Shazam! Fury of the Gods Director Explains the Challenge of Shifting From Horror Movies

DC's live-action slate of movies has quite a lot for fans to look forward to, from the debut of new franchises like The Batman and Black Adam to long-awaited sequels. Shazam! Fury of the Gods will have an interesting role within that latter category, continuing the story of Billy Batson/Shazam! (Zachary Levi) and the rest of the Shazam! family. Returning to helm the sequel is director David F. Sandberg, who previously gained a following for his work in the horror realm with Annabelle and Lights Out. During a recent fan Q&A as part of the DC FanDome virtual convention, Sandberg discussed how he was able to use his background as a horror director to his advantage in Shazam!.

"I mean, there's even some horror - a little bit of horror - in Shazam! as well. It gets a little scary at times," Sandberg explained. "So it was nice to be able to use my past as a horror director. But also, I'm maybe known for horror in the past, but I am a fan of all kinds of movies. I love superhero movies and action movies, and to me, this was like my version of an '80s kind of Amblin movie, in the tone and the feel of it. So it was just a dream come true."

Anyone who has seen Shazam! will surely know what Sandberg means, as the film's representation of the Seven Deadly Sins definitely wasn't afraid to get terrifying.

"Some people in the studio were sort of wary about it while others were like, 'Yeah, go for it. Do the horror!' This is a New Line movie and they're used to horror, so that wasn't really a problem," Sandberg told earlier this year. "It was just like, yeah, making sure that you don't go too far. But they were very open to have a little bit of that, which I love it. It just makes the movie feel more complete when you have real stakes."

While fans are curious to see how things will come together in Shazam! Fury of the Gods - with many suggesting Mr. Mime, who was teased in the first film's post-credits scene - Sandberg hinted that fans will be surprised.


"I can't really talk about villains or villain, but I think a lot of people will be surprised," Sandberg said during the same Q&A. "It's gonna be a little unexpected."

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to be released in 2022.