Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg has spoken about the sequel’s major DC cameo – and why he thought it wouldn’t actually happen.
Spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods follow.
"I don’t remember exactly how it came about, but we wanted a real cameo this time. Henry Cavill was supposed to be in the first one and that didn’t work out," Sandberg says on the Inside Total Film podcast, referring to the first movie’s post-credits scene which featured Superman – originally meant to be played by Cavill – but with his face obscured.
This time, another Justice League member arrives. Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, is the one to put the wizard's staff back together and resurrect Shazam after his Daughters of Atlas showdown ended with Billy Batson dying.
"When we had her in the script, I still didn’t believe it. What happened in the first one with Henry Cavill was when we shot the scene they said he can’t be here for the scene, we’ll shoot it with a stand-in and pick up the pieces later on. But that didn’t happen."
Sandberg continues, "On this one, it was the same thing. Oh, Gal is not going to be able to come here, shoot with a stand-in, figure out what pieces we need and pick up her pieces. I was like, ‘yeah, sure’."
Perhaps fearing more disappointment, the director considered a "lame" backup plan. The Fury of the Gods ending needed a god, after all.
"So I started thinking about a plan B of what other gods can we have to resurrect Shazam, can Helen [Mirren]’s character come back? That’s gonna be lame. Then it actually did happen, which I was very happy about. We could poke fun at the first movie with the headless cameo and things like that."
For more from our interview with Sandberg, check out the latest episode of the Inside Total Film podcast, available on:
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now in cinemas. Want to know what else is hitting our screens this year? Check out our guide to movie release dates.