Michael Shannon Is Superman's Zod

Zack Snyder picks a nemesis...

Zack Snyder has his hero in Henry Cavill as Superman. Now he’s also found a villain and we couldn’t be happier with the choice: Michael Shannon will play General Zod.

The rumours about the Super-villain have been flying thick and fast, with claims and counter-claims about whether the character, so memorably portrayed by Terence “Kneel before Zod!” Stamp in the Richard Donner/Richard Lester Superman films, would even be appearing in the new movie. Then talk shifted to who might play him, with Viggo Mortensen in the frame as a likely villain.

Now, though, Shannon – who has more than proved himself in work as diverse as Revolutionary Road, The Runaways, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant and, on the small screen as the creepy driven Agent Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire – is Snyder’s man for the job.

"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. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role," Snyder said in a release picked up by the Heat Vision blog.

That insight, of course, stems from the fact that Zod is a fellow Kryptonian with similar powers to Supes, albeit with a twisted, bitter heart instead of an incessant need to do good.

Shannon’s Zod will be seen alongside Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Ma and Pa Kent (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner). With a script from David S Goyer and producing assistance from Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas, Snyder gets started on the movie in August for a December 2012 release date.