Michael Shannon Talks Zod & Superman ‘Man of Steel’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:46 pm,

It’s only been three days since Warner Bros. announced the casting of Michael Shannon as iconic General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Superman film, Man of Steel and discussion about the actor, as well as the inclusion of Zod as an antagonist, has yet to simmer down.

On Sunday night, Shannon was honored with the 2011 Emerging Master Award at the RiverRun International Film Festival. While the actor graciously discussed acting in general, he also took the opportunity to address how he landed the role of Zod – as well as his thoughts on the upcoming Man of Steel reimagining.

Yesterday, Screen Rant’s own Kofi Outlaw posted a thoughtful editorial regarding why Zod is a good villain for Snyder’s Man of Steel film by asserting that the power-hugry Kryptonian could provide an interesting duality set against Superman’s love for mankind – as well as provide the basis for the epic Superman battles fans have waited years to see on the big screen.

For those unfamiliar with Shannon’s prior work, the RiverRun interview might give you pause about the future Zod but, despite his nonchalance about the casting process, there’s no question that the actor will be able to capture the intelligence and brutality of the wayward Kryptonian.

Check out the video of Shannon discussing his Man of Steel experience so far:

RiverRun highlights an especially entertaining quote from Shannon where the actor discusses his first meeting with Snyder:

“So I go meet him [Zack Snyder] and he’s seriously sitting there and he’s telling me – he’s like ‘You can’t read the script, so I’m just gonna tell you what happens.’ And he spent like a half hour telling me every scene in this movie… and then it’s a month later, it’s like ‘OK, you’re General Zod.”

As mentioned, some fans who don’t have much experience with Michael Shannon could be put-off by the interview but it’s not fair to judge the actor’s future performance by simply watching the guy marvel at the surreal experience of being cast in a Superman film. Not to mention the fact, Shannon wasn’t at RiverRun promoting the film, he was there to discuss acting – and to be engaging for the festival attendees.

Most importantly, Shannon appears to appreciate the history of the franchise (yes he has seen Superman II) – as well as the difficulty that star Henry Cavill will face in bringing both Clark Kent and Superman to life in a real and compelling performance.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know what you think of Michael Shannon as Zod.

The Man of Steel will battle general Zod in theaters during the 2012 holiday season. As always we’ll keep you updated on the film’s development.

Source: RiverRun International Film Festival [via /Film]

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    Sorry Ben, but after all the recent ZOD uproar…I simply couldn’t resist. 😉

    • Don’t worry, I’m not posting on any more Superman threads.

      • There was much rejoicing.

      • That’s a shame, Doc…

      • I would rather you did keep posting on Superman threads. Your thoughts are always interesting.

  2. I have faith that Shannon will do the part justice.

  3. you’re right Ben the video is a little offputting especially if they’re trying to instill confidence in us about this guy

  4. Okay…rewind.
    I would like to say first off that the “Lets get ready to rumble” post was just an attempt at humor, not to inflame the situation or start any arguments. The thing I appreciate about this site, and why I visit it almost daily is that it allows us guys to discuss, or even debate on our opinions of a movie/ T.V. show.
    There’s simply no reason that can’t be accomplished without disintegrating into a shoving match. A lot of the “regular” posters that hang around SR are well informed, but strongly opinionated types~ myself included. But it would be wise to remember that it is clearly stated in this house that the request of the host is that there are : No profanity or personal attacks.
    It’s okay to be passionate guys, but to take someone else’s views and turn them into fodder for a catfight isn’t ever going to benefit any of us.
    Agree to disagree, but for cripes sakes…don’t take it personal.

    Now back to our scheduled program.

    • I thought it was humorous, the Monty Python quote was also an “attempt” at humor, I attempt humor often but fail frequently.

  5. The funny thing is, its done, it is what it is, and thats all it can be now. So Shannon, weather we like him for Zod or not, is Zod, and the villain is Zod so again we have what we have, no going back now. So once again we need to sit back and see what comes from it , im pretty sure we will end up seeing something in time for comic con

    • I think we all just debate in the hopes our point might be proven, but I honestly do admit when I am wrong, so it’s all in good fun.

  6. Wouldn’t it be hysterical if they found out that a “ZOD” was actually a Kyptonian side effect of acne?

    • lolwut?

  7. If anyone is still doubtful they should check out Boardwalk Empire and Revolutionary Road. The Guy’s a monster, figuratively speaking of course :)
    I could def see him getting under Superman’s skin as Zod.

    • I don’t think anyone is doubting Shannon’s ability,just the idea of rehashing Zod.

      • I think they have a different story to tell else they could’ve used other villains. Though who knows casting isn’t over so Zod could have company.

  8. I wonder if any press has actually asked Snyder why he specifically said, “no zod in man of steel” instead of just saying “You’ll have to wait and see” like nolan often does. (i know, the “nolan card”)

    were there rewrites? was he telling the truth at the time? was he purposely misleading/lying? just curious.

    I’m dissappointed in the selection of zod, but shannon has a natural larcenous and chaotic manner that will certainly give zod a new spin. I hope they go a different route with zod, much like Gul Dukat in DS9, he didn’t believe he was a villain, he believed he was righteous in his actions, and that made him more dangerous than ever. Like kofi said, he’d be more like a dictator.

    • guess it was to throw us off. Or maybe they changed villains idk.

    • I commented on that on Twitter. I understand not wanting to divulge plot points but telling people outright that “the internet doesn’t know what it’s talking about” and then what “the internet” said turns out to be true is a pretty crappy thing to do IMHO.


      • Tt was crappy, and not easy to forgive without an explanation.

        • Zack Snyder has been on my jerk radar since his comment about Thor. Where is the mutual comic book movie respect? Or just the respect for Kenneth Branagh? But Jerks often times make good movies.

          • Wasn’t the Thor incident discussed here a while back? He was just saying you have B and C list superheroes running around onscreen (Iron man, Thor, Cap) while one of the greatest (Superman) is MIA.

            • I wasn’t in that discussion.
              The way he said “Thor has a movie?” looks like an insult to me, but I could be wrong. I mean, you really don’t know and you are in the movie business? Idk, again I could be wrong.

              • It’s not that he didn’t know about the Thor movie, what he said regarding Thor was exactly as I said, B and C list heroes are coming to the big screen while the king of all superheroes doesn’t have proper representation onscreen. In other words “Thor has a movie?Really? And where’s Superman?”

  9. Who would’ve thought the Kangaroo Jack villain would become Zod when I was watching it ten years or however long ago it was haha? 😛

    • OMG! That was the first film I thought of when he was announced as Zod. It would be disappointing if they had a CGI Superdog that he was obsessing about in Man of Steel.

      • Haha I always find it cool when you see actors in movie roles and don’t think twice about them, then later on they go on to be in big roles like this and you suddenly remember them from those smaller roles 😛

  10. Michael Shannon should have been cast to replace Heath Ledger as The Joker… He is the only one who could have most probably pulled it off. Nolan nevertheless decided to go a different direction, and not include a ”physical” (’cause his aura will definitely be present) Joker in The Dark Knight Rises. Now, Shannon is cast as the villain in a film being produced by Nolan. It’s funny, but equally exciting…! Have you seen him in Willian -The Exorcist- Friedkin’s ”Bug”…? Man, how convincing was he there…!

    • If anyone looks like Ledger and has the chops to replace Ledger, that would be Joseph Gordon Levitt. You put pics of them together you’ll see that they are almost identical. One is a bit thinner and taller but other than that…yeah.

      • Yes, they look a lot alike… But I’m mainly talking about the potential I see in Shannon of grasping the essence of the character…

  11. I don’t know if anyone can play Zod as well as Terrence Stamp did. But I guess we can give Shannon a try.

    It is good to have superman face another super-powered villain again.

    I find that 20th Century Fox seems to be generous with giving out information on Superman. I know some people don’t like spoilers, but I kind of eat them up. Normally for me it doesn’t bother my enjoyment of the movie.

    I wonder how they are going to introduce Zod in this movie series since it is not a sequel, but a reboot. It ought to be an interesting movie.

    • 20th Century Fox?

  12. YEAH RIGHT 20TH CENTURY FOX….. They wish. Shannon looks like a creepy dude, Im willing to give him a chance. Either way, we are finally going to see an improvement in the Superman movies, even if this paves the way for an even better sequel. As long as they bring back that NUCLEAR MAN from Superman IV and LENNY LUTHOR reprised by Jon Cryer! lol I kid I kid

  13. One thing that caught my attention was when he was commenting how he must be on an acid trip while there with Snyder, and he pointed out two particular things (not an EXACT quotation): Over there, you see the Rose Bowl, and then, over here, are hummingbirds.

    I just found these particular details amusing and interesting to note…It made me even happier he’s been brought on board.

  14. wasnt NUCLEAR MAN played by FABIO? no no no, I think he was played by that guy who plays the RED KNIGHT at MIDEVIL TIMES. Anyways, I think Shanon is gonna be a great ZOD! He’s great at being really disturbing and he has that creepy factor. But if they really wanted to go for the ultamite creepy/phyco/disturbed factor, they coulda nabbed JOAKIM PHEONIX! I think he needs a job no?

  15. He’s funny but at the same time intimidating. Besides Zod, he could have also been the Joker