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The Flash's Michael Shannon Needed A Refresher To Become General Zod Again

While word surfaced early on that Michael Keaton would be reprising his version of Batman for the upcoming DC superhero movie "The Flash," fans were surprised to see in the film's Super Bowl ad that Michael Shannon's villainous General Zod from "Man of Steel" would be joining him as well.

The idea of Shannon reprising Zod — who was defeated at the hands of Henry Cavill's Superman in "Man of Steel" — was also a shock to Shannon, who told Looper in an exclusive interview, "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?'"

Director Andy Muschietti did indeed get the right guy, though, which was made possible by "The Flash," since the first solo film featuring the titular character (Ezra Miller) treks into the DC Multiverse. Shannon's portrayal of Zod in "Man of Steel" is 10 years in the rearview mirror for the two-time Oscar-nominated actor. While he didn't re-watch all of the film, he felt a refresher of his portrayal of Zod was in order.

"I watched certain scenes, just to get that flavor back in my mouth," Shannon told AV Club. "But it also has a lot to do with getting back into the hair (and makeup) — when you look in the mirror and you're like, 'Oh, yeah, I recognize that guy, okay.' It's then that it just kind of comes out of the file cabinet."

Shannon admits he knew little about the multiverse concept before joining The Flash

While discussing his latest film, the comedy-drama "A Little White Lie" with Looper, Michael Shannon said the filmmakers behind "The Flash" brought him up to speed on how they were able to bring General Zod into the events of the latest DC superhero extravaganza. "They explained to me the whole multiverse phenomenon, which ... I was a little behind the times on that," Shannon remarked. "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."

The whole experience of reprising Zod for "The Flash" resulted in good vibes for Shannon, who told Looper that he loved working with director Zack Snyder on "Man of Steel," and felt the same way bringing the character back to life for director Andy Muschietti. "It was nice to revisit the character," Shannon said. "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."

Also starring Ben Affleck as Snyder's version of Batman and Sasha Calle as Supergirl, "The Flash" opens in theaters June 16.