Michael Shannon Describes How "Surreal" It Was to Be Cast in New Superman Movie
11.20.11 by BJSprecher
Considering he earned an Academy Award nomination for his supporting role in Revolutionary Road and there's buzz that he might get another nomination for his performance in his latest movie, Take Shelter, you would think that actor Michael Shannon would have a pretty good estimation of his abilities as an actor. However, Shannon recently revealed to Shortlist (via DigitalSpy), that when he met with Zack Snyder to talk about playing the villain in the director's Superman franchise reboot, Man of Steel, he was "confused" about why a major role in "one of the largest films around" was being offered to him.
It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life because I was against this panoramic window, looking out on these beautiful hills, rose bushes and hummingbirds while Zack was saying, "And then, on Krypton, this happens."
By the end, I was kind of confused. I was like, 'Is this an offer or not?' We shook hands and he said he wanted me as Zod. I was thinking, 'There's something wrong here. This is one of the largest films around. I'm not Robert De Niro — I don't understand why this is being plonked on my lap.'
Shannon joked that the studio's insistence that he perform a 'chemistry test' with title star Henry Cavill before securing the part left him wondering if he would be playing Superman's enemy or his lover.
Warner Bros said they needed to see me and Henry together first. They called it a 'chemistry test.' I was like, 'What, do Zod and Superman make out? You want to see if any sparks fly?'
Man of Steel was written by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) from a story he conceived with producer Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises). The plot is still a secret, but from what we've gathered Clark Kent (Cavill) decides to go on a "vision quest" to figure out how he fits into the world and what to do with his amazing abilities. Presumably, the arrival of the evil Kryptonians Zod (Shannon) and Faora Antje Traue (and possibly a third villain) prompt him to put on the red-and-blues and fight injustice as Superman. Joining Cavill are Amy Adams as Lois Lane; Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman's adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent; Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet; and Russell Crowe and Ayelet Zurer as Superman's Kryptonian parents, Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van. Christopher Meloni and Harry Lennix are also said to be on the cast, but their characters have yet to be revealed.