Michael Shannon Turned Down Marvel or Star Wars

General Zod

Michael Shannon, who is of course known in the superhero world for having played General Zod in both Man of Steel and this year’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (although having never set foot on the set for the latter) has revealed in an interview with Fandango that he once had the opportunity to play the lead role in either a Marvel or Star Wars film, but turned it down.

After being questioned on if a Marvel or Star Wars role would be something that he would like to look at doing in the future, Shannon revealed it was actually something he had previously been offered. After saying that it wasn’t something he would be interested in, he explained his reasons:

No, I’m not really looking for that. They called me recently about some iteration – I won’t say – but some version of a movie that’s been made already countless times. They were gonna give me a lot of of money, but I was like nah. Big movie, too. But I have to think it’s an interesting story. If I don’t, I can’t do it. I won’t do it.

He also spoke about his previous experiences on working within a large franchise, specifically, the DC Cinematic Universe within which Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice take place:

When I did Man of Steel I thought the story was interesting; I thought it was relevant. It was about a civilization that destroys the planet they live on and goes looking for another one. Ring any bells? That’s why I did it. I didn’t do it because I felt I needed a big comic book franchise – I honestly thought it was a beautiful story.

Source: Fandango

Joe Hart

Joe Hart

Freelance writer from Essex, England. "One batch, two batch, penny and dime."

  • In Brightest Day

    Probably the Vulture in Spider-Man?

    • Peter James

      Yeah, the “countless times” remark is what made me think Spider-Man too.

      I can’t think of what role he may have been offered in Star Wars, though.
      Maybe Jyn Erso’s father(Galen Erso) in Rogue One, or Krennic (Medelsohn) or perhaps something in Episode 8.

      • In Brightest Day

        Benicio Del Toro’s villain from VIII? Still think it’s Spider-Man. Maybe Norman Osborn?

        • SAMURAI36

          Now Osborn I could see.

          • Darthmanwe

            Couple it with the “countless times” remark, and the option itself pretty much narrows down to Osborn alone. No other character has been done as many time as that, harry and norman combined.

          • SAMURAI36

            Oh yeah, that’s right….. I’d totally forgotten that he’d said that. That totally bumps some of the other options out of the water, like Vulture, who has never been played (to my knowledge).

            And yeah, for him to snub a Spiderman role, is a major thing.

    • Brownstones19

      isn’t michael keaton vulture?

      • In Brightest Day

        Yeah, but this article is about Shannon turning down a big role in a Marvel/star wars movie. I’m guessing it was as Vulture in Spider-Man

        • SAMURAI36

          I really don’t see that as being that big of a role, in the scheme of things.

          • Chris Schroeder

            As the main villian, if it became a reoccurring role than it could have developed into a “big role”

          • SAMURAI36

            True, but I didn’t get that impression from what Shannon described.

          • Chris Schroeder

            I still think it would have been Osborn

          • SAMURAI36

            Yeah, that’s the only thing that makes sense. And I think Shannon would have made a GREAT Osborn. But I’m glad he turned them down just the same. :-)

          • Chris Schroeder

            I agree he would have been a great one.
            We can agree to disagree on the last part 😉 hahaha

        • SAMURAI36

          As someone pointed out here, it was a role that Shannon said has been done before. That’s not Vulture. Most likely Osborn.

          • In Brightest Day

            “They called me recently about some iteration – I won’t say – but some version of a movie that’s been made already countless times.”

            He wasn’t talking about a role. Could certainly be talking about Norman Osborn, but he was referring to the movie.

  • Keiran S-C

    he had a fantastic performance in MoS best villain in superhero movies by far id say but he would feel really out of place in a marvel film, too mature and logical to work with the nothing but wise cracking heroes. Star wars maybe

    • Rob

      Best villain in a superhero film by far?!? Terrance Stamp, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Tom Hiddelston, Alfred Molina, Sir Ian McKellan, Michael Fassbender, and Willem Dafoe all say “Hello”. You can make arguments for any of them to be the best superhero movie villain of all time along with Shannon.

      I may be old school, but I still like Nicholson the best.

      As for fitting into the Marvel universe, some of the best Marvel movies had mature and logical villains. See Civil War, Dr. Strange, and others.

      • Keiran S-C

        oh yeah their are many fantastic actors who have played phenomenal villains i think a more accurate thing to say would have been “the best villain I have seen in superhero films”.

        Ian mc kellan was outstanding and matched with patrick stewarts performance was another perfect combination like cavill and shannon, both actors complimented each other flawlessly.
        Fassbender has been the best part of the new x men movies aswell.
        Its been along time since ive seen the old spiderman movies but i remember them having great villains and i havnt even seen the old superman films and only briefly the old batman :/ the method in which actors used to perform always felt cringy or cheesy to me and puts me off watching older movies.

        Ledger too was incredible but i would still place Shannon at the top with ian mckellan not far behind.

        I didnt think hiddleston was anything special probably the most overrated villain ever, his performance wasnt great and wasnt bad he came across very theatrical and over the top like a stage performer trying to reach the back row of the audience. I think it would have worked fine if he wasnt playing against nothing but comic relief heroes who coudlnt take a single scene seriously, even his downfall was treated as a joke which ruined any sense of maturity hiddelston had struggled to bring to the film. The same way they killed the mature tone of Civil War with a 20 minute play fight.
        His writing was terrible aswell in the first avengers film, it wasnt so bad in thor but again the funny hero sapped any maturity out of the film.

        The MCU has been very immature so far, too many jokes at inappropriate times even death scenes are used to cram in comedy then forgotten about 60 seconds later to be replaced by yet more unnecessary comedy, even the defeat of mass murderers while surrounded by hundreds of dead and dying civilians are for some reason a funny event :S:S
        I havnt seen Doctor strange but Civil War was one of the worst written films in the franchise beating out the first avengers movie and although zemo was portrayed very well and came across as a mature character for a change he still had the lamest plot i have seen for any villain and only had 10 minutes or so on screen.

        some of the best marvel movies have mature and logical villains that is definitely true! but non of them are from the MCU

        • SAMURAI36

          I was with you, right up till you mentioned those other Marvel villains. Loki was by far the best MCU villain, but that’s really not saying very much.

          • Keiran S-C

            yeah i can see why ppl liked loki he was easily the best performance in the films hes in, i just think to make a good villain it requires more than a decent performance from him alone he still needs a strong narrative with detailed motivations and heroes to compliment his performance which Loki never got.

            The guy in the first IM worked well for me since i could fully understand his motivations, he felt like he had earned the company and raised this play boy brat then to have him turn up one day and stop production without even consulting him before hand was just one step too far. He had a strong personal connection to stark whos whole origin was well told and the villain was always serious throughout the film where as loki wasnt at times. I still dont know his name though lol

            redskull & baron zemo were again very serious throughout their performance which is why id rate them higher than Loki even if zemos master plan was laughable and he was hardly in the film, i still found his motivations compelling and having Black Pantha as the one he reveals his origin story to made for a great scene.

            i also feel BP has the best performance out of all the heroes just a shame about the low quality of the film :/

    • Alric the Red

      I agree that his version of Zod was indeed a good villain, and here’s why I think so. What drove Zod was the commitment to his people. All of his motivations made complete sense to anybody with heart. He was, on one level, a person I’d get behind if I was a member of that race. But we were on the other end, facing extinction if he got his way. I found him a sympathetic villain, not some mustache-twirling lunatic with vague motives.

      I felt the same way about Dr. Octopus in the second Spider-Man movie, and about Dr. Curt Connors in The Amazing Spider-Man.

      • Keiran S-C

        very true! his speech after the world engine is destoryed was full of emotion and was very moving so much so it is clear to the audience why he sees his actions as 100% justified. A ton of other scenes were outstanding but the ending was the best way to resolve his character, by forcing clark to take a life he managed to have the last laugh and take a piece of supermans soul away which he can never get back. :)

      • SAMURAI36

        Yeah, Doc Ock and Connors were great villains. I think Zod is easily in the top 3 best CBM villains of all time.

  • SAMURAI36

    This gets a hardy LMAO from me. It’s not often you see actors snubbing the big, bad, Disney. Good for him. I love how he basically said “Marvel and SW stories suck”.

    • Peter James

      That’s not what he said, but…okay?

      Speaking of what he (ACTUALLY) said, you want to dig up and see what he said about Batman V Superman?

      And check to see whether he didn’t say that that actually sucked.

    • Rob

      Ummm…. He actually said the story was interesting.

  • Rob

    My guess it was a Star Wars movie. I know there has been cases where actors have played roles in both Marvel and DC movies, but I don’t think Disney’s Marvel has ever employed a WB/DC actor. At least not an actor from a significant role from WB/DC. I don’t think they would want to either.

  • Darthmanwe

    See when this guy says stuff like that, I believe it.

    He is one of the few actors that actually care about their craft, like Hugo Weaving.

  • SAMURAI36

    Oh, & for the idiots on here that are in denial, that Michael Shannon didn’t basically say the stories for those franchises suck, here is his direct quote:

    “No, I’m not really looking for that. They called me recently about some iteration – I won’t say – but some version of a movie that’s been made already countless times. They were gonna give me a lot of of money, but I was like nah. Big movie, too. But I have to think it’s an interesting story. If I don’t, I can’t do it. I won’t do it.”

    The story is not interesting = the story sucks. It’s not rocket science. Get your heads out of Marvel’s &$$, & stop being in denial.