Warner Bros. is making several changes to their upcoming release schedule. It was announced today that Shazam: Fury of the Gods, which stars Zachary Levi as the titular hero will now hit theaters on March 17, 2023. This pushes the film back four months from its original holiday season release date of December 21, 2022. The film is the follow-up to 2019’s Shazam and will be filling the release date of James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom which was moved from its March 17 release to a much later Christmas Day release on December 25, 2023.
While the three-month delay of the Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a sudden change, it isn’t without a few positives that have come out of this move, one being that the superhero picture is no longer competing with Avatar: The Way of Water, which is set to premiere in theaters a week prior to the old release date on December 16. With Shazam! Fury of the Gods also not being so close to the anticipated Avatar follow-up, it also means that the DC film will have access to Imax screenings that would have been taken up by James Cameron‘s sequel. Deadline also notes the success that Matt Reeve‘s The Batman saw this year with a similar March release, opening at $134 million before finalizing at $369.3 million.
In addition to these release date changes, Warner Bros. Discovery has also announced that two films originally announced to be releasing on HBO Max will now be getting theatrical runs. These films are the New Line reboot of House Party directed by Calmatic and produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter as well as Lee Cronin-directed Evil Dead Rise. These films will now release in theaters on December 9, 2022, and April 21, 2023, respectively. These announcements come shortly after major cancellations with the likes of Batgirland Scoob!: Holiday Haunt as well as the widespread removal of animated series from HBO Max due to the merger of the streaming service and Discovery+.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to see many faces from the original film return with Asher Angel once again playing Billy Batson and Zachary Levi playing the titular Shazam. The cast members Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand, with the superhero versions of these characters being played by Adam Brody, Meagan Good, Ross Butler, and D. J. Cotrona. Grace Caroline Currey will also return to play her character from the first film as well as the superhero version of her, replacing Michelle Borth. Along with the returning cast, the film will also introduce new characters played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is currently set to be released in theaters on March 17, 2023.