“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.