DC Movies Wiki
DC Movies Wiki

Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon portrayed Cross Williams in Jonah Hex and General Zod in Man of Steel and will be reprising his role in the upcoming The Flash.

Significant roles

  • Lt. Gooz Wood in Pearl Harbor (2001)
  • Stanton in New Port South (2001)
  • Aaron in Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Greg Buehl in 8 Mile (2002)
  • Floyd Poteet in Bad Boys II (2003)
  • Peter Evans in Bug (2006)
  • Dave Karnes in World Trade Center (2006)
  • Ray Zumbro in Lucky You (2007)
  • Dex in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
  • John Givings in Revolutionary Road (2008)
  • Jordan Walker in The Greatest (2009)
  • Mundt in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009)
  • Brad McCullum in My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009)
  • Kim Fowley in The Runaways (2010)
  • Doc Cross Williams in Jonah Hex (2010)
  • Agent Nelson Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire (2010)
  • Bobby Monday in Premium Rush (2012)
  • General Zod in Man of Steel (2013)


  • "[I]t's one of the most humiliating garments that exists in the known universe. ...It's very tight. It has a variety of different colors and shapes on it and it makes you feel like you're the court jester."
  • "[I]t's funny because when I met with Zack we were talking about it before it started and he mentioned that there was going to be a lot of CGI... I said, 'Just don't make me wear one of those silly suits.' He said, 'Oh, yeah, don't worry, I know exactly what you're talking about.' I was like, 'It's going to be really hard for me to be intimidating if I have to wear one of those silly suits.' He said, 'I totally understand.' Then I showed up and he's like, 'Dude, I swear to God, it's going to be so badass when we're done. Trust me, it's going to be wicked.' "
  • "I'm not going to impersonate Terence Stamp. I'm not going to have a British accent or anything. I'm still getting my foot into the pool, you know? I just started working on it and all I can say is that it's very well written. There's a lot of really great opportunities to re-invent it for myself."
  • "To me, [being a General is] such an interesting kind of iconoclastic character. I can't imagine even being a Sergeant , let alone a General. He's in charge of the entire military of Krypton. That's going to take every little shred of imagination that I have. It's a good challenge."
  • "We do have a fight sequence in the film. We worked on it for a long time, we rehearsed it for a long time, then you shoot it and it's done. It's kind of strange to put all this work into something that's going to be maybe a minute long [on film]."
  • "I've shot exactly one scene with Henry so far. We have a lot together, we just haven't shot it yet. He seems very appropriate for the part, he's a big fella and he's very handsome and charming, so it's certainly understandable why they cast him. But I'll always have a soft spot for Christopher Reeve."
  • " Man of Steel? It's about Superman, I can tell you that. It's pretty hush-hush, it's a reboot going back to the origins of Superman."
  • "Unfortunately for Mr. Stamp, they didn't have CGI back then. I'm being spared a lot of drudgery that he had to endure. From time to time I'm in a harness, but I don't think anywhere near as much as he was. It's no secret that a lot of the film is going to be assisted by computer designed animation."
  • "I guess it can be frustrating not having those tactile elements around you, being surrounded by the green, but you're always trying to tell a story and be honest and you use your imagination regardless of whether there's a set or not. In a way it's even more childlike (with CG) because you're really relying solely on your imagination, like a little kid in the yard who doesn't have any props, just inventing something out of thin air. That's the original impulse for it all to begin with, I think."
  • "He's a general. On a planet called Krypton. I don't know what to say about Zod. It's shrouded in secrecy. [Long pause.] He's a badass mofo."
  • "I will look slightly different than Terence Stamp because otherwise, what's the point? It will all be slightly different. I think it's pretty cool. I'm going to be doing so many interviews for the Man of Steel. I'll save it for then. It is funny because people bring me pictures to sign at events and things, and there are all these mockups online and people imagining what I'm going to look like. There are some pretty funny ones, something with a black SS uniform and -- what do you call it when you got the mustache and there's this soul patch... Yeah, like a T. Well, that's totally wrong but I'll sign it if you want me to."
  • "I don't say that [the "Kneel before Zod!" catchphrase] in the movie."
  • "I never wore the armor. That is a CG outfit, I think I can say that without getting assassinated, yes. Honestly, the armor would be very heavy – like in Iron Man, Downey Jr. doesn’t ever wear armor – Oh, but there is a guy who wears it. I know the guy, the guy who was the Iron Man double, who had to wear that freakin suit was on Man of Steel and he said it was a freakin nightmare, it’s so freakin heavy. They wanted me to have freedom of movement and if I would have actually been wearing a giant metal suit I would have been walking around like this, you know? So every time you see me in that metal suit just close your eyes and imagine me in an Arlequino outfit; green, red, blue, with the little tight around the midsection. Yeah, we all looked like bunch of dorks."
  • "I thought the whole script was just very sophisticated for the genre that it is. It was as sophisticated as scripts for other movies I’ve done that have been considered more highfalutin, or whatever. It has a lot of deep themes in it, and the way they deal with Kal-El’s journey is really fascinating."
  • "'Man of Steels a big buildup. I'll tell you, I saw it last Monday -- it's worth it. It's going to blow everybody's socks off. And I know WB's probably pissed off, like I'm jinxing it or something and I shouldn't say that. I'll knock on wood just out of deference to the gods, but the movie is solid. It's gonna get the job done."
  • "It's exhilarating. It's what Zack promised would happen, you know? Because I remember the first couple of days I was on set, I thought "This is ridiculous. I look like an idiot. I don't look anything like General Zod. I'm a total failure." I went over to the screen for playback and it was ridiculous. All of us were wearing pajamas, basically. And there was this neon green set of stairs that was supposed to be our spaceship. So you see us all marching down these neon green stairs in our pajamas and I'm like, 'This looks like a Monty Python skit.' And he's like, "I know right now it looks pretty silly, but, two years from now, it's going to look like the most badass thing you've ever seen in your life." And he's right."
  • "I mean, it is their thing. It's not my thing. I'm not in that club. So, I have a respect for it. To people, it's like a religious experience and I don't discount that. I understand it. We're very sheltered from all that on set. I mean, yeah, if people want to know if it was a high pressure job -- it was very high pressure. And everybody felt a lot of anxiety about getting it right. But, Zack's strategy -- which is very intelligent -- is to keep everything very calm and fun and playful and not get tied up about it. Because if you get overly anxious about pleasing people, you can't make anything. You have to be relaxed and have a good time."
  • "Well, I have a very different voice than Terence Stamp. When I sat down and talked with Zack about how he wanted me to approach the part, he just said that what was really important to him is that Zod wasn’t just some villain who was full of an arbitrary need to destroy everything. He’s not really actually the villain at all on Krypton. He’s a general. Not general of a country. He’s general of an entire planet. Just an awesome amount of responsibility and pressure. He’s responsible for taking care of that civilization, and for a long time, he was pretty good at it. And then he hit some bumps in the road, and now he’s just desperate to try and fix things up."
  • "It's a nice feather in my cap, for sure. It's not anything I ever imagined I would be a part of and I'm still trying to process it really. When I started acting, I never thought I would be in a Superman movie so it's pretty neat. I did some big blockbusters before, but never this prominent a role."
  • "I can't fathom how people would say no to Man of Steel. I thought they were pulling my leg... Then I got on set, and realized they were serious. I had no qualms about doing it. I loved it. It was a blast. I don't think Zack has anything to worry about. I got to see it and I'm really bowled over by what he did. I think it's really special."
  • "Henry's about to be one of the more famous people on the planet. Getting to play Superman is a blessing and a curse. It's a hard character to capture. He's devoid of animosity or sarcasm, but he's not a dullard either. It's an overwhelming movie, and Henry's right in the middle of it, and he just carries it like a champ."
  • "To follow Terence Stamp's iconic performance in the original, it is a daunting but I just focused on one day at a time. It's interesting that when we started with this, we did a lot of training together and I think that kind of helped loosen things up a little bit. It is a very physical movie at the end of the day. That's a good way to find your way 'into it' as an actor."
  • "I don't know if Zod is misunderstood or just 'not understood.' It's all a matter of perspective, like if you're an Earthling you're not going to like General Zod very much because he's basically willing to wipe you out in order to save his people. But if you're a Kryptonian you're probably like, 'Wow, that General Zod, he sure is doing the best he can.' It's all a matter of perspective."
  • "One of my favorite sequences to shoot was when I'm explaining to Superman what's happened to Krypton and telling him how much I want him to be apart of our mission, it was surprising how emotional it was. It's not what you expect I think from a movie like this."
  • "I wasn’t there. It’s a really awkward situation—I’m in the trailer for a movie that I didn’t work on."
  • "The thing about the whole Krypton universe, apparently, is that even when you destroy them, there are ghosts. In the first one, Jor-El is there even though he’s been dead for lord knows how long. I went over and did some voice-over stuff because it’s like that ghost thing. But I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that. I get very nervous. Somebody was asking me about this in New York and I made up some ridiculous bullshit answer about how my character Zod has flippers, and this went viral on the Internet or something and people have been asking me about that. That is so obviously a complete bullshit story, right? But people took it seriously."
  • "Maybe they should add it, I don’t know! Maybe in Part 3, Doomsday will have flipper hands. I mean, look—nothing would make me happier than to work with Zack again, he’s hysterical and he’s a lot of fun to work with."
  • "It’s the same thing like in the first one with Jor-El. Russell Crowe’s character is kind of like a ghost... So I guess I’m a ghost, kind of."
  • "I did not cross paths with Batman, no."
  • "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."
  • "I’m so utterly unconcerned with the outcome of that fight. So profoundly, utterly unconcerned. I can’t even come up with a fake answer. I guess I have to root for Superman because he killed me, so I would hope that he would continue his killing spree and become like a serial killer Superman. That’s a new take on Superman. We’d all be in a heap of trouble if Superman was a serial killer. He could just wipe us all out. But then he’d be lonely. Well, we’re all lonely."
  • "I have a ton of respect for Zack Snyder. I loved working with him on Man of Steel. I think his films have their own unique style and he’s very authentically drawn to that. It’s not like he makes these movies but secretly wishes he was doing something else. It's what he wants to do. It’s valid. When we were making Man of Steel, I really appreciated the story: it’s about a civilization that destroys their own planet. I’m like 'well, that’s relevant.' So what, the planet’s called Krypton? It’s still relevant."
  • "People ask me about this all the time. Okay, I’ll tell you the god’s honest truth. Zack is gonna kill me for this – he’s gonna kill me. I watched it once and I fell asleep. I know, I know… I was on an international flight and I was tired….I shouldn’t have been watching it on a plane. But I never go to the movies anymore! I don’t have time to see anything. I used to go to the movies all the time when I was 20 years old and wasn’t working 10 days a week."

The Flash