Michael Shannon Needed the Multiverse Explained to Him Before Return as Zod in ‘The Flash’

“I was a little confused,” the actor said of his previously killed-off role

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Michael Shannon is set to reprise his “Man of Steel” role as the villainous General Zod in “The Flash.” But as Shannon tells it, the film’s producers had to explain “the whole multiverse phenomenon, which I was a little behind the times on that.”

In an interview with Looper, Shannon was surprised to receive a phone call from director Andy Muschietti asking him to reprise Zod in “The Flash.”  

“I was a little confused.” Shannon 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. 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.”

Shannon added: “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.”

That plot of “The Flash” will introduce general audiences to the idea of the multiverse, one of the of core concepts underpinning DC Comics. For the non fanboy set, the multiverse refers to a shifting number of alternate universes that coexist within the larger reality depicted in DC comics. Originally created to explain various contradictory changes the company’s characters experienced over decades, it allows several different versions of the same characters to simultaneously exist and, occasionally, interact.

Zod in “The Flash” will be a tad different from when audiences saw him in “Man of Steel.”

“I tried to get back into his skin,” Shannon said. “He’s a little different in this film. He’s a little more … I don’t know how to put it. You don’t spend as much time with him, so you don’t really get to know as much about what he’s thinking. It’s not necessarily his movie. That’s the thing with these multiverse movies — you get a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But it’s really Ezra [Miller’s] movie.”

“The Flash” will screen in its entirety for the first time at CinemaCon, the annual film exhibition trade show where studios present their biggest and best to theater owners, according to an insider with knowledge of the project.

The superhero standalone film starring Ezra Miller is set to open on June 16, and will play at the Las Vegas convention two months before that on April 25.