Shazam! Fury of the Gods' big cameo wasn't a shock last-minute inclusion

Shazam points at something off-screen in front of a dragon in Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Hey, you! Want to be in Shazam! Fury of the Gods with me? (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Full spoilers follow for Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg has revealed that Wonder Woman's unexpected cameo was part of the superhero movie from the get-go.

Speaking exclusively to TechRadar ahead of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) film's release – read our Shazam! Fury of the Gods review if you haven't already – Sandberg explained how Gal Gadot's superhero found her way into the sequel.

From the outset, Sandberg – alongside Shazam! 2 writers Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan – wanted Wonder Woman to make a crowd-pleasing cameo in Fury of the Gods. As Sandberg explained to TechRadar: "No, that [Wonder Woman's appearance] was always in there [the script] from the beginning."

Despite wishing to include Gadot in Shazam's second live-action outing, though, Sandberg was skeptical that Gadot and/or Warner Bros. would agree to include her in the movie. How so? Sandberg had already been burned before – the director previously expecting to land Henry Cavill's Superman for a cameo in 2019's Shazam! before it fell through at the last minute.

A screenshot of Wonder Woman's cameo in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Wonder Woman makes a crowd-pleasing cameo in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

"I had my doubts that it was actually going to happen," Sandberg said. "That was because of what happened with Henry in the first movie, which fell apart and I had to use a stand-in and cut off his head. But yeah, Wonder Woman was always in there, even though I didn't think we'd get Gal."

Wonder Woman's cameo shouldn't come as too big of a surprise, mind you. Like Shazam, the DC superhero – real name Diana Prince – has ties to Greek mythology as she's the daughter of Zeus. Given Shazam's own links to the Greek gods, not to mention the appearance of the antagonistic Daughters of Atlas in Fury of the Gods, Shazam and Wonder Woman seem like a match made in heaven.

Well, from a team-up standpoint, anyway. As Fury of the Gods shows, Shazam – or, rather, the teenage Billy Batson – doesn't stand a chance at actually dating Wonder Woman, even if the film pokes fun at him doing so in an amusing dream sequence earlier in its runtime. As Sandberg revealed, Gadot's appearance in Shazam! 2 was always just a cameo, meaning there was never another script where she featured more prominently.

"Gal never had a bigger part because, you know, we're never going to get her!", Sandberg added. "We went a lot bigger with this movie, but it's still Shazam. It's a bit smaller than other superhero movies, so I was just glad to get her at all. It was like 'Finally, we get to have a DC cameo with an actual actor's head in a movie!'

"That also allowed us to have with the scene with the Wizard's head on Wonder Woman's body to sort of tease people. That's something you can only do if you actually have her show up at the end. Otherwise, people would be p****d off and just walk out of the theater unimpressed."

Unfortunately for Sandberg, and for the movie's cast and extensive crew, Wonder Woman's cameo was surprisingly spoiled ahead of Fury of the Gods' release. A TV spot for the film, which was released last weekend (March 11/12) confirmed her appearance in Shazam! 2 – a reveal that led Sandberg to tweet out a warning to his followers about the spoiler-centric advertisement, plus any other major spoilers that audiences would want to avoid before seeing the film on the big screen.

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It's unclear why Warner Bros. decided to release Wonder Woman's cameo in a TV spot. Maybe the studio's executives were concerned that the forthcoming DCEU film wasn't tracking to perform well at the box office, and thought that revealing Wonder Woman's appearance might make some viewers, who were likely on the fence about seeing it in theaters, head out to their local cinema to see how Diana factors into the plot. 

Either way, it's a fun cameo that gives Gadot some closure on playing the iconic superhero in the DCEU. New DC Studios co-head James Gunn has confirmed (per IGN) that he's spoken to Gadot about potentially appearing in his and Peter Safran's new-look DC Cinematic Universe (DCU), with the DCU's first projects having been revealed in late January.

It's unclear if Gadot will reprise her role as Wonder Woman, however, or if she'll portray someone else. If it's the latter, Fury of the Gods may prove to be one of her final appearances as the popular superhero.

For more DC-based coverage, find out how to watch the DC movies in order. Additionally, read our in-depth Shazam! Fury of the Gods interview with Sandberg, find out which "really good" scene Sandberg was sad to cut, or read about which DCU movies and TV shows we're most excited for.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is in theaters now. Shazam!, which is one of the best superhero movies, in our opinion, is available to stream on HBO Max.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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