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Shazam! 2 release date, cast and villains - What we know so far

When Shazam! hit theaters in April 2019, it was clear to everyone that Zachary Levi was perfectly cast as the bubble gum-chomping, floss-dancing tween-turned-superhero otherwise known as Billy Batson. Levi, best known for voicing Flynn Rider in Disney's Tangled and for starring on NBC's action-comedy Chuck, brought a blend of comedic and dramatic chops to the role, endearing himself to fans across the world. While the film grossed just over $364 million at the worldwide box office — pretty low considering how well other superhero franchises continue to do in theaters — it more than recouped its reported $100 million budget and was a hit with both fans and critics

Soon after the film struck down in cinemas, taking the number-one spot at the box office in its opening weekend, TheWrap reported that a Shazam! sequel was officially in the works.

Given that Shazam! 2 is in the early stages of pre-production, not much is known about the project thus far. We know Henry Gayden is returning to write the screenplay for the second film, and that David F. Sandberg and Peter Safran, the filmmaking team behind Shazam!, are expected to return as well. But what about the Shazam! sequel's release date, villains, and plot? Here's everything else we know about Shazam! 2 right now.

What is Shazam 2's release date?

In December 2019, Warner Bros. announced an official release date for Shazam! 2: April 1, 2022. That would have placed the Shazam! sequel in the same release year as a handful of fellow superhero sequels: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, first scheduled for release on April 8, 2022; Black Panther 2, slated for May 6, 2022; and Aquaman 2, formerly set to arrive on December 16, 2022. 

However, in April 2020, the studio confirmed that it had pushed Shazam! 2 back to November 4, 2022. Some of the film's original 2022 launch pals were also delayed — namely Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, now set to open on October 7, 2022. 

While it's disappointing to know that it'll take a few more months of waiting to witness a second round of Shazam! goodness — as well as more Into the Spider-Verse adventures – the upshot of the double delay is that the two movies won't be in direct competition at the box office. When the films, both family-friendly superhero movies and one an Academy Award-winner, were holding onto their original release dates, they were going to face off against each other in what would likely have been a tense ticket-sales battle. Neither Into the Spider-Verse 2 nor Shazam! 2 should have any difficulties drumming up an audience (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse earned $375.5 million worldwide, while Shazam! scooped up $364.5 million across the globe when they launched), but with extra breathing room between the two, audiences won't have to pick which movie they want to support more — meaning more revenue being made by both

Who is in Shazam 2's cast?

It seems obvious that Zachary Levi will return for Shazam! 2, as will budding teen idol Asher Angel to reprise his role as Billy Batson, the boy who shouts "Shazam!" to gain a Superman-esque set of skills. Since the importance of family was a huge part of the first film's story, it stands to reason that the production team would want to bring back Billy's foster family – Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña, and Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley. 

By the end of Shazam!, all of Billy's siblings gained their own adult superhero alter-egos — meaning Adam Brody, Michelle Borth, Ross Butler, DJ Cotrona, and Meagan Good might return for some more tights-filled hijinks in Shazam 2!. Judging from the superhero-film-patented mid-credits scene, Mark Strong also looks likely to come back as the villainous Dr. Sivana after his conversation with another major villain from the DC comics (more on that in a minute).

Most interestingly is the possibility of finally seeing Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, a role he's been attached to since 2014. Will fans get to see anti-hero grace the big screen in Shazam! 2? Probably not, unfortunately. Johnson told ComicBook.com in July 2019, "As far as I know, Black Adam is not going to be in the second Shazam!, because the idea is that they want to go and do a standalone Black Adam movie first."

What's the plot of Shazam 2?

There's no official word on the plot of Shazam! 2 — the screenplay is still being written! — but going off how weird and mystical the first film was willing to get and how bonkers the character's comic book history is, the sequel seems poised to jump into the odder aspects of Shazam. After all, when introducing a new superhero to millions of people across the world, you can't get all that crazy if you want to launch a lucrative franchise. The rules and regulations tend to loosen with a sequel. 

Perhaps the second Shazam! movie will dive into the stranger side of the hero's power set. Did you know that, throughout the character's comic book history at least, Shazam is capable of surviving without sleep, food, water, or air? Or that he has a super-brain that can help him understand situations in ways that mere mortals can barely comprehend? Or that he can speak any language on Earth? There are so many possibilities here!

Beyond that, the sequel's plot will probably have a lot to do with the DC Comics supervillain who appeared in a mid-credits scene during the first film: Mister Mind... who just so happens to be a magical, telepathic worm.

Who are the villains in Shazam 2?

Going off what the mid-credits moment in Shazam! teased, Shazam! 2's biggest villain is likely going to be Mister Mind, who has had many different origin stories over the years. Sometimes, he's a space-worm and the only survivor of a race of mind-controlling aliens from Venus. Other times, he's a magical entity that consumed countless spell books in the Library of Eternity, absorbing unknown amounts of knowledge and power. 

Mister Mind made his original debut in 1943, outside of DC Comics in the uber-important Golden Age of Comics storyline The Monster Society of Evil. That story introduced one of the first supervillain teams in history — a pretty big deal considering writers keep dipping into that well year in and year out — and Mister Mind was at the genesis of it all.

When the Shazam character (along with the entire DC Comics line) was rebooted in 2011, his roster of villains also got a new paint job. Mister Mind stuck around. According to The Encyclopedia of Magical Monsters — a book in the possession of Mark Strong's Dr. Sivana in the comics that first appeared in March 2019's Shazam #2 – Mister Mind's first name is "Maxivermis," and his ultimate goal is "nothing less than consuming and controlling all the power of the Magiclands." Apparently he also murdered King Solomon... the Bible's King Solomon. (We don't think that scene is going to make it into the movie, if we're being honest.)

Is there a trailer for Shazam 2 yet?

Unfortunately, with no official casting information, release date hints, or plot details yet in place, we won't be seeing a Shazam! 2 trailer for quite a while. 

Warner Bros. is fully focused on its upcoming pictures Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)and The Suicide Squad. While mainstream DC fans are certainly jazzed about those upcoming flicks, hardcore Shazam-heads will be anxiously biding their time, ready for any and all details that are sure to leak out over the coming months.

If Zachary Levi is correct and Shazam! 2 begins shooting sometime in the spring or summer of 2020, the production team will need to start releasing casting and plot info sometime in the relatively near future. And when that first official teaser trailer for Shazam! 2 – sure to be filled with plenty of gags and pop-culture references — hits the internet, we'll be here to break it down frame by frame and give you all the juicy details.