Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
Although it had been given away by marketing prior to the film’s release, audiences were still given a “Wonder”-ful surprise when viewing Shazam! Fury of the Gods on opening weekend, when a very special guest star appeared to help out Zachary Levi and his team of superheroes.
Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince in the film, playing a pivotal role in its finale, in what could well be her final appearance as the character. The appearance of the star was a pleasant surprise on another layer, after what had happened during the original film.
When Wonder Woman 3 was officially cancelled by Warner Bros. after the takeover by James Gunn and Peter Safran, it was thought that Gadot’s time as the character had ended. However, Gunn responded to fans online asking where they had gotten the concrete information that Gadot had been removed from DC Studios, which has now been confirmed as untrue – for the time being – with her appearance.
The first Shazam! film had featured a brief cameo from Superman, but it was a stand-in rather than Henry Cavill who is less likely to appear as Clark Kent now given everything that has happened recently between DC, Warner Bros. and himself.
Given the somewhat disappointing nature of expecting a big name cameo, only to be given a mere tease, the movie’s director David F. Sandberg spoke with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, explaining that Cavill was always meant to be in the film, but it fell apart at the last moment. “I mean, the funny thing was, in the first movie we were gonna have Henry [Cavill] show up as Superman,” he said, adding:
“Then, when we were shooting that scene, they were like, “Well, Henry is not gonna make it on this day, so we’ll shoot it with a stand-in and then we’ll have to pick up his coverage later on.” It’s like, “Okay…” So, we shot it like that, and then the Henry thing fell apart and we couldn’t do it. So we had to just use the stand-in footage, and that’s why it ends before you see his face.”
For Fury of the Gods, however, things went slightly differently. With Wonder Woman written into the script, Sandberg could be forgiven for assuming bad luck would befall him once more, despite the plot of the film – involving Greek gods and mythology – lending itself heavily to a cameo from the Warrior Princess from Themyscira. Fortunately for Sandberg, Gadot was able to shoot her cameo – albeit, he was directing remotely – and it even allowed them to joke at the Cavill non-cameo at the same time.
It’s like, “I don’t believe it’s gonna happen.” And then, when we were shooting that scene, or the majority of it, it was the same thing, like, “Oh, you’re gonna have to shoot with a stand-in and then we’ll pick her pieces up because she’s not gonna make it here to Atlanta at this time.” It’s like, “Sure. Yeah.” So that’s when I started thinking, “Okay, so when we don’t get her, how do we solve it?” Because it’s such a big– we have to have it in the movie. So I was like, “Okay, we need some other god then, I guess. Can we have [Helen Mirren’s] character actually survive? It’s gonna be so lame if she shows up.” But that was sort of my Plan But then it actually happened and we were actually able to shoot with her, which made me very happy. Because, I mean, we poke fun at the headless cameo in this movie, and we could not have done that if she didn’t actually show up at the end, I think, because people would have just been so pissed off.
For now, it remains to be seen if this will be Gadot’s swansong as Diana Prince. To see her, head to theaters now to check out Shazam! Fury of the Gods. For more on the film, here’s Sandberg explaining why you should see Shazam! Fury of the Gods in IMAX.