helen mirren in shazam fury of the gods

Helen Mirren is a goddess amongst men, and she’ll soon be playing a goddess amongst superheroes in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. And naturally, she’s got to look the part. A new set photo from the Shazam! sequel reveals exactly what that look is, showing an armored Mirren chatting with Zachary Levi, who plays the titular superhero. Check out our first look at Mirren as the villain Hespera in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, below.

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Helen Mirren in Shazam Fury of the Gods

Helen Mirren has played her fair share of intimidating mythic maidens, but this latest one may take the cake, simply because she’s not a magic lady as much as she’s playing a goddess. And look at that armor! A the dark bronze armor with golden embellished lappets, built-in abs, very intense shoulder pads, leather gauntlets, and an antler-inspired crown, Mirren’s armor as Hespera looks very, very cool. Even chatting with Levi off-camera, Mirren gives off an intimidating aura — look at Levi respectfully leaning back as Mirren gestures. I imagine that when she’s onscreen, Mirren’s Hespera will be even more impressive.

Who is Hespera?

The villain Hespera is described as a “daughter of Atlas” who, along with fellow franchise newcomers Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler (Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story), is part of a group of “sisters who may or may not be of ill intent.” Since they are the villains of the movie, we can safely assume they probably are.

Hespera is a new character created for Shazam! Fury of the Gods, as there doesn’t appear to be a clear DC Comics counterpart for her, 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. The name could refer to any manner of character or places, including the wife of Aesacus and daughter of the river Cebren.

With a new character as the main antagonist of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, it’s hard to predict which direction the sequel will go. Director David F. Sandberg and writer Henry Gayden are both returning after the successful 2019 original. The sequel will also see the return of Zachary Levi as the superhero Shazam, and Asher Angel as the teenager Billy Batson, who transforms into the hero when he speaks the magic word. There will also be more Shazam Family fun, and possibly a tease for the arrival of Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is scheduled to be released on June 2, 2023.

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