Michael Shannon On Zod's Humanity

That's General Zod to you, mister

Michael Shannon plays General Zod in Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel, the yin to Superman's yang and a Kryptonian you definitely don't want to mess with. There's no doubt Shannon can do good bad guy, but the question remains... how is he dealing with the ghosts of Zod past?

"Nothing we do in this film will make people forget Terence Stamp," Shannon explains in this month's Man Of Steel issue of Empire. "but that wasn't really what we were going for. As much as I love what Terence Stamp did in that movie, it was kind of opaque.

"It was impossible to have any empathy with him," he adds. "It was pure malice. We wanted to break down that wall a little bit, so the audience might think, 'Yeah, I know what he's going through.' It's not better or worse, it's just different."

This means that not only will we have a Zod that we can - gulp - sympathise with (to a certain extent, anyway), but we'll also have a Kryptonian general who also feels a little human, too.

"The key for me is his name's not Villain Zod, or Monster Zod, it's General Zod... he takes [his job] seriously. I'm not saying he's a nice guy, Mr. Green Jeans, but he doesn't exist just to be mean and give Superman a hard time."

This is all very interesting stuff, if only because it sounds like Zod is going to be a bit of a bully in this one. A nuanced, more human bully, sure, but still someone who's going to be "mean" to the big blue boy scout. Also, someone write a comic book featuring a character called "Monster Zod", please?

Man Of Steel flies into cinemas on June 14, whereas our Man Of Steel issue, as previously mentioned, carefully dropping into your local newsagents this Thursday, April 25. Head this way for details on how a possible sequel might work...