Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren has joined the cast of Shazam! Fury of the Gods as the villainous Hespera. The Hollywood Reporter says Mirren will join Rachel Zegler in the Shazam sequel as sisters who “are both of ill-intention.” Zachary Levi will reprise his role as the adult version of Billy Batson who gains superpowers after inciting an ancient incantation. Mirren is no stranger to comic book movies or playing villains in major studio franchises who have starred in RED in as Victoria Winslow and appearing in the Fast and Furious franchise as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw.
Not much is known about Hespera as there is no DC Comics character counterpart. In the synopsis, Mirren’s character is called Atlas’ daughter, who is a character from the DC Universe created by Jack Kirby. Atlas reappeared in Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman and is closer to his roots in mythology given that the Greek gods are truly a thing in the DC world.
With that in mind, Mirren’s character could be based on The Hesperides, who are nymph daughters of Atlas, according to the myths narration of Shazam! Fury of the Gods was announced at the DC FanDome last year and will follow the adventures of Billy Batson, Freddy Freeman, and the Marvel family. The first Shazam post-credits saw villainous Doctor Sivana meet an alien named Mister Mind, but it’s unclear how this storyline will interact with Mirren’s cast as Hespera.
Funny enough, the Shazam sequel won’t intersect with 2021’s Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson. And there are still a bunch of DC movies to be released before Shazam 2, including The Suicide Squad, The Flash, and Aquaman 2. Also, check out IGN’s review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League here.
Matt TM Kim is the editor-in-chief of IGN.
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