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The Flash Actor Michael Shannon Turned Down Star Wars Role (Explained)

Michael Keaton’s Batman isn’t the only big comic book character return happening in Warner Bros.’ long-awaited “The Flash.” As the film’s official trailer confirmed last month, Michael Shannon is also coming back to the DC Universe as “Man of Steel” villain General Zod in the upcoming Ezra Miller-led comic book tentpole. Shannon admitted in a recent interview with Looper that he was quite baffled when the offer came in to reprise General Zod and turned down the role.

The star, who returns to his role as General Zod in the new DC movie, explained in a new interview that he doesn’t find big blockbusters “very stimulating”, which put him off taking a role in a galaxy far, far away.

“I’m always a bit wary about those giant movies,” Shannon told Empire. “Because they take a lot of time and I don’t find them very stimulating to work on. 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.

michael shannon

“If I’m making something, I want there to be some kind of purpose to it – I don’t want to make mindless entertainment. The world doesn’t need more mindless entertainment. We’re inundated with it.”

Opening up about how joining DC with 2013’s Man of Steel differs from doing Star Wars, the actor said he found the former “actually a very relevant story”.

“It’s basically looking at a civilisation that destroyed their own planet and think the solution is to go off and destroy another,” he continued.

“When you hear that hypothetically, if we destroy the Earth, we might go live on Mars — it’s the same thing. I didn’t look at Zod as a villain. I just saw him as a guy whose job is to protect his people.”

michael shannon, november 2022
Jon Kopaloff – Getty Images

Meanwhile, earlier this year Shannon admitted he was “a little confused” when he was asked to return as Zod in The Flash, telling Looper. “I said, ‘As memory serves me, I think I died in Man of Steel. Are they sure they got the right guy?’

“But then they explained to me the whole multiverse phenomenon, which… I was a little behind the times on that.

“I can’t say that I’m a huge consumer of this genre of films — not that I have anything against them. If I’m going to watch a movie, the odds are it’s not going to be one of those, but I sure love making them.”

The Flash is released in cinemas on June 16.

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