Shazam! Fury of the Gods Director Compares Mythology to Game of Thrones and The Hobbit

Shazam!: Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg was excited to get some of the mythological monsters into the movie's latest (and presumably final) full trailer. With Billy and the Shazam Family, all of whom derive their powers from the gods of myth, squaring off against the children of those gods, it was bound to happen that more high-fantasy hijinks made their way into the super-sequel than were featured in the first Shazam!, which basically saw Billy fighting Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), a basically human villain who was trying to take the wizard's power for himself.

This time out, the fantastical elements are dialed up to 11, and the new trailer reflected that. Apparently, though, Sandberg had to fight to get those elements into the trailer.

"I was telling the people cutting the trailers, 'Please, you gotta put some monsters in there,'" Sandberg told EW. "'At least little glimpses of them!'"

In the final trailer, released earlier this week, Billy Batson faces off with a dragon at Citizen's Bank Stadium, the professional baseball field in Philadelphia, where the films are set. Liu's Kalypso rides the back of a dragon through the city. And,  yeah, Sandberg admits that one of the hardest things to do was to create a credible dragon design that didn't feel iterative of something fans had already seen in other Warner Bros. productions. 

"It was also trying to figure out, well, how can we do it differently?" Sandberg said. "We've seen a lot of dragons in Game of Thrones and The Hobbit and everything. But this is from mythology. It's a dragon that's sort of made of wood because he's born from a tree."

For those who don't remember (since it seems like forever since the first film was released), Billy (Asher Angel) found himself in a foster family with a bunch of other kids, who ultimately helped him figure out how to defeat Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong). How? By sharing the power of Shazam with the rest of them, transforming his siblings into a superhero family in one of the most heartwarming twists in any recent superhero movie. Unfortunately, toys and merch spoiled their transformation for a lot of fans at the time. This time, though, they aren't a secret, and have been front-and-center marketing the film.

In Shazam! Fury of the Gods, when Billy Batson and his foster siblings, who transform into superheroes by saying "Shazam!", are forced to get back into action and fight the Daughters of Atlas, they must stop them from using a weapon that could destroy the world in which they must travel in order to make peace with the Gods because of Billy taking their powers for granted.

The film stars Asher Angel and Zachary Levi as Billy Batson / Shazam!, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Adam Brody as Super Hero Freddy, Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley, Meagan Good as Super Hero Darla, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Ross Butler as Super Hero Eugene, Jovan Armand as Pedro Pena, D.J. Cotrona as Super Hero Pedro, Marta Milans as Rosa Vasquez, and Cooper Andrews as Victor Vasquez. New cast members also include Rachel Zegler as Anthea, Helen Mirren as Hespera, and Lucy Liu as Kalypso.

Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! Fury of the Gods lands in theaters on March 17, 2023.