EXCLUSIVE: Film nerds and comic geeks came together for a brief shining moment earlier this week when it was announced that celebrated character actor Michael Shannon ("Boardwalk Empire," "Revolutionary Road," "Shotgun Stories") had landed the juicy role of General Zod in Zack Snyder's Superman film "Man Of Steel." It's a nervy bit of casting, one that Shannon himself revealed the studio wasn't hot on initially, insisting that he at least do a cursory screen test opposite Henry Cavill. But Shannon impressed and Snyder got his way, and one of the actor's fellow castmates is certainly glad to have him along for the ride as well.
We had an opportunity to chat with Diane Lane -- who will play Martha Kent in the film -- as she was out doing interviews for her forthcoming HBO film "Cinema Verite." Of course, she couldn't say much about "Man Of Steel," which is keeping its secrets closely guarded for now, but given Shannon's amusing anecdote about meeting with Snyder for the film -- which he described like being on acid -- we asked Lane what her experience was in talking with the director about the film and how she feels about working with new General Zod.
"Certainly Zack's energy and enthusiasm and clarity in explaining himself is rare and tremendously helpful [in describing the film]," Lane said. "I've seen his work and he is a visionary and I find him to be a breath of fresh air, and a risk taker. I think there's something to be said about re-approaching a story that's been told quite a few times, it requires a certain amount of self-confidence and sense of vision and he's the right man for the job."
As for her new co-star, she couldn't be more thrilled saying, "I'm tremendously excited about Michael coming on board because I'm a huge fan and I got see his play downtown in New York recently ['Mistakes Were Made']. He was tremendous in it." The play she is referring to recently closed at the Barrow Street Theatre, but it was essentially a one-man show, with Shannon playing a comic role as an off-Broadway producer who thinks he's found a hit with an epic production about the French Revolution. The turn earned rave reviews and you can check out some excerpts and plaudits below.
And we had to ask Lane if she was asked to do anything to prepare and said, "As of yet, not to my knowledge....It's a little early days." And we can see that. Still more casting to come undoubtedly but production will get underway later this year with "Man Of Steel" slated to hit in December 2012. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the solid drama "Cinema Verite" when it premieres on HBO on April 23rd at 9 PM.