DC’s upcoming solo superhero film, Shazam 2, is riding on the high and surprising success of the first film which was designed to be a hilariously lighthearted action movie. The tone of Shazam! was incumbent on family values and the power of a child having the imagination to strive and reach for dreams bigger than life.
Directed by David F. Sandberg, the action-comedy was Billy Batson’s official entry into the live-action superhero universe. Even though the movie had a (much) lighter overtone than the usual DCEU films, it was a clever take on putting a child-like enthusiasm in a grown superhero’s body and adding the right comic elements to it.
The Premise of Zachary Levi’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Zachary Levi was a perfect protagonist for the role of Shazam! The actor who is otherwise known for lighthearted comedic roles such as Chuck in the spy-action NBC series of the same name and the Disney movie Tangled added a flavor of disarming charm to the role and could encapsulate the naive optimism that barrelled into the fantastical mind of Billy Batson as he was suddenly launched into the sphere of good and evil. Paired with the comedically hilarious Jack Dylan Grazer from the Stephen King novel’s adaptation, It, the first film went on to deliver a box-office success.
The sequel thus picks up with a now experienced Batson who is familiar with the playing field but has grabbed the attention of godlike entities that seek to bring down Shazam! and the powers he represents. Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu’s villainous Hespera and Calypso, who are daughters of the Greek titan Atlas, now stand to level the earth with their fury if Shazam! doesn’t stop them first. Shazam 2 will center around family and the importance of friendships and as the trailer suggests, a healthy amount of witty banter and a gloriously evil Helen Mirren in action.
Shazam 2 Delivers a Cameo From the Unlikeliest Show
The trailer of Shazam 2 was recently launched at the DC’s Hall H Comic-Con Panel. And it wasn’t much later that fans already discovered an adored character from another DC show making an unlikely cameo in the Sandberg-directed movie. As Twitter flooded with questions and snapshots, the director picked up on the buzz and went so far as to confirm the news himself.
The James Gunn-directed The Suicide Squad spin-off Peacemaker featured a character that rose the ranks from comedic relief to a fan favorite among the series fandom — Rizwan Manji. He was cast in the role of Jamil, a janitor at Mount Rouge Health Center where Christopher Smith aka Peacemaker was admitted. Although Jamil hadn’t entirely befriended Smith, he paved his way to becoming inadvertently a mentor of sorts to the antihero during his time in the hospital.
In a blurry background snapshot from the trailer, it becomes quite clear that the cameo being talked about in Shazam 2 is that of Jamil the Janitor, and Sandberg just confirmed that Rizwan is indeed in the film, in an undisclosed role — “Yes that’s Rizwan. Peter Safran recommended him for a part after working with him on Peacemaker. I said “but that’s the same universe”. He said, “he’s barely in Peacemaker”. Little did I know Rizwan is even dancing in the credits! Could be the same character. Never named in Shazam 2.”
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is gearing itself up for a cheerful Christmas week release as it premieres on 21 December 2022.