Production on Shazam! Fury of the Gods is ongoing, with new photos of the cast revealed earlier today by the director, and now new images from the set have arrived online offering a first look at Helen Mirren in costume. The 75-year-old Oscar winner will take on the part of villain role of Hespera for the film, a seemingly original creation as no one by that name can be found in the pages of DC Comics. It was previously reported that her character is "a daughter of Atlas," who is indeed a character in DC Comics lore, bearing the weight of the heavens on his back. She'll also appear in the film alongside Lucy Liu who will play the villain Kalypso, sister of Hespera.
Not present in the new film however is Mark Strong who will NOT be returning as Doctor Sivana, the villain of the first Shazam! movie. Speaking with ComicBook.com in a previous interview the actor told us: "You're not going to see me in the sequel. Finally, I'm finally allowed to say it. I've had to sort of bite my tongue for so long, but I think they're about to start filming in Atlanta and I'm very happy to give way to Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu, who I think are going to make a couple of fantastic villains. I mean, judging by the performances by Emma Thompson and Emma Stone in Cruella, it's time for the female villains."
Strong did tease to us that he could return in the future, adding: "Well, you know, maybe he's gone unfinished with Mister Mind and we'll be back further down the line, who knows."
SHAZAM AND HELEN SHE LOOKS GREAT AND I LOVE THIS pic.twitter.com/m0pzmZpXVw— AjepArt (@AjepArts) June 21, 2021
Director David F. Sandberg, who returns behind the camera, propped DC fans up for the sequel's villain switcharoo last year as DC FanDome, when he sort of backhand boasted about what kind of villain Fury of the Gods would be bringing to the table:
"I can't really talk about villains or villain, but I think a lot of people will be surprised," Sandberg said. "It's gonna be a little unexpected."
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will bring back Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his foster family, including Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), Eugene (Ian Chen), Pedro (Jovan Armand), Darla (Faithe Herman), and Mary (Grace Fulton). Zachary Levi returns once again as the titular hero. The sequel has been delayed no less than three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic stalling and stopping its production. Currently the sequel is scheduled to be released in theaters on June 2, 2023.