Sorry, Internet: Michael Shannon is ready to set the record straight on his involvement in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the flippers-for-hands rumor that’s had comic book fans scratching their heads for weeks.
“I was in my costume, and I couldn’t use my fingers because in the sequel I have flippers instead of hands,” he told Vulture earlier this month, spawning wild speculation and mass confusion over Zod’s physiological fate.
General Zod has flippers for hands?! cried the Internet, which connected some zany dots to conclude that flipper hands must have something to do with the Doomsday storyline that may or may not play a role in Batman v Superman and the future of the Warner Bros.-DC extended movie universe.
The news came as a surprise that almost made sense. Shannon’s militant Kryptonian villain Zod, who died by way of a brutal Superman neck snap in 2013’s Man Of Steel, is glimpsed as a corpse in the trailer for the superhero face-off Batman v Superman, and Shannon was spotted cavorting with Henry Cavill on the Chicago set of the March 25, 2016 film last fall. Those tidbits fueled speculation that Batman v Superman will see Lex Luthor obtain and experiment on Zod’s body, triggering the introduction of supervillain Doomsday in the process.
But as Shannon told The Daily Beast during a recent chat about his acclaimed earthbound drama 99 Homes, even he was surprised to learn that he appears in the trailer for Batman v Superman—because he’s not really in the movie.
“I wasn’t there,” he said. “It’s a really awkward situation—I’m in the trailer for a movie that I didn’t work on.”
Shannon says he still hasn’t seen the trailer featuring Zod’s brief appearance. But he explained that Dead Zod popping up in Batman v Superman is akin to how Russell Crowe’s Jor-El lived on in Man of Steel after being killed in the obliteration of Krypton.
In Man of Steel, years after being sent to Earth during his home planet’s destruction, Superman activates Jor-El’s preserved consciousness, which counsels him in hologram form. Later, Zod encounters Jor-El and deletes his AI-enabled “ghost.”
“The thing about the whole Krypton universe, apparently, is that even when you destroy them, there are ghosts,” Shannon said. “The first [film], Jor-El is there even though he’s been dead for lord knows how long.”
Shannon says he did go in to do some voice-over work for Batman v. Superman, but didn’t suit up in costume—let alone flipper hands—to shoot scenes for the superhero sequel. “I went over and did some voice-over stuff because it’s like that ghost thing. But I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that. I get very nervous,” he said.
So what about Zod and that story about getting locked in a Porta-Potty on set?
“Somebody was asking me about this in New York and I made up some ridiculous bullshit answer about how my character Zod has flippers, and this went viral on the Internet or something and people have been asking me about that,” Shannon said with a baffled smile. “That is so obviously a complete bullshit story, right? But people took it seriously.”
Should Zack Snyder & Co. decide to bring Zod back with certain new appendages, however, Shannon could be down to don the flippers.
“Maybe they should add it, I don’t know! Maybe in Part 3, Doomsday will have flipper hands. I mean, look—nothing would make me happier than to work with Zack [Snyder] again, he’s hysterical and he’s a lot of fun to work with.”