Even though recent reports stated that Metallo and Lois Lane's militant father would be the villains in Warner Bros. anticipated Superman reboot, it's now official: General Zod will make his triumphant return to theaters in December 2012 as Michael Shannon has been cast as the fan favorite character today. He takes over the role from Terence Stamp, who played the Kryptonian baddie in the 1978 original and its 1981 sequel, and joins Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane in the new production, which is set to begin this summer.
Zack Snyder is directing Superman: The Man of Steel for the studio while Christopher Nolan acts as producer/creative godfather to the new franchise, joined by his partner/wife Emma Thomas, Charles Roven (who worked with Nolan on his billion dollar Batman franchise) and Snyder's wife/partner Deborah. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips of Legendary Pictures will executive produce. David S. Goyer wrote the screenplay based on his and Nolan's story.
The plan is to shoot this summer, though there's still more casting to get done. We need to know who will play second-tier characters like Jimmy Olsen and Perry White from The Daily Planet as well as who will appear as Ursa and Non, Zod's right-hand man and left-hand woman (both gave the Last Son of Krypton one hell of a battle in Superman II). While those characters may or may not be in the script, one thing is for sure: Snyder and co. have hired perhaps the perfect actor to play Zod. Shannon has a tremendous presence on screen, as anyone who's seen his work in Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire or Take Shelter (his most recent film credit which Sony Pictures Classics will release sometime this year) can attest to. He should prove to be a formidable foe for The Man of Steel as well as a great on-set collaborator for Cavill.