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Michael Shannon Wasn’t Sure Why He Was Back for The Flash

" I think I died in Man of Steel," the actor added, which feels like a reasonable response to being asked back to a completely different DC superhero movie.

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General Zod, wearing his transparent helmet, stands aboard his ship.
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Multiverses are all the rage in superhero movies nowadays, but they can be a tough idea for non-nerds to wrap their heads around. Non-nerds like, say, Michael Shannon, who played the Superman villain General Zod in 2013's Man of Steel. So when Warner Bros. asked him to reprise his role in The Flash movie, his response was—and I’m paraphrasing here—“Huh?”

The problem, as Shannon saw it, was that he was reasonably confident Zod died in Man of Steel. (For the record, he is correct, the character having had his neck snapped by Superman.) “I was a little confused,” Shannon told Looper in a recent interview. “I said, ‘As memory serves me, I think I died in Man of Steel. Are they sure they got the right guy?’ But then they explained to me the whole multiverse phenomenon, which I was a little behind the times on that. I can’t say that I’m a huge consumer of this genre of films—not that I have anything against them. If I’m going to watch a movie, the odds are it’s not going to be one of those, but I sure love making them.”


A reasonable and very diplomatic answer! Shannon also explained that this Zod is a little different than the Zod he played previously: “He’s a little different in this film. He’s a little more… I don’t know how to put it. You don’t spend as much time with him, so you don’t really get to know as much about what he’s thinking. It’s not necessarily his movie. That’s the thing with these multiverse movies—you get a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”

Another reasonable answer! As you might recall, The Flash’s first trailer revealed that by traveling back in time to see and/or rescue his murdered mother, Barry Allen (the troubled Ezra Miller) managed to change the timeline, as all Flashes are seemingly legally mandated to do. Somehow, this prevents the existence of metahumans, so when General Zod arrives on Earth, there’s no Superman to stop him from terraforming the planet for a new race of Kryptonians. Not good, Barry.


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