Production has officially wrapped on DCEU sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and director David F. Sandberg has plenty of time to fine-tune the movie in post-production, with Zachary Levi’s return as the title hero not coming to theaters until June 2nd, 2023.

The first installment was one of the most pleasant superhero surprises in years, throwing off the shackles of the comic book franchise’s dark and dingy aesthetic to deliver a light, breezy and funny caper that was a cross between standard effects-driven spectacle and a body-swap coming-of-age comedy.

Shazam! remains the most profitable entry in DCEU history after earning $366 million at the box office on a budget of well under $100 million, while it also garnered some of the strongest reviews Warner Bros.’ universe has ever seen. The pressure is on for the next chapter, then, but the new additions to the cast are more than capable of bringing the goods.

Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu will play Hespera and Kalypso respectively, both daughters of Atlas with an axe to grind against Billy Batson’s alter ego. In a new interview, Levi could barely contain his excitement at getting to work with the Shazam! newcomers.

“Now we have these awesome villains in Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu, which by the way, is so badass, let me tell you. I can die a happy man, I’ve gotten to do scenes one-on-one with Helen Mirren. It was so crazy! Well, unfortunately, Lucy and I, I don’t want to spoil anything but, we’re nemeses who are circling each other a lot but don’t have a lot of face-to-face time. But we get some, we’ll see how that goes.

You know that they’re talented because you can see what they’ve done in the past, and their work, but you don’t know necessarily if they’re just going to be groovy people that are down to just like roll up their sleeves, and be creative, and have fun. And she was, and Helen was, and Rachel Zegler, who was also a new addition to the movie, everybody who was already returning, we already had such a beautiful thing, and then these new additions just made it even groovier.”

Shazam! Fury of the Gods has lost the element of surprise that its predecessor had, so the stakes have been raised for Sandberg and his team to ensure they deliver on the significantly increased expectations. Looking at how the opener turned out, there’s no reason to bet against them, especially when several screen heavyweights have been drafted in for the second outing.

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