Shazam! Fury of the Gods may resemble an MCU movie more than a DC one from the last few years. That’s according to the film’s director David Sandberg who compared it to an Avengers movie in scale — or approaching that — in a new interview. Like Marvel’s identifiable epic and semi-epic crossovers, Shazam! 2, for a start, has more characters than before.
“It’s like a mini-Avengers movie…” Sandberg said to GamesRadar. “That’s how I saw it because there are so many characters. You have all these heroes, you have the villains, you have the monsters… It’s a lot of movie packed into its runtime. And it’s complicated. Just shooting and staging up to 11 characters in a scene…Where do you put everyone? It’s really hard!”
He added, “On the first one, we had a lower budget, and it was a smaller movie… It felt like, ‘We can’t really compete with the other superhero movies for action and scale, so we have to focus on character and humor – what makes it different.’ On this one, we got more resources so we could actually compete with the other superhero movies.”
However, although more elements are at play, the story remains personal and centered on Billy Batson and his family. “The story is very much about Billy being afraid of losing this family…” Sandberg continued. “He found a family in the first movie, and now they’re getting old enough to have to move out of a group home and start getting jobs.”
The filmmaker went on, “So he’s terrified. They have to balance their regular lives of going to school and having jobs with being superheroes. It’s tough for them.” There is also the risk of losing everything he knows and loves — plus the entire world — to the title fury of the daughters of Atlas, the movie’s main villains who want their magic back.
Sandberg could be hoping to inspire people at the 11th hour to go see a movie that has a very bleak box office forecast with the MCU comparison.
Box Office Pro predicts the film will have an opening weekend between $43 and $52 million domestically and will go on to earn between $101 and $136 million overall at the domestic box office. The first film had an opening weekend of $56.8 million domestically and went on to earn $140.3 million at the domestic box office. Worldwide it grossed $363.5 million.
In the wake of the sudden DCU restructuring, it’s looking as if Fury of the Gods won’t have any lingering impact on what James Gunn and Peter Safran have planned.
That is despite Safran’s role as a producer on the Shazam! films and the effusive fervent praise the second one is getting from its cast member Grace Currey who also had nothing but nice things to say about Safran. Her recent remarks probably won’t help Zachary Levi in his skirmish with cancel culture brought on by his views on Pfizer and Jordan Peterson.
His Christian worldview probably doesn’t help his PR either but, digressing back to the Marvel aspects of this story, it’s funny that Sandberg is selling Shazam! 2 as a mini-Avengers when Reddit spoilers from many moons ago, before Gunn ascended to the throne at DC and Henry Cavill’s hopes were dashed, described the sequel as akin to a Zack Snyder DCEU film.