Shazam! Fury of the Gods has found its villain – and she’s being played by Dame Helen Mirren. Deadline and THR report that The Queen star is signed on to play the villain Hespera in the superhero sequel. The character is a daughter of Atlas, whose stamina Shazam! possesses in the movie and comics.
Mirren reportedly shares her villainous role with Rachel Zelger, as “sisters who both may or may not be of ill intent”.
Hespera appears to be derived from Hesperia, one of the Hesperides of Greek mythology from which Shazam! heavily borrows its mythology. The Hesperides are the nymphs of evening and golden light of sunsets, “Daughters of the Evening” or “Nymphs of the West”. In Greek mythology, Hesperia, alongside her sisters, are portrayed as daughters of Atlas, Zeus, Themis and other legendary figures. Hesperia’s number of sisters vary depending on the story.
Given that Shazam! 2 is titled Fury of the Gods, it makes sense that more divine characters show up. Not only does the titular hero have the powers of mythical godlike Greek figures, but Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazons are creations of Zeus. Therefore, the Greek gods empirically exist in the DCEU and the comics. What Shazam! has done to earn their fury remains to be seen.
Alongside Helen Mirren, expect Zachary Levi to reprise his role as the title character. Asher Angel once again portrays his teenage alter-ego, Billy Batson. Henry Gayden returns to script the film with David F. Sanberg directing and Peter Safran producing. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is victim to multiple rescheduled release dates due to problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shazam! 2 is currently in pre-production, with a scheduled theatrical release date of June 2, 2023.
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