What Shazam 3 Should Be About (If James Gunn Doesn’t Shelve It)

The central themes of the two “Shazam!” films to date have been about found families. Billy Batson (Asher Angel) was a troubled teen in the foster care system, constantly running away and determined to find his birth mother. At the beginning of the first “Shazam!”, Billy was placed with a large family populated by other foster siblings, but he had been rejected by so many families in the past that he felt his time there was temporary. When a wizard gives him the ability to transform into a superhero, occupying an adult body, he finds he is more easily able to relate to his brother, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer). While Billy’s first impulse as an adult is to merely buy beers, he eventually comes to realize that doing flashy lightning tricks and flying can be used for righteousness. By the film’s end, not only has Billy matured as a hero, but he has shared his powers with his siblings, creating a family of Shazams that can fight villainy together. 

In “Fury of the Gods,” Billy’s anxiety remains as he is about to turn 18 and will age out of the foster system. There’s no reason for him to believe that his family will kick him out, but he is anxious about the possibility nonetheless. Meanwhile, he and his siblings, superheroes all, are learning to be better heroes. Billy’s found family find themselves facing off against three sisters, the goddess daughters of Atlas, who want to take back Billy’s powers for themselves. Prior to “Shazam!”, they were the powers’ rightful owners. One side has a caring family, while the other is ripe for villainy and betrayal. There’s no guessing which family will prove stronger. 

(As Vin Diesel said, it’s all about family.)

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