Justice League Director Zack Snyder Wanted Daniel Day Lewis to Play Zod in Man of Steel

Director Zack Snyder has confirmed that he wanted Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, [...]

Director Zack Snyder has confirmed that he wanted Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, considered by some to be among the be best of all time in the profession, to play Zod in 2013's Man of Steel. Zod is the Kryptonian villain who threatened Earth in his quest for vengeance against Jor-El's son. The role ultimately went to Michael Shannon, who starred opposite Henry Cavill as Superman in the film. But Snyder admitted during an interview with MTV that he had hoped Day-Lewis would show interest in the DC Comics adaptation. "When you talk about Daniel Day-Lewis as an actor, he can play any part you want," Snyder said. "So yeah, so we always, we did talk. We had hoped Daniel Day-Lewis would be interested in the movie."

Shannon seems to have enjoyed playing Zod. Speaking to ComicBook.com in April 2020, he seemed eager to work with Snyder again, though Zod being dead may mean that collaboration would have to occur outside of the DC Universe.

"Oh, I'd love to work with Zack again. I loved doing that movie. It was a special experience," Shannon said. "I felt very fortunate that he called me to do it in the first place. So, I haven't heard anything. I don't know. I always tell people I'm dead. Zod's dead, he's dead. Unless you got a defibrillator or something I don't really see it happening. But, I love Zack and I'm happy for him that, that he's getting to do that."

Superman killing Zod proved a controversial plot point among audiences. Shannon said in 2020 that he didn't think there was any other way the film could end.

"No, I didn't think there was any other way to end, it, really," he told Cinemablend. "I mean, Zod says it's either me or you. I'm not gonna let you survive. I will kill you, unless you kill me. And that seemed sufficiently Greek to me, you know?

"I've seen other actors that feel more comfortable kind of going in and screwing around with the script and the story," he continued. "But I, I've never felt real comfortable with that unless there's something that's just glaringly nonsensical. I kinda keep my mouth shut, because I'm not a writer. I can't write a screenplay to save my life. So I have a lot of respect for the script and, and I only go off it if I'm encouraged to by the director."

Would you like to have seen Daniel Day-Lewis as Zod? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences