Can a post-credit scene be more important than the movie itself? It’s an intriguing question to ponder, particularly if you’ve seen the two post-credit scenes waiting at the end of Shazam: Fury of the Gods. One’s a shocking, confusing bombshell that—actually, let’s get the spoiler warning up before I discuss them in even vague terms.
We’ll discuss the second scene first, which finds the original Shazam movie villain—Dr. Sivana, played by Mark Strong—who’s clearly still being imprisoned since the events of the first movie, as he has a large, unkempt beard. He’s also still talking to the CG worm seen in Shazam’s post-credits scene, a classic comic villain named Mr. Mind, who promised that together they would rule “the seven realms.” It’s been two years, and Sivana is extremely frustrated that he’s still stuck in prison. Mr. Mind is still working on it, and cryptically tells the prisoner there’s just one more thing he needs to do, then slinks away, still having revealed nothing. Sivana, somewhat reasonably I think, yells, “Goddammit!”
This is basically just a tease for a third Shazam movie, which we know at the moment is not currently part of new DC steward James Gunn’s announced plan for the DC movie universe. The scene was shot well before Gunn and co-head Peter Safran took over the franchise’s future, so the filmmakers added it, hoping the movie would be successful enough to warrant a third installment. Unfortunately, box office forecasts predict Fury of the Gods won’t make the opening of the original, which may spell doom for Shazam 3 even if it were on Gunn’s list.
But it’s the first post-credits scene where things get really confusing. Because in it, Shazam (Zachary Levi) runs into none other than Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee), the ARGUS agents featured so heavily in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad movie and his Peacemaker TV series! Because Amanda Waller (Viola Davis, about to have her own series in Gunn’s new regime) thinks Shazam would be a good addition to the team, the agents ask if he’d like to join the Justice Society. He says yes, then becomes disappointed when he eventually realizes he hasn’t joined the Justice League.
These cameos are wild. Because Shazam has now been connected to the Black Adam movie and The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. Henry Cavill’s Superman appeared in Black Adam, of course, while Peacemaker featured direct cameos by Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and the Flash (Ezra Miller), as well as shadowed versions of Superman and Wonder Woman. And Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman appears in Fury of the Gods to boot. Since Waller is definitely part of the new DCU, it’s basically dragging the rest of the old DC movie universe with it.
James Gunn has had plenty of time in charge to order the Peacemaker/Justice Society/Black Adam crossover scene out of the movie if he didn’t want it there. And David Safran produced both Shazam movies, so if he wanted a clean slate before his and Gunn’s new DC universe begins in earnest, he was also in a position of power to do so. Maybe there is a future for Shazam after all?
It’s breaking my brain to try and figure all this out, but honestly, Fury of the Gods’ box office is likely what will ultimately decide if the hero lives or dies. And right now, it ain’t looking so good.
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