Who are Hespera and Calypso in ‘Shazam! Fury of the gods ? The Daughters of Atlas, Explained
via DC Films
Billy Batson and his Shazam family (or Shazam fam, or even Shazamily, if you prefer) are back this festive season for Shazam! Fury of the gods, the sequel to the 2019 starter franchise. DC fans may recall that in his origin film, Zachary Levi’s aged superhero battled Mark Strong’s Dr. Sivana and the Seven Deadly Sins. However, the kids will have an even tougher challenge in the sequel, as they’ll battle a few bonafide gods.
As featured in the first trailer, unveiled at Comic-Con, Shazam! 2 will star Helen Mirren as Hespera with Lucy Liu as Kalypso. Although not much has been revealed about them yet, we do know that the couple are demigods and the daughters of the ancient Greek deity Atlas. So what’s the deal with these two Olympian-level threats? Here’s everything we know about these characters in the movie and in classic mythology to boot.
Hespera and Kalypso are new to the DC Universe
Yes, despite the vast gallery of rogue villains the Shazam Family has faced over the decades in the pages of DC Comics, director David F Sandberg and screenwriters Henry Gayden and Christopher Morgan chose to create new enemies for the heroes. of Fury of the gods like Hespera and Kalypso have no counterparts in the source material.
Instead, the pair appear to be very loose adaptations of concepts from Greek legends. Hespera’s name seems to be derived from the Hesperides, aka the Evening Daughters. The child nymphs of Atlas, they were commissioned by Hera to guard her grove of trees which bore golden apples. Their number varies according to the myths, the Hesperides sometimes being up to seven, but originally there were only three.
Kalypso, on the other hand, is probably based on Calypso, another nymph daughter of Atlas but not associated with the Hesperides. Instead, she plays a memorable role in Homer’s Odysseywhich sees her attempt to seduce Odysseus to stay with her on his native island of Ogygia as her immortal husband, but he refuses her and returns home.
Movie buffs may also be familiar with the Calypso of Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in which she is reimagined as a sea goddess, although her romance with Davy Jones may have been inspired by her characterization in The Odyssey.
What we know about them in Shazam! 2
As we only have one full trailer for the film at the time of writing, there is still a lot of mystery about Hespera and Kalypso in Fury of the gods, but we can infer a few things from what’s been revealed so far. For one thing, the two goddesses won’t be amorous nymphs or golden gardeners in the DCEU and will instead be portrayed as fearsome warriors, going through their warlike armor and attitudes.
A glimpse of Hespera’s confrontation with Shazam in the trailer confirms that the pair are going after the heroes as they want to steal the “power of the gods” for themselves. To be fair to them, they have some sort of right to it. The magic word “Shazam” represents the Wisdom of Solomon, the Strength of Hercules, the Endurance of Atlas, the Power of Zeus, the Courage of Achilles and the Speed of Mercury, after all. So these kids run with the abilities of their dad and a bunch of their uncles.
Additionally, we know that Rachel Zegler’s character, currently called Anthea, is Atlas’ third daughter. We discover her in golden armor and use her powers in the trailer. Unlike her sisters, however, she will align herself with the Shazam Family to stop Hespera and Kalypso from taking over the planet with the help of Shazam’s staff (whom we see them nab from a museum in the trailer).
The level of mystery surrounding Anthea indicates she may have a hidden connection to the DC Comics world, with some speculating she could be a version of Wonder Girl. Wonder Woman is a daughter of Zeus herself, remember.
We will know more about the Daughters of the Atlas as we get closer to Shazam! Fury of the gods in theaters December 21.