The upcoming Shazam! sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2023, and now there’s even more reason to be excited – especially for LGBTQ fans of the brand.
In an interview with a website called Dorkaholics, the film’s screenwriters Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan opened up about their decision to confirm that one of the main characters in the franchise is, in fact, gay, as many had suspected.
“The only new addition for this movie is being a lot more forthright about Pedro being gay,” Gayden admitted. “That was hinted at in the first movie very subtly.”
While he didn’t get into the discussions the screenwriters had with those in charge at DC, it sounds like Gayden and his writing partner faced some blowback regarding their decision.
“I thought it was really important and really, really fought for us including that and bringing that into the fore in this movie,” the writer stated in the interview.
Pedro, portrayed by DJ Cotrona, is the older foster brother to Shazam (Zachary Levi), the main superhero in the film. He is part of the team of good guys in the movie, which sends an important message to young viewers that they can be gay and a superhero – something that hasn’t been seen very often.
No matter how small his role, or how little they mention him being gay, the inclusion is still a significant step forward for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood, especially in the superhero genre which has traditionally lacked diversity.
The first Shazam! movie hinted at Pedro’s sexuality in a scene where the kids were teleported to a strip club. As they left, Pedro remarked, “Not my thing.” The comics never address Pedro’s sexuality, so purists may not love this decision — but things change!
Shazam! Fury of the Gods follows the success of 2019’s Shazam!, which grossed over $360 million at the box office. With the addition of a gay superhero character, the upcoming movie is sure to be a hit with fans of the franchise and LGBTQ audiences alike.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods opens in theaters on March 17.
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