With such a brave and morally resolute superhero at the center of Man of Steel, you might assume that the best way to make his qualities stand out would be to pit him against the most dastardly villains that the DC universe can muster, in order to make the contrast between good and evil shine. The main antagonist for the film is General Zod, a warlord from Krypton who was frequently pitted against Superman in the comics – but is Zod truly an evil villain or simply misunderstood?
CBM has published video interviews with two of the villains of Man of Steel, where they give their own perspective on the characters they play. Michael Shannon, who is cast as General Zod, has repeatedly said in past interviews that he doesn’t consider the character to be a villain, which is probably quite a good approach for an actor to take; after all, it’s difficult to truly empathize with someone if you consider them to be one of the bad guys, and if Zod believes that he’s doing to best thing for his people then Shannon probably should as well.
Playing Zod’s second-in-command, Faora Hu-Ul, is German actress Antje Traue, who also starred in Christian Alvart’s sci-fi horror Pandorum. Traue says that she deliberately did not read any of the comics in preparation for the film after a discussion with Zack Snyder, in which they agreed that it would be better for her to approach Faora from a fresh perspective. That character, Traue says, is a soldier without fear:
While it might be argued that a set of purely evil antagonists work better in the context of a superhero movie, Traue and Shannon’s descriptions of their characters actually suggest a far more interesting take on the clash of the Kryptonians. Previous trailers, as well as a tie-in book for the movie, have suggested that Zod will attempt to lure Superman over to the side of his own warriors, and that the hero will be tempted by the scope of power at his fingertips to rule over Earth with an iron fist (or perhaps a steel one).
For moments like that to seem real, it would actually be better if Zod and Superman’s characters were not so distant from each other. They are both, after all, only doing what they consider to be the right thing. What separates them is really how they act and what their values ultimately are. In a recent Man of Steel TV spot, Zod is heard claiming that everything he does is for the greater good, and is subsequently called a “monster” by Superman. Yet many would say that “the greater good” is a noble thing to fight for.
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Article source: screenrant.com