It’s been a busy month for fans of the Shazam universe. Hot on the heels of Black Adam and Dwayne Johnson’s long-awaited introduction to the DC Universe, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is officially complete.
Director David F. Sandberg shared the news on Twitter, where he posted a screenshot of a shadowy Zachary Levi wielding the magic staff along with the caption, “Finished! Now for a little time off.” In the image, the Big Red Cheese appears to be touching down at a baseball stadium, which is likely Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies that has been featured in some of the film’s trailers.
Given that earlier reports suggested Shazam 2 was undergoing extensive reshoots, the film’s completion may come as a surprise to some. In September, Sandberg addressed these rumors. “I’ve seen reports that Shazam is being ‘retooled’ but it’s not true. The cut has been locked for quite some time and we’re doing final mix, color and vfx right now,” he said. The filmmaker recently posted a look at one such visual effects sequence involving a dragon, comparing and contrasting the scene’s original rough animatics with the finished product. He also said he was “Looking forward to sharing more eventually.”
Originally slated for an April 2022 release date, Shazam! Fury of the Gods has been delayed several times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In September, Warner Bros. Discovery moved the film for a fifth time, shifting its release date from Dec. 21, 2022, to March 17, 2023. Though the move contributed to the reshoot rumors, Sandberg said the studio made the decision to avoid competing for IMAX screens with James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water. “While I’m an impatient bastard who wants people to see [Fury of the Gods] as soon as possible (the film will be fully done in just a few weeks), the move makes sense since Avatar was taking all IMAX/PLF screens,” Sandberg wrote on Twitter at the time. “Fury of the Gods is a big movie & should be seen big!”
The original Shazam opened on April 5, 2019, and went on to make $366 million worldwide. Though modest compared to most other superhero fair, the film was well-received by critics and audiences alike. Stars Zachary Levi and Asher Angel are reprising their shared roles as Billy Batson/Shazam in the upcoming sequel. Jack Dylan Grazer’s Freddy Freeman and the rest of the Shazam family are also returning, along with Djimon Hounsou’s wizard, to help Billy take on Helen Mirren’s Hespera and Lucy Liu’s Kalypso.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theaters on March 17, 2023.