Zachary Levi doesn’t want you to be too surprised by anything about Shazam! Fury of the Gods, December’s sequel to 2019’s beloved super-hit Shazam! The actor, who plays the super-powered, grown-up alter-ego to orphaned teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel), will consider it a win if they can replicate the same type of reception the first film garnered.
“Not that there won’t be surprises, but I just want them to feel like they got their money’s worth and if they liked the first one, we didn’t deviate too much from that formula and gave them something that felt like and tasted like that, but even better,” Levi tells Yahoo Entertainment on Saturday (watch above) following the film’s presentation at San Diego Comic-Con. “So hopefully that’s not a surprise. Hopefully that’s an expectation that we deliver on.”
Shazam!’s new legendary co-star Dame Helen Mirren, however, certainly surprised Comic-Con audiences with one salty proclamation delivered during a pre-taped message to fans.
“Zach, darling, sweetheart, I had such a marvelous time kicking the s**t out of you,” Mirren said as she was joined remotely by fellow franchise newbie Rachel Zegler. (Mirren, Zegler and Lucy Liu play the villainous daughters of Atlas in the film.) “Yay, pussy power!,” Mirren exclaimed, drawing a loud eruption from the Comic-Con crowd.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 23, 2022
“I don’t know that that was the terminology I would throw in my head, just trying to be respectful, of course,” Levi muses to us after the panel. “But I agree wholeheartedly, since that’s her terminology… 100 percent, that’s what she and Lucy bring in spades.”
Director David F. Sandberg said Mirren’s comments were quite characteristic for the 77-year-old Brit who won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in 2006’s prestige drama The Queen.
“That’s the fun thing about Helen Mirren. Because it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s Dame Helen Mirren, so you think she’s going to be like The Queen or something. But then she said that the first time she was on set. She and Lucy stepped on set and she yells, ‘Pussy power’s here!’ Oh, OK, great!”
“She is so cool, unapologetically herself, no filter,” agrees Angel. “She is just such a great human being and I loved working with her. And that’s Helen for you.”
“She’s the coolest,” adds Jack Dylan Grazer, the scene-stealer who plays Billy’s best friend Freddy. Grazer recalled one story Mirren told him about working in theater with Sir Anthony Hopkins — and how the two acting greats would fart on stage in an attempt to make each other laugh.
Now that’s a story we’ll need to hear from the Dame someday.
— Video produced by Jen Kucsak and edited by Jimmie Rhee
Shazam: Fury of the Gods opens Dec. 21, 2022.
Watch the trailer: