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DC gives a jolt to possible Shazam! sequel, rehires first movie’s writer

By Don Kaye
Zachary Levi in Shazam!

Although a sequel to Shazam! has not been officially announced (yet), Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment have taken the first step in that direction.

The Wrap reports that the studio has rehired screenwriter Henry Gayden, who penned the first movie, to start cooking up a script for a second Shazam! film. In addition to Gayden, director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran are expected to come back for a second helping of the family-friendly superhero, not to mention star Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, and the rest of the cast.

Gayden, incidentally, is also working on the screenplay for Last Human, the highly anticipated live-action sci-fi flick that is the brainchild of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse).

Shazam! overperformed at the box office this past weekend, earning $56 million in North America when most industry forecasters were predicting a somewhat lower $45-50 million haul. While those numbers may seem like a bit of an underachievement for a superhero movie these days, you have to remember that the character of Shazam is not as widely known as other DC staples like Batman or Superman. 

In addition to that, Shazam! was reportedly made for a reasonable budget (somewhere between $80-90 million, according to various estimates), instead of the bloated $200-300 million price tags for movies like Justice League, so even with lower box office it looks like it's on target to be profitable.

**SPOILER WARNING: The rest of this article contains major spoilers for Shazam!**

The last third of the movie certainly opened up a whole range of sequel possibilities: Billy Batson's foster siblings were transformed into the Shazam Family, Dr. Sivana is still alive and is going into cahoots with longtime Shazam nemesis Mister Mind, and we even got a glimpse of other baddies from the comics like the Crocodile Men (and let's not forget that Black Adam spinoff).

As we noted at the top, Shazam! 2 has not received an official greenlight yet from the studio, so all this could change. But it's starting to look like a safe bet that the magic lightning will strike for a second time sooner rather than later.