Shazam! Fury Of The Gods Trailer Breakdown: Here Be Dragons (And Lucy Liu)

The latest trailer for "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" is here, and while the first footage was a "Fast and the Furious"-referencing romp with an unexpected Annabelle cameo, this latest sneak peek shows a movie that means business. 2019's "Shazam!" took an unexpectedly fantastical turn when it brought the seven deadly sins to life for a freaky showdown with teen hero Billy Batson (Asher Angel and Zachary Levi). This time around, the "Shazam!" sequel seems to be looking towards a different religious tradition for inspiration, with a trailer that's steeped in Greek mythology.

The Greek Pantheon is no stranger to DC comics, with heroes appearing in "Aquaman" and "Wonder Woman" comics among others. But with the future of DC films basically a blank page at this point, it'll be especially interesting to see whether or not "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" sets up some future DC Universe plotlines — or ends Billy's story for good. We won't know exactly what's in store for the superpowered foster siblings until the film hits theaters in March, but in the meantime, here's what we've gleaned from the latest trailer for "Shazam: Fury of the Gods."

Mount Olympus sets the scene

The trailer opens with a shot of what looks like a dark and stormy Mount Olympus, home of the deities who are about to be wreaking havoc on Billy Batson's life. Interestingly, this is a similar shot to a piece of the concept art we saw during behind-the-scenes footage at DC FanDome last year, but with a swirling mass of dark clouds above it, it's a lot more ominous. The first trailer for "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" focused a lot on the "familia" at the story's center, but this one gets right down to business with a climactic-looking moment featuring Lucy Liu's Kalypso.

This scene-setting shot also features a seemingly dead tree, contrasted starkly against the horizon. It appears to be a minor detail, but based on some of the plot hints below, that piece of foliage could turn out to be integral to the story.

Kalypso's golden apple

We see Kalypso land in an empty baseball stadium, and she's clearly battle-ready. She's in full warrior gear, with the dragon she rode in on by her side, and she confidently slams something glowing and golden into the ground. Given this story's interest in Greek mythology, it's likely this is a golden apple, a powerful symbol that comes up often in ancient myths. In one popular myth, the Golden Apple of Discord ends up kicking off the Trojan War after the goddess Aphrodite trades Helen's love to the Trojan prince Paris in exchange for it.

It's more likely, though, that "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" will follow a totally different golden apple myth, that of the Hesperides. We already know that Helen Mirren plays Hespera, one of the daughters of Atlas (called Hesperides) who along with the dragon Ladon, guards a special golden apple tree that was once the goddess queen Hera's wedding present. At one point, the hero Hercules is tasked with stealing one of the apples from the tree.

It's unclear exactly how these golden apples get wrapped up in Billy's story (though we later see Hespera holding one that's covered in black debris), but when a fellow daughter of Atlas, Kalypso, slams one into the ground, it causes a horde of massive serpents to start ripping through the city. "We are at war," Hespera says as we see shots of demolished cars and torn-apart streets. "We will annihilate everything."

Zachary Levi still brings the laughs

It turns out, she's giving her speech to the grown-up superhero version of Billy, who's definitely taking it to heart. "You are very menacing, I just want you to know that," he says before Hespera knocks him across the street with a single well-placed kick. This scene is a continuation of one we've seen before, but the first trailer made it look like Billy and Hespera was having a calm, "Fast and the Furious"-referencing parlay over some hamburgers. Clearly, he underestimated his enemy, as she doesn't seem particularly willing to talk here.

While the first trailer for "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" included some of the humor that made the original film so great, this second trailer is rather serious. We barely get to see Zachary Levi's delightfully childish Shazam, so I'm glad we do get this quick respite from the action, which confirms that Levi is as funny as ever in this role. He does get one other quip in too, when he tells Hespera he should be writing her whole spiel down to remember it better.

'Hey, Khaleesi!'

From here, we're given lots of backstory in that probably-stitched-five-different-lines-together way that is the norm for superhero film trailers these days. "Alright, here's the situation," Shazam says. "The daughters of Atlas are coming to hunt us." It sounds like there's a misunderstanding here, as we also see Hespera accusing the foster kids of "stealing the power of the gods." This probably has something to do with Billy giving all his siblings superpowers with the wizard Shazam's (Djimon Hounsou) staff, but they definitely didn't steal that!

Regardless, it seems that the Hesperides want the powers back, and a very-not-dead wizard Shazam warns the kids that their world "won't survive this." The bulk of this trailer involves shots of dragons and monsters tearing apart Philadelphia on a hunt for the group home kids, and while it doesn't give us much insight as to what's new with these characters, it does look super cool. "Hey, Khaleesi!" Shazam calls out during one fight scene, addressing the "Game of Thrones"-sized dragon in the middle of the room before smashing it through a building.

Rachel Zegler's role remains mysterious

While all eyes are understandably be on Liu and Mirren's Hesperides characters, there's another new cast member who seems to play a major role in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." Rachel Zegler, who won acclaim for her turn in Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" remake in 2021, is on board the new film in an undisclosed role. Here, we see her hold up hands that glow with three interlocking light rings, a sign of some sort of superpower. We also catch a glimpse of her on a floating hunk of rock that carries Billy's best friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) away when he's seemingly kidnapped by Kalypso and Hespera.

While Zegler's character wears everyday clothes here, the first trailer reveals her in classic Greek-style warrior gear, and fans have speculated that she'll be the third member of the Hesperides. However, Zegler herself has said she's playing Athena, a character who isn't traditionally associated with the daughters of Atlas and who tends to be portrayed in a positive light. Either way, the DC FanDome footage showed her getting friendly with Freddy. Athena, don't break this boy's heart!

Freddy and the wizard bend reality

In another reversal from the first trailer, we get a lot of Freddy here, including a shot that sees him and the wizard Shazam inside a reality-bending structure that looks more like something out of Marvel's Multiverse of madness than anything we've seen in DC to date. We only catch a few seconds of what looks like Shazam playing a big game of Minecraft while Freddy tries not to get whacked by ever-shifting bricks and columns, so it's tough to say exactly what's going on here.

I do wonder if this may have something to do with some similarly reality-melting footage viewers were treated to at CinemaCon last April. As /Film previously reported, that scene involved a dream sequence featuring Wonder Woman that shifted to include the wizard. The clip revealed that a daughter of Atlas broke "the barrier between the realms," leading to the dragon carnage as well as "a world seemingly made completely of books that come to life. Sound trippy, and fun.

A literal gap opens up between Freddy and Billy

While this trailer still leaves some mystery surrounding the Hesperides' intentions and plans, it's pretty clear that Freddy ends up at the center of them. Billy's superhero-loving friend is shown getting choked out by Hespera, then separated from Billy by a force field of some sort. "Give us the powers, child," Hespera says before zapping Freddy with the staff and turning him from Adam Brody back into Jack Dylan Grazer.

Last year during Comic-Con, Grazer hinted to /Film that Billy and Freddy would end up slightly at odds in this movie, saying they have a "natural, brotherly" rivalry and "some competitiveness" to work through. He also made it clear that it wouldn't be an easy road for Freddy, saying, "I think we get a cleaner glimpse at his internality, his truth, his feelings, his vulnerabilities." Neither trailer has given us much screen time between Billy and Freddy — whose friendship was the best part of the first film — aside from this moment when they're separated as Freddy is taken away by the daughters of Athena. Hopefully, they'll get a break in the action to film some TikToks or do whatever it is teen boys do.

Can the wizard Shazam save the day?

Things look pretty dire here, but it sounds like Billy has a plan that could save his siblings from further danger. "Take my powers back," he tells the wizard while surrounded by his family on a rooftop. "You gave them to me, so you can take them back, right?" Judging by Hounsou's facial expression here, it may not be so simple. While the wizard looks a lot younger and healthier than the last time we saw him, he still may have his limits. "I spent millennia searching for a worthy champion," he tells Billy in an aggressive pep talk.

We also catch a glimpse of a location we haven't seen before, one with decorations that indicate it could be a Greek temple. It appears just before we see the wizard breathe gold dust magic into the air, and is also juxtaposed with a shot of the dying tree that appears to be on the side of Mount Olympus. In this version of the story, could it be the wizard himself who made the golden apples? Regardless, it sounds like in the present day he's not willing to undo what he's done for Billy — who is definitely a worthy champion.

The family's powers are at risk

This trailer plays coy about large portions of the film, but it does seem to pretty clearly confirm one thing: the daughters of Atlas are able to zap the superhero kids of their powers, at least temporarily. We see it when Hespera turns Freddy back into his teen self, and in a quick shot of Faith Herman's Darla and her siblings sitting in cratered piles of debris on a city street, as if they've just fallen back to earth.

But the villains' ability to interfere with the group's powers becomes extra clear in a particularly climactic scene which sees Billy rescue his superpowered foster sister Mary (Grace Fulton, now playing the older and younger version of her hero) from plummeting to her death after she's struck by the wizard's wand, seemingly pointed her way by a dragon-bound Kalypso.

An intriguing endgame

Continuing its trend of showing us what seems to be mostly the third act of this movie, the new "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" trailer ends with Billy finally seeming to get the upper hand on the daughters of Atlas – with the help of that same wizard staff that they've been in possession of in almost every scene so far. "We end this now!" Kalypso shouts from dragonback, Liu in full "Kill Bill" showdown mode, and Billy answers, "Yeah, we do."

Freddy seems pretty concerned that Billy is going full sacrifice-himself-for-the-greater-good, and with the future of DC movies constantly in flux, I wouldn't be surprised if this movie ended on a note that wrapped up the Shazam story for the time being. However, Levi has hinted that he's not worried about his future in the DC Universe, so let's hope Billy gets out of this one in one piece. Regardless, this last sequence shows some cool shots of his Shazam costume being taken over by what seems to be a creeping, tendril-like blackness – perhaps the same thing that covered the golden apple in an earlier shot.

Minotaurs, monsters, and more

The last shots of the trailer feature some classic quick-cuts of action scenes, including one where Shazam pulls off a mid-air backflip to avoid the swipe of a dragon's claw. But I think one of the coolest shots comes before that when we see what seems to be a minotaur ripping into a car on the street. This quick montage also features unicorns and what appears to be a griffin, but the minotaur takes the prize for the most badass blind and-you'll-miss-it cameo.

The sheer volume of Greek and Roman mythology packed in here has inspired me to add one more thing to my "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" wishlist. Given that Hercules (also known as Heracles) pops up in one of the golden apple stories, and Billy's entire character arc involves becoming a hero worthy of his powers, I hope that we get a modern-day Hercules comparison, with him stepping up into the role of a young adventurer with a mortal mother who beats the odds and proves himself deserving of a place in history. Only in Billy's case, if he does save the world, his friends and family's names would be right there beside him in the history books.

"Shazam: Fury of the Gods" hits theaters on March 17, 2023.