Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Warner Bros. finds the only villain strong enough to take on Shazam: Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for La Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco

According to Deadline, Helen Mirren has signed on to play the villain in Warner Bros. and DC’s Shazam: Fury Of The Gods, the sequel to the surprisingly well-received Shazam! from 2019. Mirren will be playing someone called Hespera, who Deadline says is “a daughter of Atlas,” but she seems to be created just for the movie—which is a somewhat surprising choice, considering that one of Shazam’s three famous villains is not only still on the table but was teased at the end of the last movie.

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That being said, Atlas does have a connection to Shazam via the ridiculous origin of the “Shazam” magic word (which has since been retconned into being the hero’s name), as its meant to grant young Billy Batson the “wisdom of Solomon,” the “strength of Hercules,” the “stamina of Atlas,” the “power of Zeus,” the “courage of Achilles,” and the “speed of Mercury” (not to mention attention-grabbing immediacy of the exclamation point!). This is briefly mentioned in the first movie, with Djimon Hounsou’s wizard Shazam mentioning that these are the powers granted to Billy when he says the name, but he wasn’t really paying attention that point. Presumably, then, Fury Of The Gods will be expanding on who Solomon, Hercules, and the others are in this universe, hopefully building to a scene where Zachary Levi’s Shazam gets to fight Helen Mirren and is defeated by her superior stamina.

Shazam: Fury Of The Gods will be directed by David F. Sandberg (returning from the first movie), and it’ll be coming in June of 2023 after getting bumped out of its original release date by the pandemic.