A couple of weeks ago we learned that Amy Adams was newly cast as female lead Lois Lane in the upcoming Superman reboot film titled Man of Steel and today we learn that the lead villain in the film has also been cast. Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Shannon has been cast as the nefarious General Zod in the upcoming reboot film.
Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon will play General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s Superman movie, now officially titled Man of Steel. He joins a cast that so far includes Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent and Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent. “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,” Snyder said in a statement. “Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role.” Shannon, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 2008 drama Revolutionary Road, emerged last month as a contender to play the main villain in Man of Steel. Earlier reports pegged Viggo Mortensen and Edgar Ramirez as candidates for the part, long rumored to be Zod. Made famous in 1978′s Superman and 1980′s Superman II by Terence Stamp, Zod first appeared in April 1961, in the pages of Adventure Comics #283, where he was the megalomaniacal leader of Krypton’s military forces who attempted to take over the planet using an army of robot duplicates of himself. He was exiled to the Phantom Zone until he was released at the end of his sentence by Superboy. After attempting to conquer Earth, he was returned to the Phantom Zone, from which he escaped from time to time. Somewhat different versions of Zod have appeared over the years in DC Comics continuity, most recently in the “Superman: Last Son” storyline by Geoff Johns and Superman director Richard Donner, where he escaped from the Phantom Zone with Ursa and Non to conquer Earth and transform it into a new Krypton. He played central roles in the subsequent “New Krypton” storyline, World of New Krypton miniseries and “War of the Supermen” event, after which he was returned to the Phantom Zone.
For me, the most iconic image of General Zod is the version played by Terence Stamp in the 1980 film Superman II (pictured above right). I am hoping that the storyline, at least, of the upcoming reboot film Man of Steel will be similar or pay homage to that version of the character. The casting for Man of Steel is coming along nicely … it would appear that all of the major characters have now been cast (tho, I’m curious to learn who will play Clark Kent/Superman sidekick Jimmy Olsen). We still have a long time to wait before Man of Steel hits theaters in 2012 … but I’m pleased, thus far, with the casting news that we’ve been getting. So far, so good.