This article features spoilers for Shazam! Fury Of The Gods – you have been warned.
He’s been saying the word for years, but Billy Batson has only now been given his superhero name – and it’s been staring him in the face this entire time.
Yes, Shazam! Fury Of The Gods ended with the teen hero finally getting told what his superpowered moniker is by Djimon Hounsou’s Wizard, which in many ways makes this more of a Shazam! origin story than the first one.
With his hero persona now assumed, can we expect to see Shazam! on the big screen again any time soon? His fate in James Gunn’s DC Universe (DCU) remains up in the air, but there are several teases that he could be here to stay.
Director David F. Sandberg previously stated that nothing in this movie contradicts Gunn’s plans, so let’s take this at face value and say that the ending and post-credits sequences therefore are laying the groundwork for the character’s next appearance.
Shazam! In The Justice League?
One of the recurring gags in Fury Of The Gods is Billy’s thirst for Wonder Woman. An elaborate visual joke earlier in the movie reveals his date with Diana is actually the Wizard in disguise (which leads to one of the most haunting images we’ve seen on-screen recently), with other references to the Justice League throughout largely rooted in his own imposter syndrome.
This all changes in the final 15 minutes, when Gal Gadot rocks up in her hero costume after being summoned by a letter Billy sent earlier, as composer Rupert Gregson-Williams’ iconic score flares up on the soundtrack.
She brings Billy-in-Shazam!-form back to life but turns down his request to join the Justice League – and, on a more personal note, his desire for a date.
Stars Asher Angel and Jack Dylan-Grazer (Freddy) both recently told Zavvi that a team-up with the Justice League was “the goal” going ahead, but this ending makes it seem like the Philadelphia Fiascos are going to need a bit more training before they’re welcomed with open arms.
There’s also the hotly debated question of whether this functions as Gadot’s final appearance in the DCU. Wonder Woman 3 was previously scrapped as was a rumoured cameo in The Flash – and the only Wonder Woman themed project upcoming in Gunn’s DCU is Paradise Lost, a prequel series that likely won’t feature the hero.
Gunn is yet to confirm whether Gadot will reappear in this cinematic universe, which suggests we’ll likely see the Shazam! family join a team other than the Justice League. Luckily, the mid-credits sequence sets this up neatly…
Enter The Justice Society
Yes, the mid-credits scene welcomes back Peacemaker‘s Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee), who have been sent by Amanda Waller to track down Billy Batson.
They meet him in the woods and ask him if he wants to be a part of the Justice Society – something he initially agrees to when he thinks he’s being asked to join the Justice League.
In typical Shazam! fashion this is a set-up for a joke, with the hero saying that it’s confusing to have two groups with “Justice” in the name. Can’t they be called the Avengers Society instead?
The Justice Society were introduced into the DCU in the recent film Black Adam, itself a spin-off of Shazam!, as Dwayne Johnson’s anti-hero is one of Batson’s most renowned adversaries in the comics.
However, the introduction of Peacemaker characters here is particularly intriguing, seeing as the Justice Society weren’t referenced in the first season – is the upcoming second season going to be where we see them next?
It would make sense considering that Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller was in both Black Adam and Peacemaker, and with DC’s big screen universe getting rejuvenated, it ensures we can continue the Shazam! story on the small screen if a third outing doesn’t end up going ahead.
But Wait, What About Mister Mind?
Introduced in the mid-credits scene of the first Shazam!, the sinister supervillain Mister Mind was previously announced by director Sandberg as not factoring into the sequel at all.
Yet the final post-credits scene this time around reveals that wasn’t exactly true, reintroducing him alongside Mark Strong’s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, with both still stuck in the same cell we last saw them in.
Sivana is angry because it’s been two years and their proposed alliance has gone nowhere, with the telekinetic worm responding that his plan for world domination needs more time.
Mister Mind says that he needs to do one more thing before he can reveal it to him – and then he leaves. End of movie.
Sandberg, who also provides the voice for Mister Mind, did tell Zavvi that if he does end up making a third movie he wants to include the character in it.
He said: “I’d love to see more with Mister Mind. We were originally going to have him as part of this movie as well, but it was just too much to have him and the goddesses.
“He’s such an interesting villain because he’s a goofy little worm. But he is super dangerous, as he’s very intelligent and has other forms as well.”
The director said he will likely move back to lower budget projects after making two superhero blockbusters in a row – but when asked if that would mean Mister Mind would need to be recast, he laughed: “No, I’m trying to get more work!”
Shazam: Fury Of The Gods is in UK cinemas now.