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Michael Shannon A Contender To Play Superman Villain?

First it was Viggo Mortensen, then it was Edgar Ramirez, and now the casting-rumor roulette wheel has stopped on another actor to play the villain in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot.

Deadline reports “there’s interest” in Michael Shannon, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Revolutionary Road and who delivered a sometimes-chilling performance as zealous Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

That, unfortunately, is the extent of the information. There’s not even a mention of which villain, although it’s been long thought to be General Zod.

However, if there’s any truth to either of these latest rumors, it might suggest — might! — that the franchise reboot is moving in a different direction, if only because neither Ramirez nor Shannon give that “Kryptonian military mastermind” vibe. Granted, that simply may be due to the long shadow cast over the role by Terence Stamp, who played Zod in Superman: The Movie and Superman II.

That said, after seeing Shannon’s performance as the cold, intense and occasionally brutal Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire, it’s not difficult to imagine him as another Superman villain, one we’ve yet to see on the big screen: Kandor-shrinking android Brainiac.

The Superman reboot, which so far stars Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Diane Lane as Martha Kent, is written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan. Charles Rovan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder also are producing. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are executive producers. It’s expected to being production this summer for a December 2012 release.


  • Grant

    I could see him playing a bunch of people. Zod, Luthor, Brainiac heck even Mxy would be kind of cool. He’s a great actor. I’m sure if he’s casted no matter who he plays will be awesome.

  • John Lees

    Michael Shannon has been on my personal Lex Luthor shortlist for a while now. I wouldn’t object to seeing him cast in that role.

  • Jackson Edge

    No to everything else I’ve heard about this movie. Yes to this.

  • Jackson Edge

    Scratch that. I’ll back Diane Lane and Nolan’s money and (hopefully) final cut,

  • Kevin Melrose

    He would make a fantastic Luthor! It’s just that I have a tough time imagining that Nolan, Snyder & Co. are going back to that same well, at least in the first “new” film. But I can seldom figure out what Nolan’s going to do …

  • Guydc3

    I could see him convincingly saying “Kneel before Zod.” I like it.

  • pDUB

    lets not forget Michael Shannon’s role in “Let’s Go to Prison” as the gang leader, THAT was good acting.

  • Michael Sacal

    There are a ton of male characters yet to be cast for the movie, like Perry and Jor-El. Why are all the rumors focused on the villain?

  • Scud

    I would LOVE to see him play a villain in this. There were parts in Boardwalk Empire where he looked so mad I thought his head was gonna explode.