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“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is finally in theaters, and it’s caught in a curious and unenviable position. On the one hand, the original “Shazam!” was always outside of the core “Snyderverse” films in both plot and tone, so it isn’t clearly in the crosshairs of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s big DC Studios reset (and indeed, Peter Safran produced both “Shazam!” and its sequel). On the other hand, more “Shazam!” hasn’t thus far been announced as part of the initial DC Universe slate. It’s an ambiguous state that really makes one wonder what the future might hold for the red-suited, lightning-bolt-adorned, non-Flash hero. 

At the same time, since “Shazam!” isn’t off the table for the new DC movie universe, “Fury of the Gods” does have a pair of post-credits sequences that could have some impact on Gunn and Safran’s DC plans (plus a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it extra credit detail). Let’s look at what they are, what they mean for “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” and what they say about Shazam’s place in the larger scheme of things.

You Gotta Keep It Animated

One of the most notable details in the credits for “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is an Easter egg outside the post-credits scenes proper. As the credits roll, we see a variety of drawn and animated scenes reflecting both some of the movie’s elements and suggesting a host of future Shazam family adventures. There are drawn and labeled illustrations of the film’s monsters, like minotaurs, harpies, cyclopses, and more. But the most important detail pertains to one classic DC villain who has yet to grace the big screen in a live-action feature film.

In one of the illustrated Shazam Family scenes, a set of heroes are seen fighting what appears to be a massive tentacled skull. In DC history, a tentacled skull means one thing only: Brainiac, or at least his ship. Premiering in “Action Comics” #242, Brainiac is an extraterrestrial android and frequent Superman foe, alongside being one of the smartest and most dangerous antagonists in the DC Universe. Driven by the pursuit of absolute knowledge, Brainiac travels through space and collects civilizations in a ship shaped like a tentacled metal skull. It’s this ship our heroes are seen fighting briefly in the pre-scene illustrations.

Brainiac, reportedly intended to have been a focus of both Richard Donner’s planned “Superman III” and initial plans for “Man of Steel 2,” may once again see no clear path to a feature film in the immediate future. The villain could be incorporated in future DCU plans, but it isn’t likely to be attached to a Shazam Family adventure. As we’ll see, the future of “Shazam” has muddled prospects in the DCU, and if Brainiac did appear it’s unlikely to expect the Shazam family battling this traditional Superman or Justice League villain. 

Waller’s Coming For You, Yeah She’s Coming For You

In the mid-credits scene of “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” we first see A.R.G.U.S. Agents Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee) trekking through a woody locale en route to meet with Billy “Shazam” Batson and invite him to join the Justice Society on Amanda Waller’s orders. Billy immediately says yes, expecting “Justice League” to pass their lips, but discovers the invite was to the Justice Society, the same team sent to take down Black Adam (Dwight Johnson) in, well, “Black Adam.” They have a little humorous exchange about DC’s confusingly-named teams (with a not-so-subtle “Avengers Society” suggestion from ol’ Batson), but he still accepts team membership despite the linguistic confusion. 

There are many possible implications here for the emergent DC Universe, but what will actually land is hard to predict. On the one hand, A.R.G.U.S. will continue on, with Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller getting her own series and Peacemaker getting a second season. Waller and co., of course, were involved in the introduction of the Justice Society in “Black Adam,” and while many elements of the Justice Society worked well, the middling box office performance of “Black Adam” axed any “Black Adam 2” plans for the DCU’s first chapter. 

There’s always the option of selectively mining “Black Adam” for a Justice Society roster, and that could now include Shazam, but it was said from the outset that Shazam’s future in the DCU hinged on its profitability … which is looking dire. At this point, we shouldn’t expect to see a dedicated “Shazam 3,” but it’s still possible via Amanda Waller that the Justice Society and “Shazam 2” get mined for IP somewhere down the line. Shazam could appear on a Justice Society roster in Waller’s upcoming series, for example.

Where Is My Mind?

The final post-credits sequence pays off one of the post-credits sequences of the original “Shazam!” In one of the first movie’s post-credits sequences, we see Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong), powerless and incarcerated in a scribble-adorned cell. He’s not doing too well, until he hears a voice laughing. It’s the nefarious caterpillar Mister Mind, who promises with an evil laugh that “the seven realms are about to be ours.” Villainous team-up ensuing? Not just yet.

In “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” the second post-credit scenes once again visits Doctor Sivana, now looking more disheveled and still in his cell. Once again Mister Mind returns to Sivana’s cell, and Sivana immediately grills the caterpillar on where he’s been over the last two years. Mister Mind blames the absence on his own diminutive size causing everything to take longer, and begins to explain his plan. There’s one more thing he needs to do first, he explains, and then bounces, once again leaving Sivana in his cell, alone.

It’s a pretty humorous send-up of the unfulfilled post-credits sequences of “Shazam!” and the villains’ odd absence from its sequel. As it turns out, an early draft of the script had Mister Mind free Doctor Sivana from his cell, but that scene didn’t make it. The writers didn’t want to lose the villains entirely, so they wrote the scene as a joke. We shouldn’t really expect either character to have a major impact in the DCU given the lackluster performance of “Shazam 2,” though hypothetically they could appear in a future cameo or post-credits sequence, or in a villainous team roster.”Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is now in theaters.

Read this next: What These DC Villains Really Look Like Under The Makeup

The post Let’s Talk About Those Shazam! Fury of the Gods Credit Scenes appeared first on /Film.

/Film – Let’s Talk About Those Shazam! Fury Of The Gods Credit Scenes
Author: Jeff Ewing
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March 19, 2023

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