Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Although most of the kids in the Shazam Family have the same adult counterparts they had in the first movie, Shazam! Fury of the Gods recasts Mary Marvel, the oldest member of the team of Champions. Played by Grace Caroline Currey, the Shazam! sequel features the actress pulling double duty in this new chapter, playing both her non-powered and powered selves. While this wasn’t the case in the first movie, it’s actually a welcome change overall.
Despite her prior intentions to go to college at Caltech, Shazam! Fury of the Gods confirms that Mary chose to stay home and put off her academic plan in light of her new powers and those of her foster siblings. Although Billy Batson (Asher Angel) might be the de facto leader as the original Shazam (Zachary Levi), Mary is very much looked to as the brains of the operation. After all, it’s teased she holds more of the Wisdom of Solomon than any of the others while also being the oldest sister. While this helps explain the recasting, there’s also some canonical reasoning from the comics as well.
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Who Played Mary Marvel In Shazam!
In the first Shazam! movie, actress Michelle Borth played Mary Bromfield’s superpowered adult form while Grace Caroline Currey simply played Mary’s younger self sans abilities. Gaining her powers alongside Freddy Freeman, Eugene Choi, Pedro Peña, and Darla Dudley, the Shazam Family was born thanks to Billy Batson sharing his powers with his foster siblings to help him fight Doctor Sivana and the monstrous Seven Deadly Sins. With all the other Champions receiving their adult superhero forms just like Billy, it initially made sense that Mary would be played by two different actresses just like everyone else on the team.
However, Shazam! Fury of the Gods takes place 2 years after the events of the first film. The kids in the Shazam! sequel are older, though this only really affects Mary and Billy. Because Billy is a few months away from turning 18 and aging out of the foster system, he’s worried about letting go of his new family he’s only had for a short amount of time. Additionally, Mary’s now an adult in her non-powered form, having been 17-18 in the first movie and now 20-21 in Fury of the Gods. As such, it’s logical that Mary’s adult form was recast to have Grace Caroline Currey play both roles.
Shazam 2 Recasting Mary Marvel Fits With DC Comics
It’s also worth noting that Mary Marvel having a single form also fits the comics as well. First seen in issues originally published by Fawcett Comics before becoming integrated into the DC Universe, Mary Marvel’s powers were sourced from a different collection of gods beyond Billy Batson’s (back when Shazam was still known as Captain Marvel). As such, Mary Marvel had the same form regardless of whether her powers were active via the magic word or not, making her unique in comparison to Billy, who always changed into his adult form when becoming a hero.
It certainly seems as though inspiration was taken from the comics when the decision was made for Grace Caroline Currey to play both roles. Given her age, it just makes sense despite Mary’s abilities still coming from the same gods as Billy and the rest of their family in the DCEU. While it does make one wonder if Mary’s new status quo sets a precedent for Billy needing a similar recast with future films (either abandoning Angel or Levi), the transition to adulthood doesn’t have to be that consistent. Perhaps for Billy, the difference will simply be becoming a young adult with Levi still being the older form.
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Will Grace Caroline Currey Play Both Versions Of Mary In A Potential Shazam 3?
Although not officially confirmed, a potential Shazam! 3 could be greenlit depending on the success of Fury of the Gods. If it does, it would be interesting to see if Grace Caroline Currey continues to play Mary Marvel in both forms. While one could argue that Borth could be brought back to have a turn playing both roles as Mary will have become even older by the time a third movie would begin filming, it stands to reason that a new chapter would likely maintain the status quo established in Shazam! Fury of the Gods rather than further confusing the issue.
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