How Batman V Superman Will Bring Zod Back, According To Michael Shannon

The sight of Michael Shannon’s body in the longer Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer that Warner Bros. brought to San Diego Comic-Con likely caught audiences off guard. After all, Superman (Henry Cavill) disposed of his Kryptonian enemy, General Zod, in a controversial move that concluded Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. And in recent weeks, Shannon has gone on the record to say that he would be in the film (possibly wearing flippers), and then that he wouldn’t be in the film – even though he’s definitely in the trailer. Confused yet?

I was lucky enough to speak with Michael Shannon about his mesmerizing performance as real estate mogul Rick Carver in the provocative 99 Homes. But at the end of our lively discussion, we dipped a toe into Batman v Superman talk. We are about to dive into SPOILERS for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Stop reading if you do not want to know what I’m about to tell you!

Wondering if Zack Snyder only asked Shannon to come back and play a corpse in next year’s superhero sequel, I asked Shannon if he’d at least get a few lines. He confirmed:

Yeah, I say some stuff. But not a whole lot! I mean, I am dead. [Laughs] … I’m just like a ghost. It’s kind of like Russell Crowe in the first one. Jor-El. For some reason, these Kryptonian spirits, they linger. Even once you crack my neck, you can’t shut me up.

So there you have it. The way that Zack Snyder handled Jor-El in Man of Steel sets a precedent for the way that the franchise will bring Michael Shannon’s Zod back into the story. And now we know for certain he won't be a silent apparition haunting Superman from beyond the grave.

Can you guess what Zod says to Henry Cavill’s Kal-El? I’m guessing he’s going to ratchet up the guilt on the Big Blue Boy Scout. After all, Kal’s actions at the end of Man of Steel helped wipe a significant trace of both Superman and Zod’s home planet off the map. General Zod, as you will recall, was fighting to restore Krypton and its people. HIS people. Superman chose Earth, and I don’t imagine the ghost of Zod is going to be too pleased by that decision. If he can do anything about it, I’m guessing he’s going to make Kal live to regret it.

This doesn’t necessarily negate the rumors that Lex Luthor (Jessie Eisenberg) gets hold of Zod’s body in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Or that he harvests the alien’s DNA to create a bigger threat to humanity. But Michael Shannon’s comments to CinemaBlend confirm that the actor delivers another full performance in Snyder’s upcoming sequel, giving us yet another reason to look forward to it when it hits theaters on March 25, 2016.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.