Rumors Swirled That Gal Gadot Was A Deepfake In Shazam! Fury Of The Gods. Director David F. Sandberg Explains What Really Happened

Gal Gadot and Zachary Levi
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods lie ahead, so read at your own risk.

While Shazam! Fury of the Gods may not have been the box office hit Warner Bros. was hoping for, a swath of fans still seems to have been pleased with the superhero romp. The film does include some cool scenes, with a moment at the end probably serving as a favorite amongst the masses. In the closing moments of the sequel, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman makes a cameo (which was spoiled by TV spots before the release). Even though the moment seems to have gone over relatively well, rumors have been floating around about Gadot being a deepfake during that sequence. Now, director David F. Sandberg is setting the record straight on that front.

It goes without saying that COVID has made film and TV production incredibly challenging, especially when it comes to big-budget productions. Honestly, even before the pandemic, blockbuster shoots could be challenging due to actor availability. Those facts, paired with the ever evolving (and sometimes frustrating) deepfake technology, are enough to make one wonder if there was some kind of facial wizardry involved in Gal Gadot’s return to the DC Extended Universe. A fan recently took to Twitter and shared photos of actress Taylor Cahill in costume as the Amazonian warrior, which seemingly prompted the deepfake suspicions. But as David F. Sandberg explained in his own tweet, Cahill served a different purpose:

We shot the scene with Taylor to figure out what coverage we then needed to get with Gal since she couldn’t make it to Atlanta. It’s also Taylor’s body with the wizards head on it. There is absolutely no deepfaking going on. When you see Gal it’s 100% her.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Grace Caroline Currey confirmed to CinemaBlend that the cast didn’t actually film that cameo alongside Gal Gadot. Per the actress, the scheduling just didn’t line up for Gadot to be there with the rest of the cast. This new behind-the-scenes revelation now confirms that the filmmaker was still proactive by using Taylor Cahill for reference when plotting out coverage. It would also seem that it was Cahill’s figure that Djimon Hounsou’s Wizard melded with during Billy Batson’s romantically funny dream sequence. So all in all, viewers did indeed see the real Gadot. 

David F. Sandberg has shared a number of interesting details since the film’s release. In terms of the Diana Prince scene – which sees the Justice Leaguer resurrect Billy Batson – he dropped a real cool nugget of information. The cameo had to be shot in England and, unfortunately, he had visa issues. So Sandberg had to helm the big scene remotely, and you can see how he did it in the following social media post:

There’s no telling what lies ahead for the Shazam! franchise due to its box office intake and DC’s changing cinematic landscape. At the very least though, it would appear that David F. Sandberg and co. went the extra mile to satisfy the fans. And in doing so, he might’ve given them one of the final big-screen appearances from Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now playing in theaters, and the original 2019 movie is now available to stream -- alongside Wonder Woman and a number of other DCEU installments -- using an HBO Max subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.