Although Shazam and his comic book nemesis, Black Adam, have not yet traded blows in the live-action DC Universe, Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg reveals that the Justice Society of America from Black Adam almost cameoed in the Shazam! sequel.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sandberg was asked about Fury of the Gods‘ mid-credit scene, in which A.R.G.U.S. agents Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee) from The Suicide Squad (2021) and HBO Max’s Peacemaker recruit Shazam (Zachary Levi) to the JSA. According to the director, Harcourt and Economos appearing was a last-minute change, being that heroes from the DC super team were originally going to cameo. “There were supposed to be characters from [Black Adam’s] Justice Society, but that fell apart three days before we were going to roll cameras,” Sandberg said.
What Is the Justice Society of America in Black Adam?
The DCU’s JSA was introduced in Black Adam (2022), featuring the heroes Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell). Appearing in comics two decades before the Justice League did, the DCU’s version of the team is tasked by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the head of A.R.G.U.S., to apprehend Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) after he is freed from a 5,000-year long exile. Eventually, the JSA and Black Adam team up to stop the villain Sabbac from taking over the world, a fight which claimed the life of one JSA member.
Sandberg explained how the film’s entire gas station set, where Shazam meets Harcourt and Economos, was built for the planned JSA scene. “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,” Sandberg shared, adding, “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.'”
Thanks to some calls made by producer Peter Safran, now one of DC Studios’ co-CEOs alongside James Gunn, Holland and Agee signed on so the scene could be salvaged. “Jen Holland and Steve Agee were able to come by on very short notice,” Sandberg explained. “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. So I was just very grateful to get them in there, and it was really cool shooting it because I’m a big fan of Peacemaker.”
Future Peacemaker and Black Adam Projects, Explained
Amanda Waller and the cast of Peacemaker may have a future in the DCU’s future, but one for Black Adam and the JSA is more uncertain. Peacemaker has been renewed for a second season, yet it does not have an official release window. Davis will star in Waller in the interim, another DC series focusing on the A.R.G.U.S. boss in the wake of her crimes and Suicide Squad program being publicly outed during the Peacemaker Season 1 finale.
As for Black Adam and the JSA, back in Nov. 2022, Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia hinted at future plans involving Atom Smasher, but whether this pertained to Fury of the Gods‘ mid-credit scene or other projects is unknown. A month later in Dec. 2022, Johnson released a statement about a pause on future Black Adam projects, which read, “James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling. However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future multiverse chapters.”
Shazam’s DCU Future Depends on the Hero’s Sequel
The first chapter of Gunn and Safran’s revamped DCU is titled “Gods & Monsters,” but no future Shazam! movies have been announced as of writing. Sandberg and Levi have both discussed how the hero’s DCU future hinges on the success of Fury of the Gods, and the movie’s two credit scenes appear to set up new stories for the character. Along with Shazam joining the JSA in the mid-credit scene, Fury of the Gods‘ post-credit scene follows up on Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong) and Mister Mind’s partnership teased in Shazam! (2019).
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now playing in theaters.
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