Dame Helen will tackle her first superhero movie when she takes on the role of the villainous Hespera, daughter of the god Atlas, in DC Comics sequel to Shazam!

The 75-year-old Oscar-winner will star alongside leading man Zachary Levi and newcomer Rachel Zegler in Shazam! Fury Of The Gods, the follow-up to the 2019 superhero comedy about a teenager who is transformed into a superhero.

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Watch our interview with Shazam! star Zachary Levi

Zegler, who will also star in Steven Spielberg's upcoming adaptation of West Side Story later this year, tweeted her delight at the news of Mirren's casting, saying: "I'M GONNA BE IN A MOVIE WITH HELEN MIRREN?????"

The first Shazam! film was a global box office hit, grossing $366m worldwide.

David F Sandberg will return to direct the sequel and he marked Mirren’s casting by tweeting, "Awesome cast getting awesomer".

A film based on Shazam! villain Black Adam is also in development, with Dwayne Johnson in the starring role.