'Shazam: Fury of the Gods' Writers Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan Ditched DC Supervillain Mister Mind For Sequel

The post-credits scene in 2019's SHAZAM introduced DC Comics supervillain Mister Mind but screenwriters, Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan dropped the comic book villain from SHAZAM: FURY OF THE GODS. The screenwriters explain why they ended up creating new villains from scratch for the sequel.

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his superhero alter ego Shazam (Zachary Levi) haven't quite worked out the superhero job, but he's sharing the responsibilities with his superhero siblings in FURY OF THE GODS. Shazam's team jumps into action when three powerful goddesses (Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Rachel Zegler) arrive to take their father Atlas' powers back from Shazam.

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At the end of SHAZAM!, Doctor Sivana is behind bars when a telepathic worm known as Mister Mind recruits Shazam's foe in his quest to conquer the seven realms. Even though this post-credit scene set up a potential face-off, it posed a problem for screenwriters Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan.

"It felt very natural to follow Doctor Sivana and Mister Mind because we set that up and I wrote all of that up, but honestly it didn’t feel like the very best way to dramatize the story that we wanted to tell," Gayden (SHAZAM!) told CineMovie. "And we knew from the get-go that Billy never had a family and at the end of the first movie he gets it. Now that he has it, he’s probably terrified of losing that family and he’s going to hold on too tight"

Gayden, who wrote the first SHAZAM! movie, further adding, "It didn’t feel like the right antagonist for that story. So we went down a lot of avenues until we decided to come up with our own villains that would be the best to reflect that. Now that he has it, he’s probably terrified of losing that family and he’s going to hold on too tight."

The duo tapped into greek mythology to search for their next villain. They focused on three of Atlas's 12 daughters. The Greek titan had a busy love life. “That’s why he’s an ancient god, jokes Morgan (FAST & FURIOUS 6, FURIOUS 7 HOBBS & SHAW) to CineMovie.

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Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler portray Hespera, Anthea and Kalypso. The trio believes Billy doesn't deserve their father's powers, and "have an "ax to grind," says Morgan. Shazam has his own insecurities, and Morgan and Gayden wanted the main character to be feeling the "imposter syndrome" for his inner conflict.

Morgan and Gayden reveal the age difference between the goddess characters was built in the story rather than based on the casting. On set, Mirren, Liu, and Zegler hit it off. "They really clicked on set," says Morgan, the writer behind FAST & FURIOUS 6, FURIOUS 7 FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW).

The writers stress they wanted to focus on the sense of family as the emotional center. Funny enough, Chris Morgan's past work includes the FAST & FURIOUS movies so he knows a thing or two about "family."

Family is at the core of both SHAZAM movies which makes this franchise the most endearing of the DCEU.  

SHAZAM: FURY OF THE GODS hits movie theaters on March 17.

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