The Flash and Man of Steel actor Michael Shannon recently elaborated on why he chose to not join Star Wars claiming he does not “want to make mindless entertainment.”

Zod in Flash trailer

Michael Shannon returns as Zod in The Flash trailer

Shannon previously revealed in an interview with Fandango back in 2016 while promoting Nocturnal Animals that he had been approached to either star in a Marvel or Star Wars film but turned down the role.

In that interview he shared his distaste for big franchises and explained why he chose to take on the role of Zod in Man of Steel. He said, “When I did Man of Steel I thought the story was interesting; I thought it was relevant. It was about a civilization that destroys the planet they live on and goes looking for another one. Ring any bells? That’s why I did it. I didn’t do it because I felt I needed a big comic book franchise – I honestly thought it was a beautiful story.”

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

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When pressed on whether or he would be interested in joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Star Wars, Shannon revealed they had actually approached him, “No, I’m not really looking for that. They called me recently about some iteration – I won’t say – but some version of a movie that’s been made already countless times.”

He added, “They were gonna give me a lot of of money, but I was like nah. Big movie, too. But I have to think it’s an interesting story. If I don’t, I can’t do it. I won’t do it.”

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

Now, while promoting the upcoming The Flash film where he reprises his role as General Zod, Shannon elaborated to Empire via Sci-fi & Fantasy Gazette on why he turned down the Star Wars film.

“I’m always a bit wary about those giant movies. 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,” he said. “I don’t find them interesting and I don’t want to perpetuate them.”

Shannon added, “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.”

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Ironically, Shannon previously indicated he enjoyed making genre films in an interview earlier this year with Looper.

When asked about his reprisal of Zod in The Flash, Shannon said, “I was a little confused. 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.”

Shannon then revealed, “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.”

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

He then detailed his love for Man of Steel, “I loved making Man of Steel, and I love working with [director] Zack [Snyder], and I felt like it was actually, in a way, a fairly important film. It was nice to revisit the character.”

“I wasn’t there for a terribly long time. I was in and out in a couple of weeks, so it was a nice way to spend a bit of my summer in England. Andy’s a lovely guy and a great artist, visually, and I had a blast,” Shannon added.

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

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While Star Wars was certainly not mindless entertainment when it was being helmed by George Lucas, more recent creations under the guidance of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, and Kathleen Kennedy certainly qualify.

In fact, under Disney’s leadership the philosophical underpinnings of the entire series are being undermined as the company has embraced the slogan of Kylo Ren, “Let the past die, kill it if you have to.”

Michael Shannon as General Zod in Man of Steel (2013), Warner Bros. Pictures

What do you make of Michael Shannon’s comments?

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.