'Shazam! Fury Of The Gods' Enlists Helen Mirren As The Villain Hespera

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is welcoming a titan of acting to play its villain. Helen Mirren is joining the cast of the New Line and DC Films comic book sequel as the villain Hespera. And if you're frantically Googling to find out who that is, don't be confused: it's a new character with no apparent DC Comics counterpart.

Deadline reports that Helen Mirren has closed a deal to play the villain Hespera, described as a "daughter of Atlas." She'll join fellow franchise newcomer Rachel Zegler (Steven Spielberg's upcoming West Side Story), as "sisters who both may or may not be of ill intent," per The Hollywood Reporter.

There doesn't appear to be a clear DC Comics counterpart for Hespera, nor does the character have a foundation in Greek mythology. The closest equivalent in Greek mythology might be Hesperia, one of the nymphs of evening and golden light of sunsets and the daughter of Hesperus, or could refer to any manner of character or places, including the wife of Aesacus and daughter of the river Cebren.

For the most part, it seems like director David F. Sandberg and writer Henry Gayden, both returning after the successful 2019 original, will be forging ahead with a relatively new story of their own. It's clear that Shazam! Fury of the Gods (based on its pretty pointed title) will delve into the divine elements of Shazam, the superhero (played by Zachary Levi) that teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) transforms into when he speaks the magic word. But we've received very few details about the sequel, other than it involving more Shazam Family fun, and that it will likely set up the arrival of Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam. Sounds like the chances of a proper introduction to Mister Mind, the hyper-intelligent worm creature that appeared in a post-credits scene of the first movie, are getting slimmer and slimmer.

But we'll never be upset about more Mirren on our screens, especially considering the award-winning actress' recent stint as action hero/ass-kicking scene-stealer. It'll be a blessing just to see her chew up the scenery in whatever glamorous Grecian outfit they'll put her in, and I hope Sandberg lets her make a meal of it.

Shazam! flew into theaters in 2019 to rave reviews and a $364 million worldwide box office haul, with a sequel greenlit shortly after the Easter holiday opening exceeded expectations. The first film's original creative team is returning alongside producer Peter Safran.