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Earlier this week, Warner Bros. shuffled its theatrical release calendar...yet again! While major tentpoles like The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom were sadly pushed to 2023, there was a ray of good news: Shazam! Fury of the Gods was moved up a full six months to Dec. 16 of this year, which means it'll now go head-to-head with the long-gestating follow-up to 2009's Avatar.
The prospect of squaring off with a sequel to the highest-grossing movie in box office history might seem intimidating to some, but not to Shazam! director, David F. Sandberg. The filmmaker joked about it on Twitter, writing: "Poor James Cameron must be shaking in his boots right now...." In another tweet, Sandberg added: "It's funny how Shazam 1 was a Christmas movie released in April and Shazam 2 is a summer movie getting released at Christmas. It's the Shazam way."
Disney, which absorbed 20th Century Fox in 2019, is extremely confident that it can reignite the blazing fire of excitement more than a decade after the first Avatar hit the big screen. That being said, WB might be banking on the hope that audiences have lost some of their enthusiasm for Pandora over the years and will instead opt for a franchise that is much fresher in their minds.
As we speculated the other day, the studio most likely moved up Fury of the Gods to serve as a cinematic companion to Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam, which jumped from its original summer debut to late October.
Written by the returning Henry Gayden, the second Shazam! blockbuster sees Asher Angel and Zachary Levi step back in the roles of Billy Batson and his superhero alter ego, respectively. Jack Dylan Grazer (Freddie Freeman) and Djimon Hounsou (the wizard Shazam) co-star. The adult members of Batson's super-powered foster crew are as follows: Adam Brody (Freddie), Grace Fulton (Mary Bromfield), Meagan Good (Faithe Herman), Ross Butler (Ian Chen), and D. J. Cotrona (Pedro Peña).
Dame Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu join the ever-growing Shazam Family as Hespera and Kalypso. Rachel Zegler (of Steven Spielberg's West Side Story) is also a newcomer to the DCEU, though her role has yet to be disclosed.