Whether you loved it or hated it, Man of Steel stands as one of the most popular Superman projects in recent history, even if some of its traction came from controversy. The film, which was directed by Zack Snyder, gave fans another reimagining of Clark Kent’s origin story as he suited up to become Superman. On screen, Henry Cavill played the iconic hero while Michael Shannon played the villain General Zod opposite him. Over the past few months, Shannon has be vocal about his time with the project, and the actor recently recalled the convoluted way he became involved with Man of Steel.
Recently, Shannon sat down for an interview with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation where he talked about his lengthy career. It was there that he discussed being approached for Man of Steel, and it was there that Shannon revealed why he wasn’t asked to audition for the movie.
“The actual pitch was delivered by Mr. Snyder in his home. He had me flown out to L.A. to meet with him in Pasadena where he lives. I sat in his living room, he came in, and he told me the entire story of the movie,” Shannon said.
After hearing the pitch for himself, Shannon said Snyder asked for his thoughts, but the actor was confused. When Snyder reiterated that he wanted Shannon to play General Zod, Shannon asked, “This is a huge movie, and this is like the main bad? Couldn’t you like get anyone to do this?” But, when it came down to it, Snyder was convinced in his casting choice, and Shannon said it was no skin off his nose to play the Kryptonian.
However, Shannon did have to do a small audition once the project was further down the line. The actor said he was asked to do a chemistry test with Cavill, and Shannon had choice words for why.
“I did eventually have a chemistry test with Henry - that’s his name, right?” he said. “We had a chemistry test to make sure you buy us as lovers.”
As for Man of Steel, it seems like Shannon is still intrigued by the blockbuster despite its mixed reception. Last year, Shannon was asked about ways film can package socially relevant messages, and the actor said Man of Steel was an example of how to do it.
“I looked at ‘Man of Steel’ as a very socially relevant movie, not necessarily a comic-book movie. Here’s a story about some people, a civilization. They lived on a planet and used up all the resources and destroyed the planet, and they thought the way to solve the problem was just to go get another planet. You hear people bandying that idea around these parts from time to time,” he explained.
Batman v Superman & Suicide Squad are now on home video; Wonder Woman is coming on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.