The hype for Andy Muschietti’s The Flash has been slowly building now for some time. After the Warner Bros. Discovery rejig which saw James Gunn and Peter Safran installed as the heads of DC Studios, many had assumed the films to be released would be written off ahead of a massive narrative reset, like the unfortunate Batgirl or met with poor critical reception and forgotten about (hierarchy of power, anyone?).
However, the Ezra Miller-starring The Flash seems to have hit differently. With a nostalgic appeal, featuring the return of Michael Keaton as Batman – although he was to appear in Batgirl as well – and a multiverse-spanning storyline which seemed to be more coherent than Marvel‘s offerings of late, suddenly the film seems like it might be a surprise hit.
And one of the surprises in the film was the inclusion of Michael Shannon as General Zod, the villain who was vanquished ten years ago at the tail end of Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. However, Shannon very nearly wasn’t part of the film, revealing that he sought Snyder‘s blessing before taking the part.
What Did Michael Shannon Have to Say About Zack Snyder?
Speaking to The Playlist‘s Bingeworthy podcast, Shannon explained his initial hesitation to return to the role out of loyalty to Snyder, who had cast him – to the actor’s surprise – as Superman‘s nemesis in Man of Steel. Shannon went on to admit that he “wasn’t really happy” about what happened to Snyder during the filming of Justice League, which led to Snyder departing the movie despite having filmed the majority of it. Snyder was eventually able to release his own supersized version of the film via Max.
I was hesitant [to come back] because I wasn’t really happy about what happened to Zack Snyder in that whole deal. And I really love Zack. The fact that Zack asked me to play that part to begin with – that’s probably the biggest surprise of my career. It almost felt like a practical joke. I was like, ‘You’re kidding me, right?’
But I talked to Andy Muschietti about it, and I liked Andy, and I said, ‘Andy, look – I just want to get Zack’s blessing on this because it just doesn’t feel right without that.’ And Zack, to his credit, was very understanding. He gave me his blessing, and I went to do it. I loved Andy, too. I loved working with Andy. They’re both super creative guys.
Initial reactions to The Flash have been very strong, with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav saying of the feature: “It’s the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen.” Naturally, that hype should be taken with a pinch of salt given Warner Bros. Discovery‘s involvement in the film, but even still. The film was also shown as CinemaCon on Tuesday evening to a warm reception from viewers. Collider‘s own Steven Weintraub described the film as “fantastic” after viewing the movie at the event.
The Flash is running into theaters on June 16, 2023.