Chances are, if you've already seen the first Shazam! movie (and if you haven't, you should go do that right now!), there was one burning question on your mind the moment trailers and details started dropping for Shazam! Fury of the Gods: “Wait, what happened to Dr. Sivana and Mister Mind?”
If you need a refresher, Shazam! ended with Billy and his friends managing to stop Sivana and send him to an institution where he would, presumably, spend the rest of his life unable to pull off anymore megalomaniacal schemes. However, in a mid-credits scene, we learned that Sivana had actually caught the attention of another super-villain—a tiny, talking worm who was able to infiltrate Sivana's cell and make a few ominous sounding promises for future plans. For the uninitiated, this may have seemed like a bizarre turn of events, but DC fans in the know were quick to recognize the little worm as none other than Mister Mind, a villain who may not look like much, but is actually a devastatingly dangerous threat to the universe at large.
You know what they say about never judging a book by its cover.
The implication of the scene was clear: Sivana and Mind were headed for a team-up. Yet, in Fury of the Gods, both seem to be missing in action while the Daughters of Atlas run amok. But, thankfully, there's a method to the madness and a reason for the choice according to director David F. Sandberg, who gave us the inside scoop on just why Sivana and Mind's scheming took a back seat for the sequel.
"We actually started out (with Mind and Sivana)," Sandberg explains. "We started down the path of following the comics, specifically the New 52, which we followed pretty closely in the first movie. But the later comics start going into all these different types of worlds with the doors, and it becomes a fantasy-type story. So, we talked about going down that path—we even talked about maybe sending them to Animal Land and that being a way to bring in Tawny. But it didn't feel right, because I think what was so good about the first movie was the way it was a fantastical thing happening in a grounded world. And if you have a fantastical thing happening in a fantastical place, it's just a fantasy. I'm not a big fan of that. So that's where we scrapped the idea and started over for something more focused on the gods and Shazam's powers."
Sandberg is referencing the Seven Magic Lands arc of the Shazam comics, published during the Rebirth era. Tawny is, of course, Shazam's talking anthropomorphic tiger pal.
"At first, we thought we'd continue Mister Mind and Sivana, so they would be the ones bringing the gods to this world, since Mister Mind has this big plan,” Sandberg elaborates. “But that wound up just being too much story to tell. Even without Mind and Sivana, the movie is still like, two hours and ten minutes long so we had (to make some choices.)"
But never fear, Mind-fans, Sandberg assured that he and Sivana are still very much in the picture.
"He's still working on something," he jokes, "It just takes some time."
What sort of things can someone like Mister Mind do, you may wonder? The list is surprisingly long, for a villain so small. Mind is a worm from Venus with powers including telepathy, possession, image projection and flat-out mind control. He's also able to clone himself using hosts, like a parasite. It all gets pretty disgusting, pretty quickly. More than once, he's also piloted himself around in a sort of mech-suit for worms, or transformed into a giant kaiju-like monster.
Of course, we don't actually know what Mind might be cooking up for Billy and his family in the movie universe. We don't even know what he's got planned for Sivana just yet—but rest assured, the two of them are a dangerous combination. While they may still be keeping a low profile for now, they're definitely not down and out just yet.
Meanwhile, you can catch Billy, Freddy, Mary, Darla, Pedro and Eugene facing off against the Daughters of Atlas in Shazam! Fury of the Gods when it hits theaters on March 17. Just make sure to keep your eye out for any tiny, suspicious insects when you do. You never know where evil worms might be lurking.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods, starring Zachary Levi and directed by David F. Sandberg, hits theaters March 17th. Visit our official Shazam! Fury of the Gods page to buy tickets and catch up on all of the latest news, trailers and more!
Mason Downey writes about comics, movies and superhero history for DC.com. Look for more of his work on GameSpot, IGN and Polygon and follow him on Twitter at @rustypolished.