Shazam! Fury of the Gods Director Done With Superheroes for Now, Plans Return to Horror

Shazam! and Shazam!: Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg took to social media today to respond to the disappointing critical and financial reception of his latest film. Promising a return to the horror films that brought him his early success Sandberg said that while he does not regret working on the Shazam! films, it will be a relief to step away from superheroes and the toxic online discourse that accompanies them. Sandberg, who also directed Lights Out and Annabelle Creation, has said for a while that he planned a return to horror after the second Shazam! film, so it's not exactly a surprise, but his malaise over the state of superhero movies is something he has held back prior to now. 

After years of being a good company man and responding enthusiastically to delays and changes in studio politics, the cracks in Sandberg's positivity started to show last week, when he was asked on Reddit about the movie's soft opening weekend, saying that he saw it coming. He joked that it didn't matter to him, since he got his director's fee up front.

"On Rotten Tomatoes I just got my lowest critic score and my highest audience score on the same film. I wasn't expecting a repeat of the first movie critically but I was still a little surprised because I think it's a good film. Oh well," Sandberg said in a Twitter thread. "As I've been saying for a while now I'm very eager to go back to horror (as well as trying some new things). After six years of Shazam! I'm definitely done with superheroes for now. One thing I've really been looking forward to is disconnecting from the superhero discourse online. A lot of that stresses me out so much and it will be nice not having to think about that anymore."

Here's the official synopsis for Shazam!: Fury of the Gods, which is in theaters now:

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.