Shazam! 2 director explains why the first movie’s villain doesn’t return

Shazam Fury of the Gods
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg has revealed why the first movie’s villains – Mark Strong’s Doctor Sivana and post-credits arrival Mister Mind – were relegated to the sequel's post-credits scene. 

"We did initially talk about having Mister Mind and Sivana in this one too. It was actually Mister Mind’s plot to bring the gods here but it quickly turned out to be too much movie to have that whole plot in there as well," Sandberg told the Inside Total Film podcast. The first movie’s post-credits scenes involved Mister Mind (an intelligent alien worm) encountering an incarcerated Sivana and proposing an alliance.

While they don't appear in most of the movie, the pair do cameo in the final Shazam! Fury of the Gods post-credits scene. Sivana is in a cell when he's visited by the talking caterpillar Mister Mind.

On the move away from the character’s comic book roots – the original 2019 movie was based heavily on Geoff Johns’ New 52 comic book run with the character – Sandberg explains why the "fantasy-like" plans hit a snag.

"So we first explored going down that path. That was more fantasy-like, it wasn’t very grounded," Sandberg says. "What I like about Shazam is that it takes place in a pretty grounded world. There’s fantastical things happening there, but I think that’s what makes it work. We wanted to do something different from the comics and that’s why we leaned into the mythology: his powers were taken from gods and now they want them back."

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 in cinemas from March 17. Want to know what else is hitting our screens this year? Check out our guide to movie release dates.

For more on Shazam! Fury of the Gods, be sure to check out our spoilery deep dives:

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.