New ‘Man of Steel’ Details: General Zod, Smallville & Sequel Potential

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 24th, 2013 at 12:31 am,

General Zod battles Superman New Man of Steel Details: General Zod, Smallville & Sequel Potential

The June issue of Empire Magazine is out this Thursday, April 25th, and contains a substantial feature on Man of Steel (check out the excellent cover images). To tease some of the content that will be available, Empire Online has been posting snippets from the interviews in the feature, including Michael Shannon discussing his take on General Zod, and director Zack Snyder talking about creating a small-town superhero and whether or not he’s planning a sequel to Man of Steel.

In previous interviews, Shannon has expounded his belief that Zod isn’t a villain in the traditional sense of the word, instead emphasizing the fact that he is a military man who is carrying out his duties in the way he feels is necessary for the protection of his people.

When asked by Empire to compare his own interpretation of the character with that of Terence Stamp in Richard Donner’s 1978 movie, Superman (along with Superman II), Shannon reiterates his earlier statements about making the character more ambiguous:

“Nothing we do in this film will make people forget Terence Stamp, but that wasn’t really what we were going for. As much as I love what Terence Stamp did in that movie, it was kind of opaque. It was impossible to have any empathy with him. It was pure malice. We wanted to break down that wall a little bit, so the audience might think, ‘Yeah, I know what he’s going through.’ It’s not better or worse, it’s just different.

“The key for me is his name’s not Villain Zod, or Monster Zod, it’s General Zod… he takes [his job] seriously. I’m not saying he’s a nice guy, Mr. Green Jeans, but he doesn’t exist just to be mean and give Superman a hard time.”

It will be good to see a comic book villain given a slightly more complex and sympathetic portrayal – though it’s a tricky thing for an actor to pull off when they find themselves in the designated antagonist role. Probably one of the better examples from recent memory is Tom Hiddleston in Thor and The Avengers, whose dilemma of being caught between two worlds will potentially allow for his character to be redeemed in Thor: The Dark World. Having said that, it’s difficult to sympathize with Zod when he’s sending us incredibly creepy glitched-out demands for the return of Kal-El.

Superman and Zod covers for Empire New Man of Steel Details: General Zod, Smallville & Sequel Potential

Since Man of Steel is an origin story, a certain portion of the plot will inevitably be spent in the very literally-named town of Smallville. But despite the humble nature of Clark Kent’s home, it will nonetheless play host to the first major conflict of the movie, also very literally named “The Battle of Smallville.” The location used to stage the Smallville scenes was Plano, Illinois – a small city outside of Aurora. According to Snyder, the mayor of the town even gets a cameo in the movie, perhaps to make up for the heavy fictional destruction that will be inflicted upon it:

“It’s a Western face-off. [Zod and Faora and the rest of the Kryptonian invasion] care very little for Smallville’s iconographic status. We’re being really hard on the town: this battle needed to be dangerous.”

He might be enthusiastic about staging the fight, but Snyder was comparably coy when asked to talk about the possibility of a sequel to Man of Steel, which, if the rumors are to be believed, is already in development at Warner Bros. with David S. Goyer returning to write the screenplay. Considering the fact that Man of Steel needs to earn enough at the box office to cover its $200 million production budget, plus the additional cost of marketing, before it becomes profitable, it’s doubtful that a sequel will be officially confirmed until the numbers are in. From the way that Snyder describes Man of Steel, it sounds like he made it a stand-alone story with sequel potential.

“We didn’t design the movie like Batman [i.e. as a trilogy] but I don’t think anybody would say you design a Superman movie as a one-off.”

If you can’t wait until Man of Steel‘s release to find out what the future holds for Superman, check out our trailer breakdown for a closer look at what’s been revealed about the plot and characters so far, as well as the rumors concerning the introduction another Superman foe - who might well take centre stage if the movie gets a sequel.


Man of Steel is out in theaters on June 14th, 2013.

Source: Empire Online (General Zod, Smallville, sequels)

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. What’s your problem?

    • TROLL
      WTF man what gives you the right to do sh*t like that. Comment about the article not spoilers. Which thank you btw now I know. Ass.

      • I’m done….thanks troll

      • Can we ban this troll please? What the actual hell man! IT’S ON EVERY SITE NOW.

        • ^this badass lol

          • That comment was for troll when he ruined iron man…..but he got banned lol so fk it

      • And now I’ve read it too. Can someone delete the idiot’s comment? And ban his IP too? Must be some drunk 15-year-old…

      • Sorry everybody but Troll is a lying that is not true. won’t give it away but that dose not happen at all

  2. Where do you get your info??

  3. I’m sorry to all the people who had to have Iron Man 3 ruined.. luckily I already knew so I must say it was partially funny to see that comment be the first.

    • This isn’t an Iron Man thread. If you’re sorry, say so when the write up has to do with IM3.

      • I have absolutely no idea why you just said that.

        • @Kryptonic

          Trey M was responding to a post which was banned 30 minutes ago. A screenranter named Troll wrote a spoiler for iron man 3, so Trey M was just apologizing to everyone in regards to that since he already knew the spoiler but felt bad for everyone else since Troll was being a dick

          • I know. But does that mean Trey M has to make his apology at the top of EVERY other thread on the internet that has nothing to do with IM3?????

            Not everyone cares about this third IM3 flick. The spoiler isn’t even that “spoiley” anyway.

            That spoiler is all over the net.

            Seems to me it’s Marvel/Disney who is at fault when it all comes down to it. They need to keep a better lid on things.

            • The spoiler was posted in the comments of THIS news item, even though it has nothing do do with the actual news (Man of Steel).

              • Oh, and Marvel/Disney can’t keep a lid on things when the movie was released in theaters in New Zealand a week ago and hits theaters all over Europe today.

                • I hear you. And I’m sure those who are looking forward to IM3 care enough, just as much as I’d care to hear TOO much about MOS. ( But believe me, there are TONS of MOS spoilers out there, too. )

                  In this regard, the internet is a “minefield.”

                  So offense to any of you guys, Trey M in particular.


                  • NO offense. ( Screen Rant, I LOVE you guys but I hope one day we’ll have the ability to EDIT our comments. )

                    • +1

                      There are many stupid typos in my comments that I somehow didn’t see when I composed them, but that I noticed immediately after hitting the submit button. :D

                      And yes, the internet is indeed a spoiler minefield!

    • IT’s okay. I’ll still be seeing the movie regardless.

  4. I was hoping for some Suicide Squad news. I think if Nolan did a Suicide Squad film it could enhance the new DC united universe thing. He could keep it realistic in a sense but at the same time it could happen in this new universe.

  5. Let’s not feed the troll. I find it ironic that I have another comment waiting for moderation when this loser’s trash just gets put out here. C’mon ScreenRant, ban the troll!

  6. Screen rant

    Please ban the trash that is the troll.

    That is all.

    • @Everyone – Sorry guys. We all know how the internet can be and the fact that the movie opened overseas already isn’t helping control the situation.
      All we can do is remove the comments and ban the user as we find them but you’ll need to notify us via our Contact Us page when it happens so we can address right away.

      Paul Young – Moderator

      • @ Paul and screenrant

        Yeah we all know the Internet but never have had that Happen before but thanks for banning and deleting those comments so other people arnt ruined by it. Thanks

        • Thanks man

      • They can’t contain the troll over at CBM, “FuturePast/PastFuture” because their site doesn’t ban IP addresses, which would be the most effective. I can’t even go on that site anymore now, I refuse to because of that frick.

        • Sad thing is, IM3 isn’t out in the UK until thursday so where has it been released already to have spoilers?

          • Who knows dazz but it doesn’t hit the states till next Friday so

          • There was a midnight screening of it on wednesday 24/4 where I live. In Christchurch, New Zealand. Normal screens started again at 10am wednesday, so alot of people here have seen it.

            I havent tho.

        • @Nick – Yeah, not everybody handles it they way we do. I’m not watching comments 24/7 so occasionally things slip through the cracks. We try to address them as soon as they are brought to our attention or we find them though. If I was to set every comment up to be moderated before it was posted I’d have close to 1000 a day to “approve” lol. I wish that was feasible but realistically it isn’t.

          Paul Young – Moderator

      • Paul young – I too blame the internet.

        Screenrant is by far my favorite website and the SR Underground is one of my top podcasts. On your latest podcast, you talked about people spoiling Oblivion on Twitter and then later in the day, I see that Troll comment that ruins the twist in Iron Man. I don’t blame Screenrant, you can only moderate so fast and the comment was the first on here.

        I do blame the d!ckw@d who posted it. My reaction can be read on my blog and I encourage everyone to use this blog post as a response to trolls in the future.

  7. Ugh… I didn’t read other people’s posts. Man this “Troll” just makes all DC/Nolan fans look bad with all his Bane quotes. At least he has proper spelling though which is a step up from most trolls.


    • It is true, he ruined the film for a lot of us who haven’t seen it.

      • @ Nick

        No, actually he didn’t. Don’t be disappointed.

  9. Thats f***ed up….but I couldn’t help but laugh out loud in class seeing that commenf

    • Im just wondering was your class teaching about something serious like a historical timeline? that would make your comment even funnier to read lol. its funny just reading it now lol

  10. Comment**

  11. Great… looks I looked at the comments 10 seconds too soon. I managed to read the spoiler just before it got deleted. Thanks a bunch to whoever did this…



    • lol

  14. Why do they have to always mention Zack Synder? He has yet to direct one good movie, i’m very interested to see how Zod will play out, in the trailer he failed to look intimidating, all he did was whine. hopefully he will be a bad ass like he is supposed to be

  15. @ everybody

    Don’t give the troll the satisfaction. Go see Iron Man and find out what happens for yourself.

  16. After 10 seasons of Smallville on TV I think yet another Superman origin is a bit much.

    • @ Smallville

      That’s one of my gripes about MOS. Everyone knows about Superman’s origin well enough as they do Batman’s. So Synder’s version is alittle different from Donnor’s film’s, big deal right?

  17. “[Zod and Faora and the rest of the Kryptonian invasion] care very little for Smallville’s iconographic status.”

    If, and I say if, Snyder is saying Smallville has iconographic status on
    Earth by the time of this Smallville battle, then Superman has by then
    established himself as Superman and is indeed accepted by the people.

  18. @ Screen Rant

    Thanks for pulling the comments, true of not, but some measures need to be in place on you end to prevent this type of thing from happening. Perhaps a membership of sorts, so you know who you’re dealing with. I can see something like this happening again for MoS.


    • I agree, there needs to be a membership in place, so that when you do get new members, you can monitor there posts/comments.

    • Auto spell is not my friend!!!!
      Should be ‘or not’
      Should be ‘your end’

      Sorry! :0

  19. I missed the fireworks. I am not sure such a fire can be prevented.
    The best you can do is put the fire out as soon as there is smoke.

    The only protection for a reader may be what I experienced by
    accident which is do not visit a new thread too soon after it
    is published giving time for management to do the clean up.

    Probably only two or three films need such a precaution.
    The trolls aim at the most anticipated for most effect.

  20. It will be very interesting to see what happens when/if Man of Steel is a major hit. Does WB strike while the Superman iron is hot and move forward on a sequel or do they try to do a shared universe thing?

    If the general public responds well to Man of Steel, that will only increase the demand for a sequel and Lex Luthor. WB might go that way since Superman is a big enough character to carry a film franchise on his own.

    • Whatever WB decide on, on their own they don’t have a clue how to go about it and generally spend a long time commissioning scripts and directors only to cancel it in the end. See David Goyer’s Flash, Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman, George Miller’s Justice League, Akiva Goldsman’s Doom Patrol, Neil Gaiman’s Death movie, Peter Segal’s Shazam and Guillermo Del Toro’s Deadman in the long list of dead DC Comics adaptations.

      Unless Zack Snyder can personally direct all of the above(A Man of Steel trilogy itself would be daunting enough for him) Warner Bros seriously needs to get a central leadership in place to oversee future DC projects. And a hell of a lot of filmmaking talent that actually knows and cares about the comics they are adapting.

      Start by floating a ‘DC Films’ label. And dump morons like Jon Peters and Jeff Robinov and get guys like Joel Silver, Michael Uslan, Lauren Schuler Donner, Avi Arad, Thomas Tull and Gregory Noveck as executive producers driving the projects.

  21. Well if you read reviews on they all but confirm what the troll said. And also if it wasn’t true then why would screenrant feel the need to delete his post? Yeah that’s a red flag right here smh

  22. I think even with the costume changes this movie will be epic. A Superman 300 lol. I just wish the yellow shield on the cape would make a come back.. It bugs the crap outta me.

  23. The troll killed it but I saw the midnight opening last night here in NZ and it was a pretty good movie. Solid 7/10.

    Part 1 is still the best one

    • Same. Saw it in Wellington, great film in many aspects. I agree that Iron Man 1 is still the best. RDJ was great, some of his best work.

      • I’m in Auckland. I spoke to a handful of ppl after the movie and they agreed.

        That post credit scene was a nice touch though

  24. I did not like previous Superman movies. This one, however, looks like it has potential, so I am looking forward to it. if they do a sequel, I hope Brainiac is the villain. In the meantime, I would like to see the sequel to Green Lantern, with Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan again (just get a better script and dump the cornball humor and bedroom scenes–we don’t need any of that). There is a perfect set-up with Sinestro against Hal for #2, and despite mouthy critics all jumping on a bandwagon and giving GL#1 a bad rap it did not deserve, there is tremendous potential for a sequel and franchise here, especially if they are truly thinking JLA. With the possible exception of Superman, Green Lantern is actually the most powerful hero in the JLA. Also, let’s get a Flash flick rolling, with Professor Zoom (The Reverse Flash) as the villain.

  25. Snyder doesn’t have a good track record. This film was rushed into production in order for WB to keep the rights. The Zod costume that’s entirely computer generated just reminds me of how bad Green Lantern was. Superman Returns didn’t help either.

    Are hey using Imageworks again? They’re horrible!

    • I’ve got my worries about the costume, but the promo pic that appeared on the recent Empire magazine cover looks good. Let’s hope it was CGI’ed with Iron Man as a reference and not Green Lantern.

  26. As I’ve said before I’d be quite surprised if MoS isn’t everything most of us has hoped for. We’ve been mislead bye trailers and early reviews before but IMO it seems like all systems are go and Superman will take his spot among the top of the cinema heap.
    I can understand the confusion about who to proceed afterwards though.
    Does WB/DC play it safe and go with a MoS sequel?
    Do they go all in and proceed with TJL?
    There’s positive and negative sides to both questions…
    I’ve said all along (as have others) that they should lock down Zack Snyder and keep him in house. Whatever route they take Mr. Snyder has seemed to crafted a very unique style and tone that might get lost with to many other cooks in the kitchen so I really think it’s crucial to keep him involved and with the release of MoS right around the corner and Comic-Con soon after I think we are just on the cusp of great news for us fans.
    End of rant that I hope made sense… ;)

  27. All I will say is that most comments underly the growing dilemma that the Internet brings in finding out about movies, but taking away any sense of awe or suprise that that 1st viewing brings. Can one imagine how spoiled those Star Wars fans would’ve been if the internet had existed circa 1980..

    Back to the relevant subject matter…

    Smallville was without doubt one of the greatest television shows of the noughties. A true landmark series for sure.

    I don’t think a ‘sympathetic’ Zod is necessiraly the right fit. We need a cinematic. pro-actively heroic Superman against a truly villainous, evil force. We can have an emphatic, compelling, scene stealing Zod yes, but we don’t really want to be feeling sorry for him do we?

  28. MoS – General Zod is the main villain, Luthor Corp is introduced
    MoS2 – Braniac is the main villain. Clark Kent faces Luthor as a rival for Lois Lanes affections
    MoS3 – Darkseid is the main villain and sends Doomsday to kill Superman. Luthor reveals Clarks true identity to the world. Superman is killed by Doomsday only to come back to life and defeat Doomsday. Darkseid retreats.
    Justice League; Darkseid is the main villain – using an army to attack Earth

  29. Superman sucks General Zod’s dick