She’s played a queen, and now she’ll be a god.
Practically the entire team behind 2019’s “Shazam!” is returning for the sequel, including stars Asher Angel (who plays teenager Billy Batson, who becomes imbued with the power of the superhero Shazam whenever he says the name) and Zachary Levi (who plays the adult version of Billy whenever he has the power of Shazam). David F. Sandberg is directing the film from a script by Henry Gayden. The original earned $366 million globally.
Rachel Zegler (“West Side Story”) is also expected to join the franchise in the sequel.
Mirren’s role is somewhat mysterious, as Hespera does not have a clear equivalent from the DC comics. But she undoubtedly has some feelings about Shazam’s powers, which include the stamina of her father, Atlas — as well as the strength of Hercules, the power of Zeus, the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.
Mirren is no stranger to action-packed franchises. She’ll next appear in “F9: The Fast Saga,” reprising her role as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw, and she also played an assassin in 2010’s “RED” and 2013’s “RED 2.” She won an Academy Award for best actress for playing Queen Elizabeth II in 2006’s “The Queen.”
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is set to debut in June 2023.