Helen Mirren Joins Shazam! As Hespera

by Joel Taylor
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It looks like Billy Batson may have found a new nemesis to square off against in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the upcoming sequel to DC’s fun, box office-pleasing 2019 breakout film. Multiple industry sources report that screen icon Helen Mirren has been tapped — or should we say zapped? — to play a mysterious new character with a potentially villainous role. Yes! Helen Mirren Joins Shazam! as Hespera along with Rachel Zegler.

Per the official description, Hespera is described as a daughter of Atlas. Though she doesn’t have a clear DC Comics counterpart, Atlas is the name of several DC Comics characters inspired by the Titan of Ancient Greek mythology, the most famous and enduring version created by the legendary Jack Kirby in 1975. Atlas is one of the “A”s in Shazam!

In the comics, Atlas appears as a sometimes-good, sometimes-evil hero, even vying with Superman for the title of savior of Metropolis.  Details about Atlas’ offspring in Fury of the Gods are being kept under wraps, but THR’s report appears to hint that Mirren and Zegler’s characters may have inherited some of their father’s good-versus-evil ambiguity.

The first Shazam! brought in $366 million at the global box office against a relatively slight production budget, pleasing both fans and critics for its lighthearted story of the teenage Billy Batson doing teenage things in the grown-up superhero body of Shazam .

Original Shazam! producer Peter Safran is once again producing under his banner, The Safran Company. DC and New Line also are planning a standalone movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as classic Shazam! nemesis Black Adam.

Earning a Best Actress Oscar for her 2006 portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen, Mirren’s storied film career has veered toward genre projects more than once. In addition to her recurring role in the Furious franchise as family matron Magdalene Shaw, she’s also voiced the queen in Dreamworks’ animated The Prince of Egypt , played Emily Appleton in National Treasure: Book of Secrets , provided the voice of Dean Hardscrabble in Pixar’s Monsters University , and played the enigmatic Sarah Winchester in the 2018 horror movie Winchester. Mirren is set to once again play Magdalene Shaw in F9, which is racing to theaters on June 25. And now, adding to her list of movies, Helen Mirren joins Shazam!

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to electrify DC movie fans when it premieres on Nov. 4, 2022.

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