Michael Shannon on Being "Worthy" to Play 'Zod' in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel
09.04.11 by BJSprecher
Though the original Superman movie, the precursor of the modern era of comic book-inspired movies, is often considered a superior movie to its sequel (critics rate it 94% on aggregate review site RottenTomatoes versus 88% for the second movie); among comic book movie fans there's simply nothing that tops seeing Superman (Christopher Reeve) tangle with the three Kryptonian villains: General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa (Sarah Douglas) and Non (Jack O'Halloran) in Superman II.
After Bryan Singer's Superman Returns failed to deliver the kind of super-thrills that fans had been clamoring to see in a movie about the world's first superhero, the news that Zod and Ursa — now called by her original comic book name, Faoroa — would be the villains in Zack Snyder's franchise reboot, Man of Steel, was received with nearly universal praise by the fan community. The few naysayers — the same people who are upset that Superman will not be sporting those dated red briefs — have questioned how Michael Shannon can possibly deliver a General Zod performance as compelling and memorable as that given by Stamp in the first two Superman movies. Now, for the first time since being cast, Shannon has offered up his own thoughts on being "worthy" of Stamp's legacy.
Shannon admitted in a recent interview with Total Film magazine (via CBM) that he found watching Stamp in Superman II to be an "intimidating" experience.
[Stamp] nailed it. My girlfriend was watching Superman II and I said. "Turn it off, I can't watch, I'm not worthy!"
Shannon went on to say that he's being staying fit for the role because "a General wouldn't be fat." He also commented on Henry Cavill as Superman, saying that the British actor has "got it down."
Every time I see him I think, "There's Superman."
Shannon has yet to be spotted on the set of Man of Steel — one image emerged a couple of weeks ago showing a man who bears a vague resemblance to Shannon wearing a motion-capture suit, but there's no way to tell if it's really him or not. Based on the recent photos of Traue as Faora on the set, it appears the Kryptonians' costumes will be similar to those in Superman II, though with long black capes and light armor. There has been no official mention of the third Kryptonian, Non, appearing in Man of Steel, but there is evidence that he will be in the movie as a a CGI character.
Man of Steel was written by David S. Goyer, co-writer of both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, from a story he conceived with producer Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises). The cast includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane; Diane Lane as Superman's adoptive mother, Martha Kent; Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet; and Russell Crowe and Julia Ormond as Superman's Kryptonian parents, Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van. Christopher Meloni and Harry Lennix also star in as-yet-unspecified roles.