‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ director praises ‘hardcore’ Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu in 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods'

Image via DC Studios/Warner Bros. Pictures

In just two weeks, Shazam! Fury of the Gods will hit theaters at long last. Bringing a bunch of new deities and artifacts to the table, the long-awaited film is already getting plenty of attention for its wacky plot, and star-studded cast.

Led by Zachary Levi, Shazam! Fury of the Gods follows the events from 2019’s Shazam!. Starring alongside Levi is Lucy Liu, Asher Angel, Rachel Zegler, and of course, Hollywood royalty and everyone’s favorite addition, Dame Helen Mirren. In the role of Hespera, the daughter of Greek God Atlas, Mirren will play a supervillainess who does not shy away from danger. Eager fans have been thoroughly praising the British actress for partaking in the superhero film, but that praise does not limit itself to the audience. Director David F. Sandberg shared with Slashfilm his own thoughts on nabbing Mirren for the cast, expanding on her perseverance and passion for her craft.

“She’s such a trooper. She wanted to do her own stunts and everything and she does a lot of it. We put her on wires and got her up in the air and everything. She’s hardcore.”

Other than receiving compliments for doing her own stunts at 77 years old, Sandberg also let fans on the casting process for one of Hollywood’s biggest household names. “I was surprised because that was sort of our reference of, ‘Oh, someone like Helen Mirren, imagine that.’ So we asked her to sort of just, ‘Okay, we’ll get her ‘no’ and then we’ll move on,’” he said “But she actually said yes, and that affected the rest of the casting as well.” According to the director, Lucy Liu’s casting was also decided upon taking into consideration the powerhouse in their midst, needing to cast someone who could act opposite to Mirren.

“When Helen Mirren said yes, it was like, “Okay, we have to really up our game here and find someone who can act against her.” And then we thought of Lucy Liu, and she said yes as well.

Although Fury of the Gods marks the actress’ first time in a DC film, it is not even close to being her first rodeo when it comes to action films. Since 2017, the actress has been a constant presence in the Fast and Furious saga, where the Oscar-winning actress played Queenie. As of 2023, Mirren can be found in the western series 1923, portraying the role of Cara Dutton alongside Harrison Ford.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods will air in theaters on March 17.

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