Sizing Up Michael Shannon And Zod For Zack Snyder's 'Superman' Reboot

Michael ShannonThe news that actor Michael Shannon is cast as Superman's adversary Zod in Zack Snyder's upcoming reboot flick "Man of Steel" has hit fandom just as strong as the characters pummeled each other in their first on-screen meeting in 1980's "Superman II."

Earlier today, we asked whether you thought Zod was the best choice for the central villain in the "Superman" reboot, and today's news warrants a broader look at the character and the actors who have played him.

Zod, or "General Zod" as he's more commonly called, was a military leader on Superman's home world of Krypton. Although Superman thought himself the last survivor when the planet exploded, Zod escaped disaster because he was imprisoned in The Phantom Zone for crimes he committed while leading Krypton's military forces.

While never appearing as a regular character to the same extent of Superman's primary nemesis, Lex Luthor, DC has re-introduced Zod on multiple occasions while frequently changing his origin and even his ethnicity — including one switch from a Kryptonian background to Russian.

Terrence Stamp's portrayal of the character in 1978's "Superman" and "Superman II" defined the character both on film and back into his original medium of comics. Thanks to Stamp, Zod has become one of the top villains for a "Superman" reboot while also being the hardest to cast given Stamp's performance.

For actor Michael Shannon, it's both an enviable position and one with big shoes to fill. After nabbing an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his part in "Revolutionary Road," Shannon went on to play a key role in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" series, as well as a brief role in another comic book adaptation, 2010's "Jonah Hex."

So, is Zod the right man to face off against the Man of Steel, and is Michael Shannon right for the role? We'll have to wait until 2012 to know for sure, but you can chime in now with your take on the casting!

Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!