Viggo Mortensen is the Frontrunner for Zod in ‘Superman: Man of Steel’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

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.

general zod1 Viggo Mortensen is the Frontrunner for Zod in Superman: Man of Steel

Terence Stamp as General Zod

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.

Source: THR

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  1. As much as I would want Viggo involved in this project, frankly he’s too good for it, and doing this would only hurt his reputation.

    I read an article the other day in The Times newspaper, one of the most respected papers in the world, there was a huge picture of Sucker Punch and the caption above read “Why has Hollywood stopped making films for adults?”
    That as a statement sums up exactly who Zack Snyder is and what he does.

      • I think he’s more talking Snyder, not the fantasy genre.

      • I agree, this shouldn’t hurt his career. Unless it’s some colossal misfire, I don’t see this putting a damper on his acting opportunities.
        If anything, it’ll introduce him to more moviegoers who might go check out the smaller movies he’s been doing in between Lord of the Rings and now.
        It’s a different time now in Hollywood. Mortensen can easily go back to smaller movies once this Superman movie wraps up.


    I would have prefered that Stamp reprise his role (without the 80′s Schmaltz) since he looks about the same as he did then and Viggo is 50 anyway but if not Stamp then Viggo is certainly the second best choice!

  3. They need to use Brainiac. And if not him than at least Parasite or Metallo anyone but Zod.I would love Viggo as Zod, but please use somebody else as a villain.

  4. I personally wanted Viggo to be considered for Braniac and Gerard Butler for Zod.

    However, if Nolan and Snyder can snag Viggo as Zod, that would work just fine as well! Lets hope they close the deal with Viggo! If not…I guess Gerard Butler would still be a good 2nd choice.

    I can’t wait for this Supes film!

  5. I see I am not alone in this – Why is it that Superman can only have 2 real villains in the movies with all the tech out there why can we not have Metallo or better yet Brainiac or any of the other countless villains in the Superman Universe? This is weak and an epic fail, as have been the reboot because we have the same villains to show. Hell I would even like to see a CGI Doomsday as would a LOT of fans.

  6. There is not a single good thing about this entire project.

    • Thats a bold statement Dr. Sam… sure you wanna stand by that?

      • Yeah. If Mortensen is official, then I think there is one good thing about it, otherwise, this project is more doomed than Krypton itself.

        • What about Cavill? No hopes for him at all?

  7. General Zod,lol. Why am i not surprised. I expected better from WB & Znyder and whatever ideas Nolan had before he left the project but c,mon Gen. Zod has been done already, greatly by Terrance Stamp imo. Anyways its too bad, i was lookin forward to seeing Superman on the big screen again but doesn’t seem like there’s nothin to enjoy when they use the same old ideas.

  8. Love the idea of Zod. Personally I’m not looking for him to fight someone new or someone ftom a comic strip. I’m only 38 and I’m a fan of Superman 1 and 2. To kick off the reboot (to put it that way) I have no issue with Zod, Ursa and Non. In future movies after this do what you want. Let him fight bizzaro or whomever. An updated version of superman vs Zod and company sounds good to me. Bryan Singer just dropped ball with his version. It just wasn’t enough action and most people feel that way as well.

  9. Zod sucks WB WAKE UP no one wants him hes a completely dull and irrelevant Character! PUT BRAINIAC SCREW LAME ZOD!!

    • Hellooooo?? You know NOTHING of the story and script yet. Your a goofball!


        • “superallstarfilms”

          Stop acting like a child. And stop commenting under different names.


          • Now, now, Vic…Don’t insult children.


    • Speak for yourself. Zod is actually an extremely important character in the Superman mythos, and Mortenson can play him fantastically well. As for all of those people who are upset about Zod as the villain, there still may (and likely WILL) be at least one more villain (Brainiac would be a very logical choice). Also, remember that the Joker had already been done (and, according to many people–myself included–done quite well) on film before “The Dark Knight” came along. So very many people bitched and moaned and whined (OH, the humanity!) about the use of an ALREADY-USED character…and to be played by HEATH LEDGER?!? The shame…the HORROR.


      Hmmm, here we go again with the (at THIS point) exceedingly premature huffing-and-puffing. Sadly, the lesson was not learned. Oh, well.

      • @ Archaeon

        Some if not would like a fresh start with the reboot, especially when it comes to villains like Nolan did with Batman Begins. I don’t why some people still use TDK by example because this Superman we’re talkin about here & doesn’t mean this film will get that same spark TDK did. Just shows lack of creativity imo if they have do the reuse same characters. But thats Hollywood i guess.

        • WallyWest…

          It does not matter if it’s Superman or Batman; TDK showed having a previously used character can work out beautifully. MoS can easily show the same thing; the two Zod portrayals will have been drastically different, as will the circumstances surrounding those portrayals, by the time the metaphorical dust settles from the opening (and hopefully successful run) of MoS.

          You (and DSB, et al) might be right that this film will stink and shove Superman to the bottom of the Hollywood crap pile, BUT you might also be completely wrong.

          One idea you seem to be forgetting is the very essence of Superman, that which makes him so inspirational and one the greatest superheroes and modern mythological heroes: HOPE.

          I choose to hope.

          • For the record, YES, it would be great if does end up being an original, awe-inspiring film, but I am still curious to see another take on Zod, if that is indeed what is to be presented to us in the coming film.

            • @archean ur an ignorant fool no one wants an “original villian u dolt. nor rehashed one! most of the of the fans ur in the Extreme MINORITY wnat superman villians from the comics and animated series that HAVE YET to be used, stop acting like a dbag and get over your self fast no one gives two craps for zod

              • Superstar,

                You’re banned. BTW, that means not just under this name, but under any other names you’ve used here on the site (which I can track).

                Have a nice life.


                • Sorry, Vic…I forgot you (and most human beings) are faster typists than I…lol.

                  Thank you.

              • If you had shown that you possess at least the intellectual capacity of a rutabega, I might find it mildly worthwhile to discuss this with you.

                You haven’t, so I won’t.

                Also, I formally apologize to all of the rutabegas and rutabega-eaters I may have insulted in this post.


            • WallyWest…

              Ummm, that is PRECISELY my point, actually. Batman has a much more overall popular rogues gallery than Superman, according to many people. Yet, “The Dark Knight” chose to highlight the character of the Joker (previously shown quite effectively in “Batman”)…and pulled off one of the greatest pop-culture film successes of the last two or three decades. That IS the whole point: “Superman: Man of Steel” may use Zod again, but with Mortensen (excuse my previous misspelling of his name), the character WILL be different and, likely, fascinating and/or iconic in its own right. So, TDK DID indeed illustrate and prove my point, exactly, in fact.

              Furthermore, why do you not consider the possibility (and, I think, PROBABILITY) that another villain also will be in the film? Snyder and Warner Brothers saw what “more of the same” did for “Superman Returns” (a film I happened to enjoy, BTW)…hence, the rebooting of the franchise.

              • Let me add that I too would love to see another one of Superman’s enemies star in the film, but (so far) we have NO proof that will not be the case. Consider this: People have been complaining about Snyder as the choice for director, but the man DOES enjoy groups of characters in his films, so WHY does it seem so strange that he would perhaps include more than one villain in S:MoS???

              • @ Archaeon

                Point is this isn’t the Batman franchise we’re talkin about, Superman is the hero whos the other side of that that coin & even though films may be great, id be surprised if they measured up to TDK which was luck imo. Doesn’t matter if Zod will be different, there are movie goers who wish to see Superman to take on someone different, whether it’s one or two villains. In the previous Superman films, Lex & Zod were the only two known villains from the comics used on film. Plenty of others to use in this reboot & whatever sequels that might follow. How can i consider there will be multiple villains in the reboot? Even if there was,doesn’t mean it will get me to the theater when i can wait for it on dvd to rent.

                • Then, WHY are you worrying about this at all? It seems you’ve already made your final decision. The rest is wasted breath. I’ve said this to DSB, as well, and I wondered of him the same thing I now ask you: Why?

                  It’s definitely your right to feel some disappointment and express it, but the constant complaining and berating is now old. If there is NOTHING positive you can say about even the POSSIBILITY of the film being good, WHY are you torturing yourself constantly?

                  …and those of us who still cling to hope?

                  • Just stating my opinions cause at first i was hoping to enjoy a good Superman film with this reboot but thats gone now from all ive read about it so far. I was expecting a fresh start with new characters like Nolan introduced in Batman begins, not using same ones we’ve seen already. I forget who posted it, but mentioned reason why TDK worked cause of the the different take of the Joker & Two-face aswell. Mainly because the previous Batman franchise used up all the A-list villains so of-course Nolan would some of them again. Superman has plenty of other villains besides Lex & Zod even though i wouldn’t leave Lex out in the cold, maybe have his role minor in the franchise this time around to pave the way for other villains that wouldn’t rely on kryptonite to fight Superman. This is Screenrant & theres others that feel the sameway i do that would like a fresh start with this reboot.

      • @ Archeon

        Also remember TDK was the second film of the reboot series. MoS is more like BB (being the first in the reboot), and BB used two villains completely new to film. I would love to see the same for MoS, with unused villains but then Lex cameo somewhere (he can’t be totally ignored in a Supes franchise).

        I am personally ok with Zod for this one. I’m in the minority in that I would be ok with Lex too. Sure, Lex has been done to death in the previous films and Smallville, but he’s one of my favorite DC villains.

        • Panda…Exactly.

          The second film should CERTAINLY not have used a previously played character (second film=new characters, usually, or at least new situations), BUT it did…beautifully. “Superman: Man of Steel” will get that out of the way immediately, using a previously seen character (in a new, fresh portrayal) to push the Superman story into new territory, likely with new threats. Zod allows for the establishment of MANY stories involving MANY other villains (working with him, for him, over him, and/or against him) opposing Kal-El.

  10. I casted Viggo to play Superman’s Uncle Zor-El in the SUPERGIRL remake. That was my opinion

  11. “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.”

    That is how I felt about “Superman: Returns”.

  12. There was a story in which Brainiac released Zod from the phantom zone. So we may get both villains.

  13. Viggo Mortensen as Zod or Braniac FTW!
    If Viggo doesn’t sign on, then I’m sure Gerard Butler will be looked at for Zod as well. By the way, why are you some of you Marvel trolls already crying and complaining? Weirdos!

    Braniac will be in this film also.

  14. Hearing Viggo being seriously considered for Zod is great news. I wanted Nolan to go after Viggo for one of his Batman films and thought he would be a great fit for either Luthor or Braniac in Superman.

    With David Goyer writing, Chris Nolan producing and writing, Zack Snyder directing ,Cavill as Superman, Olivia Wilde as Lois, Viggo as Zod, Diane Kruger as Ursa and Costner as Jonathen “Pa” Kent= EPIC WIN!

  15. disappointing that they’re reusing old villians.

  16. Viggo would bring an added dimension and depth to the role of Zod, thats for damn sure. This characterization of Zod will probably be the one who seeks vengeance against Jor El, Kal El AND Braniac! This would be epic to see onscreen.

    I remember first hearing about Braniac being the main baddie. Zod will be the side villain in this film and not the main baddie.

  17. Casting-wise, this movie is shaping up pretty evenly, I think. Not a huge Costner fan, though I’ve liked some of his movies, have zero informed opinion of Cavill, and love Viggo.

    At the end of the day, though, for me, this is still Zack Snyder’s Superman, so I’m generally not interested. I just don’t care for his stylistic choices in 300, I didn’t really enjoy Watchmen all that much, and Sucker Punch…my problems with that are complicated. He’s competent enough, just not my cup of tea.

    • mongoose…

      First, it’s Snyder, not Singer.

      Second, by your own logic, you clearly thought TDK was a failed rehash. Right?

  18. ehh I am not a huge fan of Zod, and it kinda bumms me out about it now
    I was hoping to see some minor Superman Villain like Metallo or Parasite
    sinse it is the start of Superman with not a huge threat
    Was hoping for Brainiac but ohh well

  19. I really am tired of people talking about how bad Cavil is as an actor. Anyone who has seen anything he has been in would realize that this is simply not the case, he is one of the better young actors working today.

  20. I always had him in mind for Lex.

      • Sally.

        I’d be happy with Zane in the role.

        • I saw a pic of Tom Hardy as Luthor and thought he had the perfect look. Just wish he wasn’t playing Bane, he would own the role of Luthor.

          Zane is a little old to me. Good choice and wouldn’t mind him playing Lex, but I think someone in Cavills age group would be better suited.

      • Billy Zane would be a fantastic choice

    • Does anyone else think Richard Burgi, from “The Sentinel”, would make a good Luthor? Shave off the rest of his hair, put him in a $1,000 powersuit, and boom, you’ve got Lex Luthor from TAS (the best of all Luthors, in my opinion).

      • Now that you mention…YES!

  21. I always thought that they should make a version with Bizaro Superman. Of course the dialog of the Bizaro world inhabitants would probably trip the PC crowds anger. It would be some good comic relief though!

  22. Wow, this would be great casting if it ends up being a done deal. Viggo is a solid actor and I can imagine him playing a very creepy and sinister Zod. I don’t have a problem with Zod possibly being in this film either. Don’t know what some of people are whining about. Oh I forgot, your all FANBOYS afterall with no credibility. LOL

    Especially since this is a Nolan Bros and Goyer script and story. Snyder will bring his epic action, emotion and visuals to this film and it is going to be waaaaaaaay freakin better than that snoozefest Superman Returns.

    Can’t wait for this film! We may finally get to see a kick ass Superman film for once in this lifetime.

  23. I think Viggo would be better suited for Brainiac. Especially after the Devil performance he played. He would make a great stone-cold megalomaniacal machine man.

  24. Seems to me like Viggo would already be too busy with the Hobbit 1 and 2… He IS signed on for those… is he not?

    Not to mention anything and everything David Cronenberg might be planning….

  25. I’m torn, too. Zod’s a great villain and Viggo could play him very well, but there is something to be said for utilizing more comic book lore. Based on the movies, you’d think Luthor and Zod (plus his two sidekicks) were the only worthwhile villains. Brainiac, Metallo or Parasite could give Superman plenty of trouble instead and provide the action quotient.

  26. I’m not excited to see Zod, but maybe they’ll be integrating him with another villain that makes this premise more interesting. Just think that (like others have noted) there is a lot of other rogues they could choose from, why do we keep seeing the same ones. This is part of the problem with Superman and his relevancy today. Doomsday needs to start getting the spotlight so when people think, Superman’s nemesis, they don’t picture Gene Hackman with a plaid suit.