Shazam 2 Star Says Every Movie Studio He’s Worked With Cheated Him Out Of Money

On Shazam 2, Djimon Hounsou felt appreciated for one of the first times in his career, noting that usually studios, including Warner Bros., have lowballed him for roles in the past.

By Chad Langen | Published

Djimon Hounsou the wizard shazam 2
Djimon Hounsou in Shazam

Despite having two Oscar nominations and nearly 70 acting credits to his name, Shazam 2 and MCU star Djimon Hounsou regularly feels cheated when it comes to his pay. According to Deadline, whenever the Beninese American actor meets with a studio like Warner Bros. Discovery or Disney to discuss a role, he constantly has to explain why he’s worth more than the initial “lowball” figure he’s presented with. “I have yet to meet the film that paid me fairly,” he told The Guardian.

In addition to Shazam 2, which opened in theaters on Friday, Djimon Hounsou has had prominent roles in dozens of high-profile projects, including Gladiator, Constantine, Blood Diamond, and Eragon. Some of his more recent roles include his performances in Aquaman, Captain Marvel, and A Quiet Place II. Even with such a robust resume, however, Hounsou feels “tremendously cheated” regarding his paychecks and what he brings to each role.

Fortunately, the 58-year-old performer felt respect for starring in Shazam 2 as the wizard who grants Billy Batson his superhero powers. Although he indicated he felt slightly cheated when he first played the character in 2019’s Shazam, Djimon Hounsou said he had a blast with the role. He said he felt a bit more appreciated when it came to playing the character for a second time.

In Shazam 2, Billy and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with their adult superhero alter egos. Meanwhile, a trio of vindictive sorceresses called the Daughters of Atlas arrives on Earth searching for magic stolen from them long ago. This thrusts Shazam and his allies into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of the world.

Djimon Hounsou

Along with Djimon Hounsou, the sequel stars Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D.J. Cotrona, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, Faithe Herman, and Ian Chen. David F. Sanberg, who helmed the previous film, returned to direct Shazam 2. The screenplay was penned by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan.

With Shazam 2 now playing in theaters, Djimon Hounsou is hard at work on several other projects. Later this year, the two-time Oscar nominee will play General Titus in the sci-fi action flick Rebel Moon. Directed by Zack Snyder, the story centers on a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy that is threatened by the armies of a tyrannical regent named Balisarius. Desperate, the colonists dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them make a stand.

Further out, Djimion Hounsou will star in the Neill Blomkamp-directed Gran Turismo, alongside David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet, and Geri Horner. The film is the ultimate wish-fulfillment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a series of Nissan competitions to become a professional race car driver. The movie is based on a true story written by Zach Baylin, Will Dunn, and Jason Hall.

Djimion Hounsou is also set to appear in Alex Parkinson’s Last Breath and the animated feature Ozi – Voice of the Forest. With so many projects in the pipeline, Hounsou has no problem finding work. We hope he’s being compensated fairly for his roles.