Actor Michael Shannon, who plays General Zod in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” lets loose on what it’s like playing Superman’s ultimate baddie and the advantage of CGI over wirework when it comes to onscreen flight:
“Man of Steel? It’s about Superman, I can tell you that. It’s pretty hush-hush, it’s a reboot going back to the origins of Superman. We started doing preparations in the spring, learning stunts and stuff, and we started shooting towards the end of July. We were in Illinois for a couple of months then we wound up here in Vancouver.”
“Oh, he’s a prince,” the actor said when talk turned to director Zack Snyder. “One of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in this business. Very warm-hearted individual and very creative. He blends in, he likes to feel, to be one of the guys, one of the crew, but he’s able to do that without losing his authority. He doesn’t really crack the whip, he’s friendly and because he’s friendly people want to make him happy.”
Zack Snyder’s movies tend to be fairly heavy on CGI and this is something Shannon is seemingly quite grateful for, especially after the interviewer brought up how former Zod, Terrence Stamp, was hoisted around on a rig to achieve the flying effects in the original Superman. “Unfortunately for Mr. Stamp, they didn’t have CGI back then. I’m being spared a lot of drudgery that he had to endure. From time to time I’m in a harness, but I don’t think anywhere near as much as he was. It’s no secret that a lot of the film is going to be assisted by computer designed animation.”
“I guess it can be frustrating not having those tactile elements around you, being surrounded by the green, but you’re always trying to tell a story and be honest and you use your imagination regardless of whether there’s a set or not,” he revealed, highlighting some of the potential downsides to visual effects. “In a way it’s even more childlike (with CG) because you’re really relying solely on your imagination, like a little kid in the yard who doesn’t have any props, just inventing something out of thin air. That’s the original impulse for it all to begin with, I think.”
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