I see some folk around the internet have been a little disappointed to learn that when General Zod appears in Man of Steel next summer, he won’t be doing everything that Superman 2‘s version of the character did.
Or, to be more specific, Michael Shannon has let slip that to VH1 his version of the character will never get to drop the line:
Kneel before Zod.
That snippet of dialogue has recurred plenty of times in the comics since it was first used in Superman 2, but there’s no reason that it has to be mandatory.
If the fans’ concept of staying true to Zod’s character would be having him reheat catchphrase then they’re even less forgiving of Zod’s characterisation than I am. Surely the essence of Zodness isn’t just some line?
Meanwhile, Shannon’s comment that Zod won’t get the line doesn’t mean some other character won’t have to say it.
But Zack Snyder has said that Man of Steel will play as though it’s the first Superman film and not draw on the previous movie adaptations at all. Of course, he’s drawing on the comics and so there will be many tropes and trappings in play that will be very familiar, though I’d consider it unlikely that his ‘fresh start’ approach will allow for this kind of nodding and winking.
I’m hoping Man of Steel is engrossing enough that I won’t be looking for a nudge in a ribs and a whisper of “Hey! Terrence Stamp!” in my ear. And if it isn’t holding my attention, I can’t see how bringing up an older, better Superman film is going to do it any favours either.
Here’s the video of Shannon now.