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'The Flash' Star Michael Shannon Ripped After Calling 'Star Wars' Franchise 'Mindless Entertainment'

The DC Extended Universe actor, who appeared in 'Man of Steel' as Zod and reprises the role in 'The Flash,' was swiftly called out for his reasoning for turning down a role in a 'Star Wars' film.

Michael Shannon
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Actor Michael Shannon was roasted after saying he turned down a role in a Star Wars movie because the iconic franchise was "mindless entertainment."

Moviegoers thought his statement was rich considering the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre Company alum had no issue playing a character in another major commercial movie franchise.

Shanon is reprising his DC comics supervillain role of General Zod in Warner Bros. Pictures' The Flash after he played the character in 2013's Superman reboot Man of Steel.

In a recent print interview with Empire Magazine, Shannon opened up about turning down an undisclosed role in an unnamed Star Wars film back in 2016.

He told the media outlet he was weary of “giant movies" because they took a lot of time and he didn't find them "very stimulating to work on."

The Boardwalk Empire star continued:

"I don't ever want to get stuck in a franchise."
"I don't find them interesting and I don't want to perpetuate them."
"If I'm making something, I want there to be some kind of purpose to it—I don't want to make mindless entertainment."
"The world doesn't need more mindless entertainment. We're inundated with it."

Twitter users scoffed at Shannon's comments.

The Flash had an underwhelming weekend opening at the box office, making only $55 million, domestically.

According to Variety, an anonymous industry veteran who worked on movie marketing campaigns said The Flash should have opened "at $120 million domestic." They added the film's performance was an "unmitigated disaster."

The media suggested the film's poor performance could've been attributed to lead actor Ezra Miller's controversial off-screen behavior or moviegoers burning out from the superhero genre.

Nevertheless, Shannon maintained being a part of the DC Extended Universe starting with Man of Steel was “actually a very relevant story.”

He said of the 2013 superhero film:

“It’s basically looking at a civilization that destroyed their own planet and thinks the solution is to go off and destroy another.”
"When you hear that hypothetically, if we destroy Earth, we might go live on Mars—it’s the same thing.”

He added:

"I didn't look at Zod as a villain. I just saw him as a guy whose job is to protect his people."

Shannon also said he didn't know he would be revisiting Zod in another DC film nearly a decade later when he initially signed onto the project.

Shannon explained:

"Yeah, I didn't see myself playing Zod again, because he was dead."
"It's actually one of the reasons I made Man of Steel in the first place—It was a one-and-done."
"So I was pretty shocked to hear about this reprisal of the role."
"But I like the story that The Flash is telling and I wasn't there for a long amount of time—I was just there a couple of weeks—so it didn't break my back to do it."

However, Shannon noted playing Zod the second time around for The Flash was not "quite satisfying."

He told Collider:

"It's not quite the in-depth character study situation that I honestly felt Man of Steel was."
"Whether people think that's crazy or not, I don't even care. I really felt like Man of Steel was actually a pretty sophisticated story."

He did note that The Flash was not Zod's story and his character was "basically there to present a challenge."