During her talk with David F. Sandberg, /Film’s Jenna Bush asked the “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” director about how he created the visual language of the various superpowers featured in the movie, and whether or not the actors themselves knew exactly how it would ultimately look in the final cut of the film. According to Sandberg, the release of the most recent “Doctor Strange” movie sent them back to the drawing board — particularly when it came to figuring out the look and feel of Rachel Zegler’s Anthea, who’s gifted with the ability to manipulate reality through magic. When asked if even he knew exactly how Anthea’s powers would come across on the big screen, Sandberg admitted:
“No, because the powers, especially Anthea’s power — she can rearrange the world — that was something we worked a really long time on. So I didn’t even really know what it was going to look like. It was tricky, because it’s somewhat similar to things we’ve seen in ‘Doctor Strange.’ So it’s like, ‘Oh, we have to do something different. We can’t rip off ‘Doctor Strange.” So it was carefully trying to come up with ways of showing that it’s similar to that. So we didn’t really know what their powers would look like until pretty late in the process.”
Honestly, this doesn’t sound too dissimilar from Marvel’s usual production timeline, where various visual effects-heavy concepts and sequences are only fully completed at the last minute. It must’ve been incredibly peculiar for actors as prolific as Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu to wave their arms around without really knowing what they were actually doing, but clearly they figured it out in the end.
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” strikes theaters on March 17, 2023.