Michael Shannon initially turned down return as Zod in ‘The Flash’ on account of Zack Snyder’s DC departure

Warning: Spoilers for Man of Steel ahead.

Michael Shannon, who played General of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild and Superman nemesis Zod in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in 2013, was initially reluctant to reprise his role in the upcoming The Flash movie because of the way Snyder’s departure from DC Cinematic played out. Shannon explained his reasoning for not outright accepting a return as Zod on “The Bingeworthy” podcast.

“I was hesitant [to come back] because I wasn’t really happy about what happened to Zack Snyder in that whole deal,” Shannon said. “And I really love Zack. The fact that Zack asked me to play that part to begin with – that’s probably the biggest surprise of my career. It almost felt like a practical joke. I was like, ‘You’re kidding me, right?’”

“I talked to [‘The Flash’ director] Andy Muschietti about it, and I liked Andy, and I said, ‘Andy, look – I just want to get Zack’s blessing on this because it just doesn’t feel right without that,’” Shannon added. “And Zack, to his credit, was very understanding. He gave me his blessing, and I went to do it. I loved Andy, too. I loved working with Andy. They’re both super creative guys. Andy’s an amazing artist. He would just make these drawings when I was sitting there talking to him. I’d look over and say, ‘Hey, can I keep that?’ and he’d go, ‘Sure!’ and sign it and give it to me.”

Michael Shannon as Zod in Man of Steel/DC Universe

Shannon acknowledged that he was initially confused about being asked to return as Zod in The Flash considering his character was killed after a controversial decision made by Superman at the culmination of Man of Steel, but became more understanding once he learned more about The Flash opening up the DC multiverse.

“But, you know, it’s just really different – these kind of multiverse situations,” Shannon added. “The story is a lot more all over the place, you know? And I feel like I mainly exist in ‘The Flash’ as, like, an obstacle or a problem. Whereas, in ‘Man of Steel,’ it was more of a story. Like, ‘The Flash’ is definitely about The Flash – as it should be. So, it’s not as in-depth.”

The Flash, whose latest trailer was released on Monday, is set to open in theaters on June 16th. The film will feature Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, Michael Keaton as Batman and the aforementioned Michael Shannon as Zod.

What do you think of the fact that Michael Shannon initially turned down return as Zod in The Flash? Let us know in the comments.

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