After nearly 80 years of existence, Shazam, formerly known as Captain Marvel, finally scored his own live-action movie in 2019, with Asher Angel playing young Billy Batson and Zachary Levi playing his mighty adult self. With the character now a full-fledged superhero alongside his adoptive siblings, the Shazam Family will return in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and thanks to a leaked set photo, it’s been revealed that Djimon Hounsou’s Wizard, the mystical being who gave Billy his powers, will also be back.
But wait, didn’t he die in the first Shazam! movie? Well, yes, but let’s go over this new information first. Djimon Hounsou, who also has comic book movie cred from playing Korath in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Papa Midnite in Constantine and the Fisherman King in Aquaman, was photographed on Shazam! Fury of the Gods set in Atlanta, Georgia by Atlanta Filming. Also known as Shazam, The Wizard has been an integral figure in DC Comics’ Shazam mythos since the very beginning. Hounsou’s version of The Wizard was modeled after the New 52 version of the character, whose original name in that continuity was Mamaragan.
Djimon Hounsou’s Wizard, the sole surviving member of the Council of Wizards, was first seen in Shazam! bringing young Thaddeus Sivana to the Rock of Eternity to become his new champion, only to realize that the boy wasn’t worthy when he was tempted by the Seven Deadly Sins (the same thing that happened to Black Adam thousands of years earlier). In the present day, following the adult Sivana finally freeing the Sins, the Wizard brought Billy Batson to his magical lair to finally pass on his magic. After Billy was transformed, the ancient sorcerer crumbled to dust.
Now that we’re caught up to speed, there are two ways Djimon Hounsou’s Wizard could factor into Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Although the Wizard also died in the comics, his spirit lived on and would advise Billy from the Rock of Eternity, so perhaps Hounsou’s Wizard similarly maintains a connection between reality and the afterlife. However, looking at the actor’s darker hairstyle this time around compared to the all-white hair from the first Shazam! movie, it’s likelier that we’ll see his character in flashbacks. With the main villains in Shazam set to be the daughters of Atlas, one of the beings from which Shazam derives his power, it stands to reason he’s connected to them.
With Shazam! Fury of the Gods plot details being kept a closely-guarded secret, it may be a while until we learn exactly how The Wizard fits into the plot. What has been made public is who’s playing Atlas’ daughters, with Helen Mirren being cast as Hespera, Lucy Liu coming aboard as Kalypso and Rachel Zegler’s character having not been officially identified yet. Mark Strong has also confirmed that he won’t return as Thaddeus Sivana, despite the fact that Shazam!’s mid-credits scene set up an alliance between him the super-intelligent caterpillar known as Mister Mind.
Keep your eyes locked on CinemaBlend for more updates about Shazam! Fury of the Gods as we move closer to its June 2, 2023 release date. And as always, we’ll catch you up to speed on news concerning other upcoming DC Comics movies.