If you thought joining the Fast and Furious franchise was the most unexpected yet brilliant career move from acting legend Helen Mirren, prepare to rethink everything you know. The Academy Award winner has joined the cast of Warner Bros' Shazam sequel (Fury of the Gods), and this no quick cameo drinking a cup of tea, she's only playing the ruddy villain. Dame Helen Mirren will star as Hespera, the God Atlas daughter and likely bringer of the films' subtitled Fury of the Gods. 

The first Shazam was a whole heap of fun; it might have been light-weight by comparison to other DC superhero movies, but Zachary Levi's winning performance with a superb supporting cast made Shazam an enjoyable romp. Aquaman proved that something bright (and a bit out there) could exist in the new DC movies era, and Joker showed us that more grown-up stories could be told while still making a blockbuster box office. I'm still digesting all four hours of the Snyder Cut of Justice League, but the fact that the long-mooted version of Justice League exists at all is a massive achievement. 

I know they don't give out awards for casting decisions, but if they did, then this would surely win the equivalent of a BAFTA. Dame Helen Mirren as the villain in a DC movie, take my money already! After numerous delays, production on Shazam spin-off Black Adam is mere weeks away from starting with star Dwayne Johnson sharing an update on Instagram. In a video released to his fans, Johnson revealed; 

“We are approximately three weeks away from shooting Black Adam and I can’t believe we are at the finish line with this thing. And what a journey it has been. Actually I can believe it considering how hard we’ve worked over the years.”

Jaume Collet-Serra (who also directed Johnson in Disney's delayed Jungle Cruise) calls the shots on Black Adam, and we should expect the inevitable Shazam & Black Adam team-up to be teased relentlessly over the next couple of years. Also starring Rachel Zegler, and once again directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is currently scheduled for release on June 2, 2023.