Michael Shannon has revealed that he turned down a role in Star Wars as he didn't want to be tied to a franchise.
Throughout his career, Shannon has combined smaller productions like Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Nocturnal Animals with big-budget flicks like Bullet Train.
He is perhaps best known for playing General Zod in Man of Steel - a role which he recently reprised in The Flash. Even though Man of Steel was a franchise movie, a big one, Shannon isn't a fan of franchises in general.
"I'm always a bit wary about those giant movies. Because they take a lot of time and I don't find them very stimulating to work on," he told Empire about his Star Wars offer in 2016.
"I don't ever want to get stuck in a franchise. I don't find them interesting and I don't want to perpetuate them. If I'm making something, I want there to be some kind of purpose to it – I don't want to make mindless entertainment."
As for returning as Zod in The Flash, he says that development was unexpected.
"Yeah, I didn't see myself playing Zod again, because he was dead. It's actually one of the reasons I made 'Man of Steel' in the first place – it was a one-and-done," he continued.
"So I was pretty shocked to hear about the reprisal of the role.
"But I like the story that 'The Flash' is telling and I wasn't there for a long amount of time – I was just there a couple of weeks – so it didn't break my back to do it."
Shannon not satisfied with The Flash
Working on The Flash wasn't a wholly satisfying experience for Shannon, who compared multiverse movies to tossing action figures together.
"I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't quite satisfying for me, as an actor," he confessed.
"These multiverse movies are like somebody playing with action figures. It's like, 'Here's this person. Here's that person. And they're fighting!'
"It's not quite the in-depth character study situation that I honestly felt Man of Steel was. Whether people think that's crazy or not, I don't even care. I really felt like Man of Steel was actually a pretty sophisticated story. I feel like The Flash is too, but it's not Zod's story. I'm basically there to present a challenge."
Man of Steel
Action / Scifi
2013 • 143 minutes
Action / Adventure
2023 • 144 minutes