Michael Shannon On Zod in ‘Man of Steel’; Confirms Mo-Cap Costume

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:46 pm,

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.

Of course, ever since he accepted the role of the villainous General Zod in Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman reboot, public exposure has been an expanding area of Shannon’s career.

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).

superman vs zod Michael Shannon On Zod in Man of Steel; Confirms Mo Cap Costume

Will Shannon be wearing the Zod Armor?

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

Sources MTV, Moviefone

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TAGS: superman, superman man of steel

71 Comments

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  1. Sounds good to me!

  2. I’m interested to see why they need cgi on this character. Didn’t he also have a pole with a ball on the end on top of his head? Just how tall is Zod gonna be?

    Really excited for this movie though.

    • I imagine he’s going to be floating above the ground, but I don’t know. Presumably the stick was to tell the actors where his eyes would be.

  3. I need to see a trailer asap!

  4. the FX will be amazing!

  5. CGI costume makes me think he is gonna look like Liam Neeson in Clash of the Titans lol. Would have prefered them to just use a practical costume and just add on special effects where needed. But I shall show patience. It shall be intetesting nonetheless.

  6. Meh

  7. where is everyone getting the Metallo reference for Swanwick? I Thought metallo’s name was John Corben?

    • In the recent Geoff Johns origin reboot, “Superman: Secret Origin” Metallo is actually the name of a metal used for battlesuits worn by U.S. Military personell. Wiki that series and it should explain all, or just click the “Superman Secret Origins” link in the post above.

  8. VFX won’t be good unless ILM does it Sony Imageworks sucks ILM is thousand times better i don’t get why does WB always chooses Sony Imageworks they should give it to ILM!

    • NO, no, no, give it to WETA!!!

      • So far as I know, ILM does their best work when they’re creating mechanical things. Their work on the Transformers series, the Iron man movies, the Terminator movies, etc. best show cases what they’re capable of in that department. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention 2009′s Star Wars. ILM kicks ass.

        WETA, in my opinion, shines the brightest when they’re working on environments and organic life. Avatar and LOTR come to mind here. Oh, I think they also did some work on X-Men 3, which was visually awesome at least. Their work on making Charles and Eric younger was better in 2006 than what was done in 2009′s Wolverine. Heck even JFK looked weird in this year’s Transformers. Maybe it was the 3D.

        • “King Kong” and “Rise of the planet of the Apes” were also WETA. So they make the best artificial beings, and a artificial suit/armor is not far away from that.

  9. /yawn

    I don’t care what CGI they pile on him….he’s STILL Zod which will always be the more boring choice in comparison to a more interesting and unique choice like Darkseid, Brainiac, Doomsday or even Bizarro, Atomic Skull or Metallo.

  10. Shannon is a wicked actor, one of the best parts of an already dope show, Boardwalk Empire.

  11. CGI cosume on Zod? Wow, that´s new. Never heard about it before.

  12. Hmm

  13. Ahh…no black silk dress shirt from the 1980 Superman? Shame.

  14. Why does a nearly invincible being need armor?

    • Because on his home planet of Krypton he was not invincible, and that is where his armor is from, just like Superman’s suit.

    • It could also give him an advantage when he fights Superman.

      By the way, the adornments on the Superman-costumes are looking elvish, didn’t they?

      • It looks like Aquaman’s suit dipped in blue and red paint. It’s so dumb.

  15. Excellent!

  16. Kneel before ZOD
    Oh yeah

  17. I really really really hope they dont screw this up!

  18. The Special Effects on General Zod is going to look alot different than the Original General Zod who used to be played by Terence Stamp

  19. sounds pretty great. cant wait to see the first trailer for this movie. i gotta feeling that this movie is going to be magnificent. we’re counting on you zack.

  20. The Fiora-costume looks cool, but the Superman-costume sans a red belt and the elvish-like adornments are weird. I appreciate though that they leave off the underpants, I’cant take anyone serious who wears them above trousers.

    • You keep saying ELVISH like and I can figure out what your saying. Elvis Like? Evil Like? Please let me know its driving me nuts lol!

      • He’s saying Elvish – as in like what an Elf would wear.

        Elvish like Lord of the Rings style.

        • Yes!

  21. Wow! Michael Shannon will be creating a General Zod for this century and all others that follow. He’s a genius actor and will do for Zod, what Ledger did for the Joker. With Henry Cavill we no have a formidable MAN OF STEEL. He looks even more like The Man Of Tomorrow than that of the comic book page. Amy Adams as Lois Lane? You can’t top that! There are so many brilliant things going on with ” Man Of Steel ” it’s entirely insane. I can only say that this movie will be the most seminal piece of film making of not only 1213, but the whole 21st century as we will know it. Thank God for Chis Nolan and , especially Zack Snyder! In Snyder We Trust!

    • Wow, it’s nice to see someone with something positive to say, but maybe you’re being a little TOO positive.
      And if this movie came out in 1213, then it truly will be the movie of the year!

  22. erik can i get a hit of that kryptonite your smoking on?…man of steel is such a joke it is unreal… dc needs to surrender. man of steel is doomed.

    • I’m sorry about your bout with depression. It’s affecting your sensibilities, especially with all those things that are AWESOME and BEYOND INCREDIBLE, like MAN OF STEEL. Please seek some help and I do hope to see you when Supes takes over the world come 2013! Trust In Snyder and all things will be better….

      • While I don’t necessarily share Solemang’s “doomed” PoV, your gushing fanboiism bordering on being a shill did warrant the pot shot.

        • Yes long after Man of Steel has gone to theaters and left Superman will still be everyones favorite because Man of Steel will probably lack what Superman had.

  23. Swear, every time I hear the news on the new superman it gets awesome!!!!, wanna see the new trailer.

  24. I think Michael Shannon meant to say “iconic”.

    • I think he meant Iconoclastic – Zod being a character who won’t find anything on Earth sacred like Superman does – Zod would tear down human culture while Supes Cherishes it.

      • I suppose you could interpret it that way, although I he does say “…being a general – to me that is such a fascinating kind of iconoclastic character.”
        “A” general, rather than “the” General would suggest he means “iconic”.

        Anyway, he’s a brilliant actor, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt!

  25. Knowing Zack the Hack and WB, they’re going to use the same people that they used for Green Lantern and it’s going to look like ass.

    • Dude, you know nothing. Zero. Nada. Calorie free enchilada. MAN OF STEEL will whip you down. Make a mess of you. Kneel before ZOD! In Snyder We Trust!!!

      • You really do need to tone it down, I’m excited to but you also need to be realistic about the limitations of Hollywood lately.

        I’m a bit more optimistic about the effects here as I’m almost positive they won’t be using the same people. Zack has used Animal Logic in his last few movies and Nolan likes the brits at Double Negative and Framestore. They, and likely ILM, are more likely to do the FX in Man Of Steel. Even if some of the same people do work on it they definitely learned loads off green lantern about what works and what doesn’t so aren’t likely to make the same mistakes.

  26. I just saw Sucker Punch and its one bad-@$$ movie!! Story was OK but when it switches to the fantasy part thats when hell breaks lose!! Bottomline, I cant wait for this Zacks SUPERMAN VERSION!!

    • Sucker Punched sucked a$$, was not bad a$$. The only thing good about it was the CGI.

      • Do you remember what the expectation was for Sucker Punch? I know some people who went to watch it and were disappointed with it. I knew nothing of the plot, so when I popped the dvd in the player and saw the film for myself I was pleased. The story was simple and there wasn’t much to be found in it, but visually it was awesome. Truly, it was. If people were going to see it for anything else, I must’ve missed the hype.

        Anyway, the story reminded me of Shutter Island. But this movie is more about attractive women and awesome action scenes than cinematography and build up like the latter.

  27. I’m losing more and more interest in this movie Snyder is destroying a world icon

  28. It all sounds good,sorry for disagreeing with the Marvel fanboys,are you guys scared or something.Oh I forgot it’s Superman,he makes people s*** their pants and Zod makes them kneel in it.

  29. What Superman needs, and what he is never going to get, is an established movie with a NEW villain that truly pushes him to his limits.

    Why can’t we see an established Superman? Is his origin story so very nuanced that it needs to be retold every few years just so people know who he is?

    Why can’t we see a new villain? Are Darkseid, Braniac, Doomsday, etc. just too unbelievable to be villains for a super solar powered alien orphan?

    In the end this will be another Superman movie that leads to nothing…there will be no sequel and in another 5 years or so we’ll get Superman the reboot again, with another origin story and Lex Luthor again.

    I know what besides Kryptonite can kill the Man of Steel – Hollywood.

    • Actually….there haven’t been ANY movies of Superman’s origins since the original with Christopher Reeve. Smallville was just a TV show, and the origin was ten years ago.

      I think with Nolans input and Snyders vision, MOS has the potential to be very good, maybe even great.

      • I love how you see the need to mention Nolan – I mean I agree, clearly Snyder on his own is not capable of making a great movie, but Nolan had input on the very beginning of this project & then hands-off because this is NOT his movie, DKR is his movie.

        Since Nolan’s input there have been rewrites, changes, casting, etc. So how much of Nolan’s 15 minute input do you think still exists in this film?

        And more importantly, how much of Snyder’s stank is all over it?

        • KNEEL BEFORE SYNDER!! You have no faith. MAN OF STEEL WILL fix you right. In Snyder We Trust!!!

          • Dude, get a life and lay off the Kool-Aid.

        • What movie doesn’t go through rewrites and casting? The fact that Nolan had some input in the beginning gives some hope that the story has the potential to be epic. It’s clear you don’t like Snyder, but the truth is he has a distinct visual style that can fit very well with this type of movie. Between Nolan’s input (we’ll see in 2013 what that was) and Snyder’s prowess with the visual, this movie has POTENTIAL to be very good maybe great.

          And nice deflect from your previous post about the nonsense of seeing Supes orgins “every few years” and baseless rant about Zod being in this film. There HAVE NOT been any Superman films with these elements since 1980. I think 30 years is enough time for a reboot.