The new Superman movie has its name, and its bad guy.
Warner Brothers announced on Sunday that the film, now officially titled "Man of Steel," will feature Michael Shannon as the evil General Zod. He'll face off against Henry Cavill, the franchise's new Superman.
While Zod has a number of story lines, he was the fascist head of the military on Krypton, Superman's home planet. He was portrayed by Terrence Stamp in the first and second Christopher Reeves Superman films, acting as the main villain in the second film.
“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," the film's director, Zack Snyder, said in a statement.
Shannon, star of "Boardwalk Empire" and an Academy Award nominee for his turn in "Revolutionary Road," joins an already star-studded cast in Snyder's film reboot of the beloved comic book. Amy Adams was recently cast as Lois Lane, while Diane Lane and Kevin Costner will play Martha and Pa Kent.
Snyder spoke about his vision for the film in March, giving a just a few hints to the Los Angeles Times.
"Literally, the one thing that everyone can start to think about is that we're making a movie that finally goes with the approach that there's been no other Superman movies," Snyder told the paper. "If you look at 'Batman Begins,' there's that structure: there's the canon that we know about and respect, but on other hand there's this approach that pre-supposes that there haven't been any other movies. In every aspect of design and of story, the whole thing is very much from that perspective of 'Respect the canon but don't be a slave to the movies.'"
Here's the press release from Warner Brothers:
BURBANK, CA, April 10, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that Michael Shannon will star in the role of General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s new Superman film, titled “Man of Steel.”
Snyder stated, “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.”
As General Zod, Shannon will go toe-to-toe with Henry Cavill, who plays the new Clark Kent/Superman in the film. The main cast also includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent.
Michael Shannon was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Shannon was most recently seen in the award-winning HBO drama series “Boardwalk Empire,” from executive producer Martin Scorsese. He will next be seen in Sony Pictures Classics', "Take Shelter," from director/writer Jeff Nichols.
Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film. The screenplay is being written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are serving as executive producers.
“Man of Steel” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.