Sympathy For The Devil? Man Of Steel’s General Zod

man of steel zod

“Nature or nurture” seems to be at the the heart of Clark Kent’s / Kal-El’s (Henry Cavill) search for understanding of his place in our world. No such doubts cloud General Zod’s (Michael Shannon) thinking. Krypton’s fiercest warrior and proud proponent of her ancient ways is a genetically programmed Son Of Steel; he and his Sword Of Rao acolytes forged through an inviolate belief in Truth, Justice, and the Kryptonian way.

If that means letting a few of the weaker bloodlines in their caste system go to the wall during his coup, so be it. Like his friend and mentor Jor-El (Russell Crowe) , Zod sees corruption at the heart of of Krypton’s degenerate Ruling Council. Although he doesn’t share his belief the planet is on the cusp of destruction, brought about by thousands of years plundering Krypton’s core to fuel their inward looking society. “Zod is single-minded, doing what he believes is best for his people, taking a side, perhaps no more forcefully than Jor-El,” Shannon says.

Debbie Snyder, Man Of Steel producer, said of Zod, ” When you’re playing for keeps, when it’s the end of your race, there are no rules.” And that means humanity must be swept aside to make Earth a new Krypton. Zod’s unwavering belief, his genetically engineered predisposition to protect his race won’t allow compassion.  

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Russell Crowe said, “There’s a touch of madness to Jor-El. As far as he’s concerned, it’s the last throw of the dice for the entire race (sending Kal-El off into space with The Codex, their people’s DNA matrix). Zod has a concept too, in terms of keeping Krypton alive. I think that’s where the two of them agree, that by whatever means necessary you have to propogate the race. I think they’re both working under extreme pressure and a period of desperation.”

Michael Shannon told Empire, “Nothing we do in this film will make people forget Terence Stamp, but that wasn’t really what we were going for. As much as I love what Terence Stamp did in that movie, it was kind of opaque. it was impossible to have any empathy with him. it was pure malice. We wanted to break down that wall a little bit, so the audience might think, “yeah, I know what he’s going through.”

One of Shannon’s favourite sequences is where he explains to Kal what happened to Zod and his forces after escaping the Phantom Zone, and their attempts to find a new home, where he attempts to get Kal-El to join them, appealing to his Kryptonian nature.

The key for me is his name’s not villain Zod, it’s General Zod,” Shannon says.

 

Originally posted 2013-08-23 17:35:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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