Why is it even slightly interesting to anyone that Michael Shannon has been cast as General Zod in Zach Snyder ‘s Man of Steel, the Warner Bros. Superman flick? Decisions like this are about the same rote, knee-jerk thinking that Hollywood always buys into.
As I said three months ago, if an actor is gifted and cool but doesn’t look like Justin Timberlake or Nic Cage he gets tagged and bagged as a villain, a creep or an obsessive.
And Shannon will probably be stuck in that jail for life. (Unless he lands a good part in an interesting play that opens in London or New York.) Because whatever Shannon might have to offer that doesn’t fit into standard movie-bad-guy behavior is going to really be ignored with a passion from here on.
I go narcoleptic when Shannon plays a wacko. I’d like to see him play a nice-guy dad or a heroic big-city detective or a brilliant CIA operative based in the Middle East.
“Some actors are better at playing heavies, agreed, and we’ve all heard time and again that it’s a lot more enjoyable to play darker personalities than dutiful good guys,” I wrote on 1.11. “But the world is full of gentle, brilliant and compassionate men and women who don’t look like conventional movie stars. It would be nice if American mainstream films could acknowledge this every so often.”
So it’s Shannon as Zod, Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Clark Kent’s parents, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. This movie has such an impressive bullshit potential. You know what it’s going to be with Snyder calling the shots. I have little faith that producer Chris Nolan is going to step in and keep Snyder from indulging in his usual ComicCon CG-whore routine.