What the Ending of Shazam! Fury of the Gods Means for the Future of the DCU
The Big Red Cheese of the DCU goes for broke in his electrifying sequel. But does he survive?
It takes a lot to infuriate a god. Even with the strength of Hercules and the wisdom of Solomon, teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is in over his head when he’s pitted against the Daughters of Atlas. How their battle ends is one for the ages.
In the new DC movie Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Billy Batson and the rest of the Shazam Family return to action when the powerful Daughters of Atlas — played by stars Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler — take over Philadelphia. The Daughters are angry the Wizard (Djimon Honsou) has basically given their father’s stolen powers to a child, and they want to take it back.
A key plot item in Fury of the Gods is something that played an equally important role in the first Shazam! from 2019: the Wizard’s staff, which Billy (as Shazam, played by Zachary Levi) just kinda tossed to the side and forgot about. Turns out, you need to pick up things you leave behind. Because things can end up at museums. And it’s at the Philly museum where the Daughters of Atlas take the Wizard’s staff and use to plunder the city of brotherly love into an apocalypse where people turn to stone and demons roam free.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods isn’t a complicated movie. But with the DC Universe about to reboot in ways no cinematic franchise has been rebooted before, the ending of Fury of the Gods — and what it might mean for the future of Shazam and for the DCU — may need a little more unpacking. Below, we recap the ending of Fury of the Gods and ask that all important question: What’s next?
Warning: Spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods ahead.
At the end of Fury of the Gods, the Daughters of Atlas split up, with Lucy Liu’s Kalypso going rogue from her sisters. The action moves to Citizens Bank Park, home to the Phillies and setting of the movie’s climactic battle. In the end, it’s Shazam (armed with the Wizard’s staff) one-on-one against Kalypso, who rides on an ancient dragon like she’s a Targaryen.
A force field encircles the stadium, containing Shazam and Kalypso (and the dragon). Inspired by a stray remark about batteries earlier in the movie, Billy uses the force field’s reflective properties to charge up the staff using his powers. When the Wizard’s staff accumulates enough of a charge, Billy flies into the dragon to destroy it and Kalypso — and himself.
Although the Daughters are defeated (except for Zegler’s Anthea, who sided with Shazam to be with Jack Dylan Grazer’s Freddy), Billy dies, leaving his family to bury him at the pantheon of the gods.
But a deux ex magic-ha introduces the motherlode of all cameos: Wonder Woman, with Gal Gadot in a surprise appearance. Using her own powers, Wonder Woman recharges the Wizard’s staff and brings Billy/Shazam back from the dead. The end of the movie takes place in the Vásquez home, with the Shazam Family united once more. The Wizard pays them a visit before embarking on a journey of Earth to understand humans. Before he goes, he reveals to Billy and Freddy what their superhero names have been all along: Shazam. Freddy, however, thinks there’s still a better option.
What the ending of Shazam! Fury of the Gods means for the DCU
Aside from Gadot’s cameo, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a standalone film that doesn’t intertwine with the DCU or DCEU canon. Nothing in Fury of the Gods is consequential to the fabric of the universe, and the movie’s ending limits everything to just Shazam’s corner of DC.
However, the deceptively fun throwaway gag — Shazam accepting his superhero name — could mean a more regular presence in the DCU for the Big Red Cheese. Shazam is no longer a nameless superhero, but a defined icon (especially to the people of Philadelphia). Just as the people who inhabit the DCU know Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, they will now know “Shazam.”
The surprise appearance of Wonder Woman also raises questions about her own future in the DCU. A third Wonder Woman movie under Patty Jenkins is not happening, and DC co-chairs James Gunn and Peter Safran have not announced a sequel as part of their slate. Fury of the Gods is either a sign that Gadot will be Wonder Woman for a long time, or an unofficial farewell performance.
Likewise, DC has not announced a third Shazam, at least not yet. But that doesn’t mean Shazam can’t make an appearance in a future DC movie. Perhaps the only thing that will determine the fate of Billy Batson is his movie’s performance at the box office.