There are few actors in this generation more talented than Michael Shannon. While he isn't found on the cover of People magazine or the homepage of TMZ, the actor has managed to carve out the respect of cinephiles everywhere. Shannon is in known primarily for his dramatic performances in indie and award-winning projects, however in 2013, he stepped a little bit outside of his comfort zone and directly into Metropolis.
Shannon was cast as General Zod in director's Zack Snyder's reboot of the Superman story, Man of Steel. The actor played the Kryptonian military leader who was banished from the planet after an attempted coup, moments before the planet self-destructed. Zod makes it his mission to recreate his home planet on Earth and runs into Superman who proclaims himself Earth's savior.
The casting of Shannon as Zod is one the more enjoyable elements of the movie, as the actor seems to fully inhabit the character. In a recent interview with Fandango, Shannon explained why he joined Man of Steel:
"When I did Man of Steel I thought the story was interesting; I thought it was relevant. It was about a civilization that destroys the planet they live on and goes looking for another one. Ring any bells? That’s why I did it. I didn’t do it because I felt I needed a big comic book franchise – I honestly thought it was a beautiful story."
However, this wasn't Shannon's last brush with geek glory. He was also asked if he had interest in joining either the Marvel cinematic universe or the expanding Star Wars playground and he responded:
"No, I’m not really looking for that. They called me recently about some iteration – I won’t say – but some version of a movie that’s been made already countless times. They were gonna give me a lot of of money, but I was like nah. Big movie, too. But I have to think it’s an interesting story. If I don’t, I can’t do it. I won’t do it."
Shannon has developed a reputation for being frank about his experiences in the superhero world. Most notably, he made headlines when he offhandedly mentioned that he was included in the cast of Batman V Superman, which was a shock to many covering the project. So the fact that he had another chance at superhero stardom is not a complete surprise.
It wasn't made specifically clear to which Marvel or Star Wars project that he was referring. It's easy to imagine Shannon in a galaxy far, far away; however, Lucasfilm is investing in "experimental" spin-offs, which don't seem to fit Shannon's description. So, unless he was referring the upcoming releases of Thor: Ragnarok or Avengers: Infinity War, the safest bet for the mystery project would seem to be Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The upcoming reboot will focus on Peter Parker's high-school years, while trying to emulate the tone of 1980s John Hughes films. It's easy to imagine that Shannon's eyes would roll at the thought of dealing with teenage drama. Particularly, when you look at films in his filmography such as Midnight Special, that attempted to buck the conventional trends of super-powered juvenile movies. However, with a consistently expanding MCU and Star Wars universe, hopefully the actor finds his next great story to be a part of soon.
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Man of Steel 2 release date: Sep 25, 2018