If you’ve seen actor Michael Shannon at work – his Academy Award-nominated role in Revolutionary Road, or his breakout role on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire - you can probably tell that he’s the type of performer who cares more about getting immersed in his process, rather than giving interviews about his process.
MTV recently got to sit down with the actor (who will be starring in the upcoming psychological drama Take Shelter), to talk about playing the villain in a blockbuster comic book movie – specifically a villain who has already been made famous onscreen by acting icon Terrence Stamp, in Richard Donner’s 1980 film, Superman II. Check out what Shannon had to say about the legacy of Zod, and what he’ll be bringing to the role:
Well I’m not going to impersonate Terrence Stamp – I’m mean I’m not going to have a British accent, or anything. I’m still, like, getting my foot into the pool, you know? I just started working on it, and… all I can say is it’s very well-written and there are a lot of great opportunities to reinvent it for myself. The challenge is for me to do that. There’s nothing holding me back, and I think they’re counting on me to give my interpretation, so I’ll do the best I can…being a general – to me that is such a fascinating kind of iconoclastic character. I can’t imagine being a sergeant, let alone a general. He’s in charge of the entire military of Krypton, so that’s going to take every little shred of imagination that I have. So it’s a good challenge because it’s a big distance to have to go.
Shannon no doubt has the same skill to own this role – much the same way that, once upon a time, another skilled actor/rising star named Heath Ledger came along and snatched the iconic role of The Joker from out under Jack Nicholson. However, while quality of acting is a very important topic, there’s something that fanboys and girls get even more excited about – and that’s costume talk!
Previously we posted some Man of Steel set pics that depicted Superman (Henry Cavill), General Swanwick (Harry Lennix) and what looked to be General Zod (Shannon), all on set in costume, with Lennix and the assumed Shannon both wearing motion-capture suits. This small paparazzi shot then sparked endless debate about why Lennix and Shannon’s characters would need mo-cap suits. Our guess was that Gen. Swanwick will wear some version of the Metallo armor featured in Superman: Secret Origin, while Shannon might don the Gen. Zod armor depicted in more recent Superman comics (see below).
In an interview with Moviefone Shannon confirmed one thing: despite doubts from some online fans, it is indeed him we saw in that mo-cap suit.
Said the actor:
“[I]t’s funny because when I met with Zack we were talking about it before it started and he mentioned that there was going to be a lot of CGI… I said, ‘Just don’t make me wear one of those silly suits.’ He said, ‘Oh, yeah, don’t worry, I know exactly what you’re talking about.’ I was like, ‘It’s going to be really hard for me to be intimidating if I have to wear one of those silly suits.’ He said, ‘I totally understand.’ Then I showed up and he’s like, ‘Dude, I swear to God, it’s going to be so badass when we’re done. Trust me, it’s going to be wicked.’”
If Shannon’s costume is some version of the Zod armor, then it indeed will be wicked, this will NOT be your daddy’s General Zod, and (at least in terms of action) we will likely be in for one epic Superman movie. Finally.
The only thing I’ll personally add: I hope the CGI costumes in this film are met with more love than those in Green Lantern - that other DC Movie that followed the CGI costume route…straight to a dead end.
We’ll keep tabs on the development of Man of Steel, but let us know your thoughts about Shannon, mo-cap costumes, and anything else Superman related in the comment section below.
Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14, 2013