Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren has joined the cast of Shazam! Fury of the Gods as the villain Hespera.
The Hollywood Reporter says Mirren will join Rachel Zegler in the Shazam sequel as sisters who “both my or may not be of ill intent.” 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 big studio franchises having starred in RED as Victoria Winslow and appearing in the Fast and Furious franchise as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw.
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Not much is known about Hespera as there’s no DC Comics character counterpart. In the synopsis, Mirren’s character is called the daughter of Atlas, who is a character in the DC universe created by Jack Kirby. Atlas re-appeared in Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman and is closer to his roots in mythology given that Greek Gods are very much 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, depending on the telling of the myths.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods was announced at last year’s DC FanDome and will follow the adventures of Billy Batson, Freddy Freeman, and the Marvel Family. The post-credits for the first Shazam saw the villain Doctor Sivana meet an alien named Mister Mind, but it’s unclear how this storyline will interact with Mirren’s casting as Hespera.
Funny enough the Shazam sequel won’t intersect with 2021’s Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson. And there’s still a bunch of DC movies coming out 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 T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)