The DC panel at San Diego Comic-Con highlighted the first official trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the sequel to 2019’s Shazam!, both starring Zachary Levi. As a bonus, Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) wowed the crowd by making a grand entrance in full costume to introduce exclusive new teaser footage from his (related) upcoming film Black Adam.
The 2019 Shazam! introduced a teen foster kid named Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who has landed in a group home after running away from another one to hunt for his birth mother. He saves his new foster brother, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), from bullies, and when they chase him into the subway, he’s transported to the Rock of Eternity. There, the ancient wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) chooses Billy to be his new champion. When Billy says “Shazam!” he transforms into an adult superhero (Levi); repeating the word returns him to his Billy form. Billy/Shazam defeats a supervillain and shares his power with all his foster siblings, making his own family of superheroes.
The film grossed $366 worldwide and received mostly positive reviews. In his 2019 review of Shazam!, Ars Tech Culture Editor Sam Machkovech concluded, “It’s fun. It’s funny. It’s fine,” despite a few nitpicky flaws. “The end result is a superhero film that leans brazenly into an Indiana Jones vibe (complete with a John Williams-caliber score) along with a healthy dollop of Deadpool-for-kids gags about the wider DC Comics universe.”
Shazam! Fury of the Gods deals with the consequences of Billy sharing his power with his siblings. The trailer opens with Shazam discussing his insecurities; he feels unworthy compared to Batman and Aquaman, for instance. His life gets even more complicated when the ancient wizard shows up again to warn him that the Daughters of Atlas are coming for him, and the fate of our world naturally hangs in the balance.
The daughters include the incomparable Helen Mirren as Hespera and Lucy Liu as Kalypso. They disapprove of human beings harnessing power they believe should be reserved for eternal beings. “Children stole the power of all the gods,” Hespera says, her voice dripping with contempt. “This is very personal, Billy.” The Daughters of Atlas wield immense power, and Billy/Shazam really doesn’t know how he and his family can possibly prevail. But the wizard’s whole schtick is that everyone can be worthy of such power if given the chance.
“Now go fight for your family,” he concludes.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theaters on December 21, 2022.