to play around with. So he could be a formidable foe."

"Listen, we don't know but I've gotta believe that there's gonna be a standalone Black Adam movie before there's ever a movie with Shazam and Black Adam sharing the screen," Shazam! producer Peter Safran told ComicBook.com.

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As for when fans can expect the Shazam! sequel? That remains to be seen, but it's probably safe to expect Warner Bros. to make it a priority for a quick turnaround, at least according to Safran. "I think you got kids that are growing up very quickly, so I suspect it sooner rather than later, before Asher [Angel]'s taller than Zack [Levi]."

Shazam! is now playing in theaters.