How Much Michael Shannon Actually Participated In Batman V Superman

Michael Shannon Zod

Even following his death in 2013's Man of Steel, General Zod continued to be an important DC Extended Universe player during Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year. Michael Shannon, on the other hand, can't say the same thing. Although the actor had some fun in the past over just how much he was involved with the filming of the second DCEU installment, he's now confirmed once and for all that the only way he was participated in the blockbuster was by providing his voice, as he didn't show up to any of the sets.

While speaking with our own Eric Eisenberg, Michael Shannon confirmed that he wasn't anywhere near Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when it was in principal photography, and his only contribution was recording some lines later on. He explained:

I never set foot on the set of Batman v Superman... In the movie there's a large rubber version of my naked body that Lex Luthor is playing with. I was not, the only thing I did for that is I did some ADR of some lines that Zack thought he might use in the movie of my disembodied spirit talking to Lex Luthor, but other than that...

Michael Shannon also reiterated that the story he told about having to wear "flipper hands" while shooting was just him screwing with the press. As far as the voice tidbit, the actor mentioned in September 2015 he would be playing a "ghost," akin to Jor-El's consciousness appearing in Man of Steel despite the man himself having died decades earlier. However, as we've since seen, the Zod "ghost" subplot didn't make it into Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's theatrical or Ultimate Edition cuts. As for Zod's body being seen in the movie, we can thank the finest in movie-making technology for creating a dummy that looked so much like Shannon that we briefly wondered whether the actor had simply come to the set to lay on a table.

18 months after Superman snapped Zod's neck to save a family from being incinerated, Lex Luthor obtained the Kryptonian general's corpse in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for experimentation. After using Zod to confirm how kryptonite affects Kryptonian biology, Luthor later put the corpse into the Krytponian ship's Genesis Chamber and combined it with his own blood. This created the "Kryptonian Deformity," a.k.a. Doomsday, who went on a rampage before Superman sacrificed himself to stop it. This may not be the last we've seen of the beast if it's as resilient as its comic book counterpart, but as far as Michael Shannon is concerned, his time with franchise appears to be permanently over. Still, there's a small part of me that wishes we could have seen Zod haunting Luthor and whispering diabolical nothings into his ear.

The DCEU will continue in 2017 with Wonder Woman on June 2 and Justice League on November 17. Michael Shannon can next be seen in Nocturnal Animals, which hits theaters next Wednesday, November 23.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.