Shazam! Fury of the Gods picks up a few years after the events of Shazam! Billy has settled into his home with his family and is fighting crime with his siblings as their adult superhero alter egos, with varying degrees of success. As Billy grapples with his superhero identity as he rapidly approaches his eighteenth birthday, a dangerous new enemy threatens everyone he loves. Targeted by the Daughters of Atlas because of their powers, Billy and his Shazamily must find a way to defeat the terrifying adversaries and stop them from unleashing a potentially world-ending weapon.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods features an impressive returning cast led by Zachary Levi, Adam Brody, Meagan Good, Ross Butler, Grace Caroline Currey, D.J. Cotrona, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Marta Milans The Daughters of Atlas are played by superstar actresses Lucy Liu, Rachel Zegler, and Helen Mirren. David F. Sandberg returns as the director of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, with a screenplay penned by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan
Screen Rant spoke with Marta Milans about reprising her role as Rosa Vásquez, the foster mother of the Shazamily, in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Milans discussed how the family has grown since the first Shazam, and how the Shazamily is the emotional core of the movie. She also shared her excitement to collaborate with Zachary Levi and revealed what she would like to see in a third Shazam.
Marta Milans on Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Screen Rant: Amazing job on Shazam! Fury of the Gods. I absolutely love this movie! This one has so much emotion and heart in it, and you’re at the center of that. How has the family evolved since the first Shazam film?
Marta Milans: Well, all kids have grown up a lot, as you see, and because we had to wait around for COVID to be over and try to shoot as soon as possible when we were delayed by at least a couple of years. Especially Darla; Faith just grew up so fast. And in the second movie, she went from being a little adorable cupcake to being a preteen. I kept saying, “Don’t grow up. Don’t grow up.” But it’s a law of life, and they’re all equally lovely, just almost adults. I want time to stop.
How does Rosa react to learning the truth about her kids?
Marta Milans: Obviously, mothers know everything, but I guess Rosa did not expect to find out that all her kids are superheroes. I think it did come a little bit as a surprise, but she knows the strength and the amazingness that each child has. So in a way, she just adapts to it so quickly as you see. They’re getting chased by a dragon, and she finds out the kids are superheroes, and she’s like, “Cool, let’s just roll with it. I’m just going to be with my kids and make sure that my kids don’t get eaten by a dragon, and make sure that Billy is okay.” I think she pretty much rolls with this.
In this film, there’s a lot of emotional moments in this film that really got me a little choked up. Were you surprised at all when you read this script about the emotional beats that were happening in Shazam! Fury of the Gods?
Marta Milans: I was so pleasantly surprised. I burst into tears when I read the scene on the rooftop when she finally hears her son call her mom. “I love you, mom,” which is just so beautiful. And I called Henry, our writer, and I thanked him because if you really think about it, the reason I think behind the success of the first Shazam into the second one is the heart behind the family unit. And she represents all of that.
On top of that, to have been gifted a scene in which she gets to say the most beautiful thing you’re can say to a child who thinks he’s going to lose his home again, who lost his mom one time, who found a new mom and thinks he’s going to lose her again because he’s going to turn 18. And all she says to him, holding his face is, “You will never grow out of your home. I will always be your mom.” To transmit that to a child and have him know that in his heart, which is why he calls her mom and says, “I love you, mom,” it’s beautiful.
And I’m just lucky that I got to play that part and inspire so many kids out there when they see the movie, that’s why I’m so, so much looking forward for it to come out. Because you imagine for all those kids out there that don’t come from stable homes, that don’t come from healthy environments at home or broken homes or not good biological homes. To see themselves reflected in a movie like this and know that it’s possible that there are Mama Rosas out there in the world, talk about a good positive message to society.
That’s what I love about this film probably more than anything else. Obviously it’s a spectacle and a superhero movie, but the emotional core of this film is really grounded.
Marta Milans: It really is. And I think it’s the key, it’s amazing to be part of huge superhero movies in this category, of this size, of all these special effects, of all these CGI moments and all these flying dragons and all that stuff has been amazing. But to be sitting on a script that’s been so well-written and so well-conveyed, and all the characters well-explored, all the storylines well-adapted. I feel it’s not a coincidence that the sequel ends up being better than the first one, which normally doesn’t happen. And we have to thank that to our writer. He is brilliant.
You guys bring those characters to life in such an amazing way. I love that we see two different representations of family in this film, with the Daughters of Atlas being blood relatives versus the Shazamily, which is a foster family. Can you talk about the Shazamily’s bond and why it’s important to include that representation?
Marta Milans: I hadn’t thought about that. It’s so interesting. I think it’s crucial because, like I said, the foster care program is not well-discussed, and it’s not on the mainstream conversations of society in North America or my country for that matter. And to bring that up in a movie of this size and normalize it and have all these little different walks of lives with different ethnicities, different races, different handicaps, different special needs, all these kinds of things being brought together under a beautiful home of love that is not necessarily biological, but it’s chosen family.
And to see that their reality, and you believe it in the first movie, and you believe it in the second movie, you believe that this family loves one another, and they live together and that Mama Rosa and top of it to bring all those kids together. It’s believable. And I think because it’s so believable and truthful it resonates in people and people gravitate towards that. And I think it’s truly inspiring, and it’s important. It’s important to show that inclusivity in superhero movies, so it is not so alien to what people can relate to. And I feel like doing that, the movie does that really well, both the first one and the second one.
I want to expand on that a little bit because your character was a foster kid herself. How does that affect her parenting technique, especially as the kids age out of the foster system?
Marta Milans: Well, I think I find it heartbreaking that the foster system works the way it does. You’re turning 18, you’re out, you’re on your own. When in my country, definitely when you’re 18, you’re not an adult. You still live with your parents, you still live at home, you still have very much a bond with your family. So to see that that is not the case in the foster system, I think it’s important that we talk about it in the sequel because the actors grew up fast, and we had to wait for COVID to be over, so the kids were old. We had to include that in the story.
They were about to age out of their home. And like I said, going back to the scene in the rooftop when she addresses that. That doesn’t mean that you have to leave. That doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you’re on your own. Family is family and will always be family, whether it’s basically in the same place, or maybe it’s not in the same place, but you’ve found your family.
And the meaning of that has to permeate forever in their hearts for these kids. Imagine if you’ve been jumping from one place to another where there’s no bond tying you in an emotional way to that home, to then find one that even if you grow out of it, specifically because you’re turning 18, you’re 20 or whatever, you have to move on somewhere else, but you’ve found your family and the family will be forever there for you. I think it’s important to convey that message.
I couldn’t agree with you more. We finally see Rosa interact with Billy as Shazam in the movie. Can you talk to me about working with Zachary Levi and how Rosa feels about seeing Billy as an adult superhero?
Marta Milans: Well, she still sees him as for Billy. Obviously she sees him in this fancy flashy costume. She goes, “Ah, get out of that. I want to see my Billy.” She says that multiple times. Working with Zack is a dream come true. I still call him my son. We’ll be walking down the street, and people talk to us, and I’ll say, “Oh, he is my son.” And people are like, “What? What?” “My foster son. My foster son.” He’s a big kid with the hugest heart, which is why he’s so impeccable off in the role.
And he’s brought the entire sets together. He’s held the tone both in the first movie and in the second movie in the most gracious way which, as you know, it’s not eating in sets of the size. It’s sometimes hard to keep the gel together and keep everyone bonding and feeling comfortable. And he’s been a master of that. And we’re also grateful to him for just making it so much fun. So I’m hoping that there will be more Shazamily to explore in the future.
I feel like this fits perfectly with what James Gunn wants to do, and it could carry on to the new DCU. Rosa has such a unique relationship with their kids, but can you talk to me about cultivating that relationship and chemistry with them?
Marta Milans: Oh my God, absolutely. In the first movie, we arrived in Toronto a few weeks before starting to shoot, and I was adamant about meeting the kids personally, each one of them and exploring their background as a character individually. So I had a session with each one of them talking about what their favorite color was and what kind of Play-Doh they wanted to play with when they were little, and things like that. So by the time I’m doing pancake sessions at home and movie outings together, just me and the kids as Marta and the kids.
So then by the time we started filming, and we showed up on set, and they were all clinging to my arm, calling me, Mama Rosa this and Mama Rosa that, and singing songs together. And the producers looked around thinking, “Did you guys know each other from before?” Because if you think about it, no matter how talented a child actor can be, it’s still a child, right? And I don’t think it’s humanly possible to convey familiarity on screen if you don’t have it for real. If I’m hugging your child, and you don’t believe that I’ve hugged that child a hundred times before, you’re going to tell, you can see that on the screen.
Whereas if you practice that and if you create that before, by the time you see it on screen it’s truthful, and you think, “Oh wow, this is a family.” So that’s the way I work. I think, I love working with children. I gravitate towards children always, and I think part of the reason I got this role is because of that. And I think it was very important to have that groundness and that sense of familiarity between us before starting to shoot. So by the time we did it was all natural. And then obviously that related very well into the sequel because we are really Shazamily to the effect.
If there is a Shazam 3, which I’m definitely hoping there is, how would you like to see Rosa grow? And are there any other DC heroes you’d like to see the Shazamily interact with in the future?
Marta Milans: I got to fly in the sequel. Sadly that scene didn’t make the cut, so that was kind of a bummer. I hope that there will be more flying moments, hopefully. And definitely some interactions with Batman. I have got to get into that bad mobile and drive it.
Did you say that you got to fly and it got cut?
Marta Milans: Yes. I flew with some assistance. I won’t spoil it, but that ended up not making it. Sadly, it didn’t really add to the scene, which is a bummer, but at least I got to film it. I’m going to talk to David and be like, “Hey, let’s make sure that Mama Rosa actually gets to fly on screen on the third one.”
About Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Billy Batson and his foster family continue to fight crime as their adult superhero alter egos. However, powerful new enemies, the daughters of Atlas, target Billy and his family because of their powers. The Shazamily must work together once again to save the world from this dangerous and potentially world-ending threat.
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