Friday, May 27th, 2022

Shazam 2 Will Have More Adult Humor Now Kid Actors Are Older

With the protagonists of Shazam: Fury of the Gods getting older – especially Billy Batson – the movie’s humor is going to have a more mature slant.

According to producer Peter Safran, Shazam: Fury of the Gods will have more adult humor now that some of the characters are older. When compared to the gritty, darker movies of the DCEU, 2019’s Shazam felt like a transplant from a very different franchise. The David F. Sandberg-directed film brought childlike wonder to the DCEU through the origin story of Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a teenager who is gifted with the power to turn into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) whenever he says “Shazam.” Because Billy was just a kid, the movie had a more innocent slant that made it stand out.

Going into Shazam 2, though, its characters will be a few years older. The movie is currently scheduled to premiere in June 2023, but production took place last year. Plot details are still being kept under wraps. However, what is known is that Shazam 2 will lean into the family dynamic more as Billy and his siblings grow into their powers. They’ll be tested in new ways thanks to their enemies, a pair of goddesses named Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu).

So much of Shazam 2 remains a mystery, but now fans have some new insight into the film’s humor. Producer Peter Safran recently sat down with IGN and teased how the comedy has evolved along with its characters. “We very much lean into the idea that Asher’s 17 going on 18,” he said. Safran praised the script, written by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan, calling it even better than the first one. Turning back to Shazam 2’s jokes, he explained:

“I love what we’ve done with it. I like that the kids are a little bit older so that you can lean into a little more adult humor and also just adult stakes and adult issues that one deals with it at 16 and 17 that you don’t deal with at 13 and 14.”

The more innocent nature of Shazam made it something of an anomaly in the crowded superhero landscape, but it makes sense that it would grow up a bit in the sequel. Billy is approaching adulthood, and that should be reflected in how he sees the world. Plus, being a superhero can take its toll on a kid, meaning Billy and his siblings are likely feeling a bit more grown up as they head into their second big screen adventure.

Safran’s belief that the Shazam 2 script is better than the first movie echoes comments made by Levi recently, when he said he wishes the film could debut sooner than 2023. Sequels can be a difficult balancing act as filmmakers work to preserve what made the first movie so special while making everything bigger. In the case of Shazam 2 and its humor, it sounds like its changes are stemming from more organic places rather than a desire to just do more for the sake of doing more. Still, with two goddesses on the loose, there are bound to be some major stakes. Hopefully, Safran’s promise that Shazam 2 is even better than the last will prove to be true.

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