Michael Shannon Latest Interview Reveals He Turned Down Big Marvel or ‘Star Wars’ Movie
It’s hard to think of a more talented actor working today than Michael Shannon. While he’s not a performer you hear about in Hollywood gossip or celebrity news, his sheer talent as an actor is truly one-of-a-kind. On the one hand, it is unfortunate that Shannon has not (yet) become a household name, but his clandestine persona makes his impressive list of performances that much more fascinating to viewers. He has played an assortment of roles over the years, ranging from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire series to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. But the latter is definitely the one that Shannon is most widely recognized for.
He played the vicious General Zod in Snyder’s 2013 Superman epic. He faced off with the titular hero during spectacular action sequences and in heated debates concerning the fate of humanity. At the end of Man of Steel, Superman made the choice to kill Zod in hopes of saving the rest of human civilization. That, of course, meant that the brilliant Shannon was out of the picture. What was great about Shannon’s performance is he gave such genuine power to Zod that it often made people forget that the rest of the film wasn’t up to that same level. And during a recent interview with Fandango, Shannon revealed that it wasn’t the desire for a big paycheck that drew him to Man of Steel, but rather the character’s relevance to contemporary society.
“When I did Man of Steel I thought the story was interesting; I thought it was relevant. It was about a civilization that destroys the planet they live on and goes looking for another one. Ring any bells? That’s why I did it. I didn’t do it because I felt I needed a big comic book franchise – I honestly thought it was a beautiful story.”
Shannon went on to reveal that Man of Steel hasn’t been the only big blockbuster that he’s been approached to star in. If you can contain your excitement, the actor was asked to star in either a Marvel or Star Wars movie. Unfortunately, Shannon didn’t say which one it was, nor the type of role that he was asked to play.
“No, I’m not really looking for that. They called me recently about some iteration – I won’t say – but some version of a movie that’s been made already countless times. They were gonna give me a lot of money, but I was like nah. Big movie, too. But I have to think it’s an interesting story. If I don’t, I can’t do it. I won’t do it.”
It’s become pretty routine these days for Hollywood to cast their franchises and cinematic universes in a slightly incestuous fashion. Some of the most obvious examples that come to mind are Ben Affleck’s double-dip in DC Comic book films—Daredevil (2005) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—and Chris Evans’ blatant recasting for Marvel—Fantastic Four (2005) and Captain America: The First Avenger. And even though Shannon would not be reentering the DC Cinematic Universe for Warner Bros., it’s not at all surprising that other studios want an experienced actor like him to also star in their interconnected movie worlds.
Trying to think of exactly what film Shannon was approached to star in is quite a brain teaser. Sadly, it seems like we will probably never get the answer. The bright side of the actor’s confession is that by him being free of long-term commitments for a franchise, he’s now able to continue with his work as an A-list character actor.