WARNING: This article contains SPOILER information for the ending and credits scenes of Shazam! Fury of the Gods
The TV spots have already spoiled one major cameo in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, that being Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. But up until the last minute, director David F. Sandberg wasn’t sure it would really happen. He’d been burned once before, by the Superman end scene in the first film, that had to keep the hero filmed from the neck down when Henry Cavill couldn’t make it. [He briefly considered Superman and Batman cameos for the sequel, but dropped them quickly.]
“She was always supposed to be in it, but I didn’t believe it was going to happen because of what happened on the first movie where we had to do a headless Superman cameo,” Sandberg tells THR in a long interview. “I thought that was going to happen here, too. So I started to think, ‘Okay, when she can’t do it or when it falls apart, how do we bring Shazam back to life? Will we have to bring Helen Mirren’s character, Hespera, back? What are we going to do?’ But then it actually did happen, which was great, because then we could poke fun at the headless cameo of the first movie, with the Wizard [Djimon Hounsou] dream sequence and things like that.”
Still, he notes, “[W]e never could have done that if we didn’t actually have Gal at the end because people would’ve been furious.”
Still, there other planned cameos didn’t work out. The mid-credits scene originally tied more into Black Adam, with appearances from the actual Justice Society. Unfortunately, “that fell apart three days before we were going to roll cameras. I was really upset because we had built that abandoned gas station set, and we could only shoot that scene in that little piece of forest. I was like, ‘This is so boring. We need something here.’ So the art department built that whole gas station and brought in some old cars and things. They made it look really nice with very few resources, and so I was like, ‘We have this set and we have the time, so we have to shoot something here.’”
It was producer Peter Safran who suggested John Economos and Emilia Harcourt as last-minute substitutions, and made some calls. “Jen Holland and Steve Agee were able to come by on very short notice. I mean, the scene makes a little less sense with them. It’s like, ‘Why are they recruiting for Justice Society?’ but you can kind of see it as they’re working for Amanda Waller.”
Another cameo that’s less recognizable in the movie is Michael Gray, who played the ’70s TV Shazam. In a meta-joke, he refers to the hero by his comic book name of Captain Marvel, which DC can no longer use. Sandberg explains, “I was like, ‘Let’s do one take where you say ‘Captain Marvel’ even though we’re not going to be able to use it. Why not?’ And then I asked the guys at DC: ‘Can we use that?’ And they were like, ‘Well, Marvel has mentioned DC characters in their movies, so why not?’”
What did you think of these cameos? Let us know in comments!
Recommended Reading: Shazam: The World’s Mightiest Vol. 1
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