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Shannon Joins Superman: Man of Steel as Supervillain Zod

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 10, 2011 at 11:30AM

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.
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Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

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.

States Snyder:

“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.

This article is related to: Franchises, Studios, Stuck In Love, In Production, Superman, Warner Bros./New Line, Screenwriters


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.