Michael Shannon is General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel

The casting announcements for Zack Snyder’s Superman movie are coming pretty fast and furious now, and over the weekend Warner Brothers decided to drop another major headline on us: the film’s main antagonist will be the very same villain that Christopher Reeve faced in his first two adventures, exiled Kryptonian criminal General Zod! In both Superman and Superman II, Zod was played by the great Terence Stamp, but for the new movie, they have cast Michael Shannon in the role. This confirms persistent rumours that Shannon had been circling the project, although I think many people suspected he might be playing Lex Luthor instead. The film’s title has also now been officially set as simply Man of Steel.

I’ll be curious to see how Superman fans react to this news, especially since many seemed so unenthusiastic about the possible return of Lex Luthor in this film. Zod is definitely much more of a physical threat, and while he is also a fan favourite, I can’t help but feel that they’re just repeating something that’s already been done before. Bryan Singer was accused of sticking too closely to the first two Superman films, and I was hoping that Zack Snyder would really strive to set his film apart from the rest.

As far as Michael Shannon goes, however, I think he’s a great choice for a villain. He has been great in such films as Revolutionary Road, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done and The Runaways, and he is equally fantastic in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. He always brings an intensity to his performances that should fit the role perfectly. I just don’t know that Zod is the role I want to see him play. What do you think? Are you happy with this latest Man of Steel casting announcement?

  • Derek McFarland

    I think Michael Shannon would definitely be perfect for this role. When they originally posted that Viggo Mortensen was gonna play Zod, I thought that sounded pretty cool, but hearing this news about Shannon sounds way better. Even when Shannon plays a “good guy”, there’s always something very eerie about him; so I can only imagine how hardcore he’s gonna be, playing a villainous Kryptonian. Great choice!

  • Darth_Siskel

    General Zod?! Again!?!
    OK how much are these people gettin paid to pen this thing?…Too much!!! And they think they had a right to strike.

    How would you feel if we had 5 Batman movie with the same 2villains?

  • Gil

    To be fair Darth, the Superman films were pretty damn shitty. Using Zod is what I was looking forward to. I see it as a display of who clearly has bigger balls, and Dick Donner became a eunuch after The Omen and didn’t get his prosthetics until Lethal Weapon. I’m waiting to see what comes of this film when Zack Snyder and crew, Jason Pollocks all over this franchise.

  • Gil


  • Bas

    The guy is certainly creepy, so that’s good news. OK, so we know Zod already, but it’s better than getting Luthor again. Such a shame that the man of steel lacks the multitude of great villains like Spidey and Bats have.

  • 1138sw

    I must admit seeing Zod revisited does seem kind of redundant especially after Singer’s recreation of Donner’s movie. But with Nolan at the producer’s helm I can’t but think he wouldn’t take Superman in a whole new direction with new ideas and concepts. So though elements and casting don’t excite me yet, I trust Nolan will surprise me. He hasn’t disappointed me yet.

    Snyder I hope is up to the task. Suckerpunch was vastly disappointing compared to his previous movies. I never though of him as revolutionary, but a good solid director with great visuals. I hope that talent translates to Man of Steel. If Suckerpunch is a indication of where his talent is trending Man of steel might be in trouble.

  • berserker01

    They’ve published Superman comics for 73 years. I wish they would just forget about the previous Superman films and choose a better story. Still, I’m confident that Snyder will at least make it visually interesting. And Zod could be a great villian, if he is more like the comic book version.

  • Nelson

    Everything depends on how Snyder decides to play this movie, from start to finish. My personal feeling about him is that he will take a completely fresh approach to Superman and his supporting cast. I choose to believe that the only thing that will remain unchanged from previous movies is possibly the Daily Planet set and the interactivity between the Daily Planet employees and Superman’s costume itself.

    A lot of the other aspect’s of Superman’s life,on the big screen, may remain the same but we will have the chance to view them from a completely fresh point of view, for once.

    To give you one example of this, in the Smallville tv series they bought back Zod, as a villain, in at least 3 different incarnations, for varying amounts of time during the life of the show. The first two times were okay, but not life-changing. In the characters most recent and final appearance on the show he was played by the actor, Callum Blue.

    I love this guy, I can’t say enough good things about him in this role. He made the character fresh and exciting and sinister, despite the fact that I have seen Zod in various incarnations for years, and like I said before, two previous times in this same tv series.

    Clark and Zod, as played by Callum, rarely, if ever, got physical with each other in the tv series but I was hooked on the series during the entire storyline. Imagine what Snyder will do with an awesome script and say, a budget of $200 million. That makes for a lot of possibilities as far as action sequences, special effects, and cgi. If the script is well written then the special effects will just be the icing on the cake.

    I don’t know if I am expecting magic, but I am merely a Superman fan, I’m not a writer or a director, and I can envision a million subtle ways that this movie can be done, which would be fresh and interesting and fulfilling for all the people that will see it.

  • There are tons of great Superman villains: Doomsday, Conduit, Maxima, Mongul, Cyborg, Intergang, Obsession, Bloodsport, Riot, Brainiac, Darkseid, Mr. Mxzysptlk, The Galactic Golem, Loophole, Dominus, Bizzaro, The Eradicator, and so many more.

  • Derek McFarland

    Even though the character, Zod has been used before, I think using him in a reboot would be the the smart and simple way to go (assuming this movie does well enough to actually be able to throw in some sequels); considering the fact that he comes from the same planet as Kal-El. If the movie does do well and Zack stays in the game, I’m more than sure we will definitely be seeing other bigger villains, that we haven’t seen (on the big screen) before, like Darkseid/Doomsday, etc. Like with The Dark Knight… we’ve seen the Joker plenty of times on screen, but that didn’t make TDK a “did it/ done it” film.
    More like one of the best Batman movies ever made, in my opinion.