As soon as it was announced that Henry Cavill had won the title role in director Zack Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel, speculation immediately turned toward who might fill out the supporting cast. While some fans have been fixated on who could play Lois Lane, a bigger question has loomed ever since the Superman reboot was announced – who exactly would the big blue Boy Scout be squaring off against in the film?
A common complaint leveled against Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns was that there was an over-abundance of angst, but not a whole lot of action. Many seemed to believe that part of the problem was the decision to use Lex Luthor as the main villain once again. As iconic a foe as Luthor is, fans have been ready to see a Superman movie that features a more physically imposing adversary. If you’re one of them – it looks like you may finally be getting your wish.
A few months ago, Snyder denied rumors that General Zod would appear in Superman: Man of Steel . So naturally, a few of us were confused when it was revealed that the search was underway for an actress to play Ursa – one of Zod’s underlings. Well, it looks like Snyder may have intentionally tried to mislead us.
According to THR, General Zod IS the villain and Viggo Mortensen is currently the top choice for the role. Just like the Kevin Costner/Jonathan Kent situation, a few other names are also being kicked around – but Mortensen is the only one being “seriously discussed” by Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan.
Of course, Mortensen is also in negotiations for Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, but it’s possible that deal may not go through – which would leave no conflict with Superman‘s shooting schedule. It’s equally possible that Universal and Warner Bros. could work out an arrangement that would allow the in-demand actor to take part in both films.
At the very least, this seems to confirm that, regardless of who ultimately plays him, General Zod will be back on the big screen. Mortensen is a talented and versatile actor and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’d get a very different portrayal than Terence Stamp’s legendary take on the character.
To be honest, though – I’m slightly torn on this development. Don’t get me wrong – I love the idea of Mortensen as Zod, but I was sort of hoping that Superman: Man of Steel would further separate itself from previous films by utilizing a villain that had never appeared on-screen before. The fewer comparisons people can make to past adaptations, the better. It’s the same reason I argued against using Khan in Star Trek 2.
However, I get the feeling Snyder plans on turning a few established conventions on their head – so it’s likely that this incarnation of General Zod will be decidedly different from the one that appeared in Superman and Superman II.
There’s been a lot of talk about how Superman: Man of Steel brings a fresh and modern perspective to this mythology and I’m interested in finding out exactly how Zod will tie-in with that.