Superman: Man of Steel has found its villain in character actor Michael Shannon, who will play General Zod in Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Warner Bros. franchise. Shannon joins Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as reporter Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as the Krypton native's adoptive parents.
“Zod is not only one of Superman’s most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don’t. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role.”
Shannon is a strong and threatening enough actor to provided a powerful foe for Cavill as Superman. Critics of Bryan Singer's Superman Returns felt that Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor was both too familiar and earthbound to pose a serious threat, even when he weakened Superman with Kryptonite. Zod (who was last played by Brit Terrence Stamp in Superman II) presents a real threat to Superman because he also comes from Krypton.
Shannon earned a supporting actor Oscar nom for Revolutionary Road and good notices for Martin Scorsese's lauded HBO series Boardwalk Empire; he's coming up next in Sony Pictures Classics' Sundance pick-up Take Shelter.
Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of Man of Steel, which is written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan. Legendary's Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are exec producers. Warner Bros. will release Man of Steel worldwide.