‘Man of Steel’ Actor Was “Confused” When Offered ‘The Flash’ After DC Exit

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Superman fighting Zod in 'Man of Steel'

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The Flash (2023) is set to “break” the DC Universe this summer, and will unite characters from several DC films, including Batman (1989), Man of Steel (2013), and Justice League (2021). But while audiences have become familiar with the multiverse concept over the past couple of years, with Marvel films such as Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), it seems that some actors haven’t.

One is none other than Michael Shannon, who, in the superhero genre at least, is best known for portraying vengeful Kryptonian General Zod in the first DCU installment Man of Steel. Now, as teased in the trailer, Shannon is set to reprise his role as Zod — however, as you’ve probably already guessed, he won’t be playing the exact same version.

Michael Shannon as Zod in The Flash trailer
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

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This is unlikely to confuse DC fans, of course, given that it’s hardly a mystery that The Flash will open the DC Multiverse, but the actor recently admitted that he was “confused” when he was asked to return, this time to battle Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Sasha Calle).

In an interview with Looper, the The Shape of Water (2017) actor explained how baffled he was when the offer came in for him to reprise his Man of Steel character in The Flash.

“I was a little confused,” he revealed. “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.”

It’s no surprise that Shannon was a little confused by the offer — after all, his on-screen villain is killed in Man of Steel, which means that the actor swiftly exited the DC before even the first sequel Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) arrived (although he does have a tiny cameo of sorts in that film).

Michael Shannon as Zod in The Flash trailer
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: 7 Batman Villains You Definitely Missed in ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’

He also revealed that the new version of Zod isn’t in the film anywhere near as much as he is in Man of Steel, saying, “I tried to get back into his skin. 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. But it’s really Ezra [Miller’s] movie.”

He certainly isn’t wrong — while this is indeed Flash’s solo outing, it also welcomes at least two versions of Bruce Wayne/Batman, in Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck, which, in a sense, means that this could be Batman’s answer to No Way Home, while also serving as both a Flash film and a Man of Steel sequel.

Barry Allen really does have the weight of the universe on his shoulders…

Check out the official trailer for The Flash below:

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The Flash releases in theaters on June 16. As per Wikipedia, here’s the synopsis for the DCU film:

Barry Allen/The Flash travels back in time to prevent his mother’s murder, which traps him in an alternate reality without metahumans. He enlists the help of Batman and the Kryptonian castaway Supergirl from alternate realities in order to save this world from the restored General Zod and return to his universe.

The Flash in shock at what he is seeing in 'The Flash'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros. Discovery

Related: Keanu Reeves on Being the Next Batman

The Flash stars Ezra Miller (Barry Allen/The Flash), Sasha Calle (Kara Zor-El/Supergirl), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Ron Livingston (Henry Allen), Michael Keaton (Bruce Wayne/Batman), and Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman).

The Flash releases in theaters on June 16.

Are you excited to see General Zod in The Flash? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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