Lucy Liu has joined the cast of the upcoming DC sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods as the villainous Kalypso. The Kill Bill star joins returning franchise star Zachary Levi as the titular superhero along with new cast members Rachel Zegler and Helen Mirren. While the former will play a mystery role, Mirren will play the villain Hespera, a daughter of Atlas and Kalypso's sister.
Original Shazam! director David F. Sandberg is back in the director's chair for Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Screenwriter Henry Gayden also returned to pen the script and Peter Safran is producing via The Safran Company. Based on the character created by Bill Parker and C.C. Peck, the sequel will "continue the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word 'SHAZAM!' is struck by the Living Lightning of the gods and transformed into his adult superhero alter ego, Shazam."
Lucy Liu is known for playing Alex Munday in two Charlie's Angels movies, though she played a much more villainous character in Quentin Tarantino's violent epic Kill Bill: Volume 1. She has also appeared in Shanghai Noon, Chicago, and The Man with the Iron Fists. More recently, she played Joan Watson for seven seasons on the acclaimed CBS drama series Elementary and had a starring role in the CBS All Access series Why Women Kill.
Released in 2019, the first Shazam! starred Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Djimon Hounsou. In addition to earning mostly positive reviews from critics and fans, the movie was also a success at the box office with $366 million grossed worldwide. Word of the sequel was reported just days after the premiere of Shazam! in theaters. It was originally given a tentative release date for 2022, but the pandemic of 2020 delayed the production. The title Shazam! Fury of the Gods was officially revealed at DC FanDome in August 2020.
In an Instagram Q&A with fans last year, Shazam! director David F. Sandberg spoke about which aspects of the original he's looking to improve in the sequel. "[I'd like to improve] a lot of things," Sandberg told his followers. "It's why I'm eager to make another one. A Chance to improve on things like the action sequences, things we didn't have time to get right with the suits, some of the CGI, etc."
He added: "You learn so much on every movie that you can't wait to make another one and make use of all you've learned."
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is scheduled to be released on June 2, 2023. Meanwhile, filming has just begun on the spinoff movie Black Adam with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. There's no indication Levi will appear, and other cast members include Pierce Brosnan, Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge, Sarah Shahi, and Quintessa Swindell. While it's unclear at this time if Shazam 2 will crossover with Black Adam, the plan is for the two characters to meet in a crossover movie at some point in the future. This news comes to us from Deadline.