Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Wonder Woman cameo started as a Superman joke

Shazam! fury of the gods It was never going to be a Justice League covert movie or a black adam continuation. The worlds would No they collide for Billy Batson and his super-powered team of foster kids, and director David F. Sandberg was happy to keep it that way. The Swedish filmmaker, who got his start in the world of horror in movies like Turn off the lights and Annabelle: Creation Before jumping into the world of DC Comics adaptations, he loves Shazam, loves Shazamily, and loves unleashing hordes of gods and monsters on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to test their power. In the sequel, he even placed a dome over Philadelphia to keep out Batman and Superman, and any questions about Batman and Superman’s whereabouts.

But there was a huge DC universe crossover that Sandberg pushed for, like a mea culpa for the original. ShazamThe crazy headless Superman scene.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for the end of Shazam! Fury of the Gods.]

In the final scene of 2019 Shazam, Billy, in Shazam mode, interrupts Freddy’s lunch to introduce him to a friend: Henry Cavill’s Superman! A bit! Instead of an in-person cameo, Superman walks in with a tray from the cafeteria, but his head is out of frame.

Not exactly what “fans” might have been looking for in a cameo from an interconnected universe, but it did make Sandberg laugh. And when the time came Shazam! fury of the godsI knew I wanted to do two things: put Wonder Woman in the movie, and nod to the first movie’s conspicuous non-appearance.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Wonder Woman was always in the script,” says Sandberg. “And we wanted to make fun of the whole headless cameo in the first movie, with Superman. So we wanted to upset people a little bit. But you can only do that if you actually have Wonder Woman and then you show up at the end. Otherwise, people would be too angry.”

Shazam! fury of the gods does it all Halfway through, in one of the funniest parts of the movie, Billy dreams of going out to dinner with the one and only Wonder Woman. From behind, she is clearly Gal Gadot’s version of the character, but viewers never see her face. Sandberg keeps the camera away from Diana’s face long enough to draw intuition: Yes, they are doing it again.. And the reversal comes at exactly the right time: as Shazam leans in to become more romantic, it’s the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) reaching out through telepathic means. We get Hounsou’s face and everything else from Wonder Woman.

“I worked with Djimon before in fast 7,” says fury of the gods screenwriter Chris Morgan, “and in some roles he can seem stoic and strong or whatever, but man, that guy is really, really funny. And then, the chance to break up with the Wizard for a bit was too much to resist.”

Co-writer Henry Gayden also praises Djimon for enhancing the film’s comedic moments. In another emotional beat between Freddy and Anthea (Rachel Zegler), Sandberg framed the actor behind them as he performed his dialogue with talking hands. Not in the script, but gold. “Djimon really took charge and made everything more fun,” says Gayden.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman moves away from Shazam and moves her hair in Fury of the Gods

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

But as Sandberg says, the team couldn’t fall for the joke with a Wonder Woman cameo. In fact, the character solved a major script problem: Who was merciful enough to bring Billy Batson back to life? In fury of the gods‘ climax, Shazam comes face to face with Kalypso (Lucy Liu) and his electricity-spitting dragon. He wins, but not without sacrifice. Sandberg and the writers go so far as to provide a coda for the moment, in which the family mourns the loss of Billy at his grave. But not so fast: there’s one more daughter of the gods still roaming the DC universe, and her name is Diana.

“She was in the script from the beginning, which was exciting,” says Sandberg, “but I didn’t really believe it. Because of the experience in the first movie. And even when we shot most of the scene, they were like, ‘Oh, she’s not going to make it here today, so we’re going to go shoot with a stand-in and then pick up the pieces of her later. I am like, Oh it’s alright this will never happen. So I started thinking of a plan B: What other god can we get to resurrect him? Would we have to bring Hespera back? That’s going to be pathetic after she dies. But then it really happened!”

Over the phone, Sandberg sounded genuinely excited to have Gadot appear in the film, even as the future of DC movies, past and future, is in doubt. a planned wonder woman 3 starring the actor is no longer going to happen, so fury of the gods his final bow. But the importance of the cameo didn’t stop Sandberg from having fun with it.

“Even at the end, when she shows up, there’s that first shot of her where her head is out of frame,” the director says with a smile. “But very quickly, we lean up just so people don’t leave the theater in frustration. [laughs] I was so excited to be able to work with Gal and have her in the movie because it’s a nice payoff and makes up for a headless cameo!

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