When “The Flash” opens in theaters next weekend, comic book fans will be treated to a litany of cameos from returning DC stars. Both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are reprising their iterations of Batman, and Nicolas Cage will finally get a chance to suit up as Superman. Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” will be represented as well, as Michael Shannon is returning as the villainous General Zod.
In a new interview with Collider, Shannon shared some thoughts about his return to the DC Extended Universe — and they weren’t all positive. He explained that while multiverse movies create great opportunities for actors to reprise beloved roles, they often strip those roles of the humanity that made them compelling in the first place.
“Yeah. I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t quite satisfying for me, as an actor. These multiverse movies are like somebody playing with action figures,” Shannon said about his experience making “The Flash.” “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.”
He continued: “It’s pretty crazy. I didn’t ever think I would be an action figure. I never imagined that for myself. I can’t take all the credit because the action figure isn’t me. It’s General Zod. That would be weird, if I actually had my own Michael Shannon action figure.”
Despite any creative gripes that Shannon had with “The Flash,” the actor has had kind words for his embattled co-star Ezra Miller. Despite the actor’s multitude of legal troubles, Shannon recently explained that he sympathizes with Miller because he understands the pressures of working in the public eye.
“I thought Ezra was lovely — very kind to me when I was there,” he said. “It’s difficult to talk about, but I always give people a lot of slack in this business, because there’s a lot of people in this business that have issues. And some people have more privacy than others.”