Michael Shannon and Henry Cavill discuss Superman reboot 'Man of Steel'
Michael Shannon, who portrays villain General Zod, and Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, talk about the new take on the iconic superhero. Michael Shannon and Henry Cavill's film hits theaters in June.
The talent attached along with the positive buzz from early test screenings means that the summer blockbuster is one of the most hyped films of this year. Whereas Bryan Singer chose to pit Superman against his old nemesis Lex Luthor for Superman Returns in 2006, Snyder’s film is an origin story with Kryptonian supervillain General Zod in the antagonist role.Skip to next paragraph
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We got the impression that Total Film had a payload of Man of Steel details waiting in their latest issue when they unveiled a cover image of Lois Lane and Superman. And indeed, they do – in interviews with director Zack Snyder, writer David S. Goyer, and stars Henry Cavill and Michael Shannon, we learn quite a bit about what we can expect from both Superman and General Zod.
Interestingly, Shannon denies that General Zod is a villain at all, let alone a supervillain. Of course, he might be a little biased, but the actor firmly believes that Zod is just doing what he believes is the right thing. Says Shannon:
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“He’s not a villain any more than any other General fighting to protect his people. He doesn’t like to just hurt people and steal diamonds; he’s focused on being successful at his job. I think the way Terrence Stamp approached it – and this isn’t any kind if criticism of his performance – there was something kind of detached about it. Pure hatred, rage, whatever… I think this [characterisation] is more ambiguous.”
Henry Cavill diplomatically tackles one of the controversial aspects of his character’s new costume design, best summarised as The Mystery of the Missing Red Pants, by saying that the change happened naturally as part of the character growing up within the franchise:
“We have absolute respect for what was then. But now is now. Even Superman in the new comics doesn’t have the briefs – he has the red belt, but not the briefs. It’s time for a change.”
It’s been said before that Man of Steel is not going to be based on any particular comic book story arc, and will in fact be something of a departure from the established canon and tone. Cavill admits that he is unfamiliar with the comic books, but that he was still able to get a good feel for the character in the context of the story that Goyer and Snyder wish to tell: