Back to IndieWire

Michael Shannon Compares Zack Snyder To Martin Scorsese; Says ‘Mud’ Will Be Like A “Fairy-Tale”

Michael Shannon Compares Zack Snyder To Martin Scorsese; Says 'Mud' Will Be Like A "Fairy-Tale"

It’s a statement that’s thrown around a lot, but there aren’t many better working actors today than Michael Shannon. He’s consistently proven to be a mesmerizing fixture in any film he’s a part of, whether in a lead role (“Take Shelter“) or just playing support to bigger names (“Revolutionary Road“).

Soon enough we’ll see the actor’s third pairing with “Take Shelter” director Jeff Nichols in “Mud,” a story about two teenage boys helping a convict reunite with the love of his life. Featuring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Tye Sheridan (“The Tree of Life“) among some others, Shannon’s appearance is much smaller than those in his pervious work with the filmmaker, but he was still able to give us a scoop on the tone of the film in a recent interview. “It’s kind of like a fairy-tale. It’s a lot more whimsical than Jeff’s first two movies, although he didn’t want it to be ‘cute,’ that’s something he was actively avoiding. It’s still got the Nichols earnestness that his fans love,” he explained. Shannon also noted that while he didn’t get to act with McConaughey, Nichols was “over the moon” about his performance. Yep, our already high expectations just rose considerably.

The “Bug” actor almost didn’t make the “Mud” shoot, though, because of his strict commitments as General Zod in the new Superman flick “Man of Steel.” Shannon admitted to having a blast on set, and talked highly of both Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill. “Henry is a fantastic Superman, he’s got a little edge to him and he’s smart, clever and I had fun working with him,” Shannon stated, but his greatest compliments were for his director. “I think Zack is the master stylist, visually, I mean he’s up there with Scorsese in my book in terms of visual composition, orchestration, etc.” Certainly not a bad filmmaker to be compared to. He also confirmed that “the whole thing is edgy in a way like when Nolan took over the Batman franchise,” something that was expected when originally announced but has been somewhat doubtful in some camps, no thanks to the tragic “Sucker Punch.”

Aside from another season of “Boardwalk Empire” on the horizon, and the apparition of “As I Lay Dying,” the William Faulkner adaptation helmed by good ol’ prolific James Franco, Shannon’s plate is looking relatively empty. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like “As I Lay Dying” be happening any time soon, but the actor remains confident that it will happen so long as they actually have time to do it. “James is so busy, it’s hard to tell. He’ll say ‘Let’s do it in this month, and then say, oh wait, I’m doing fifty other things that month.’ I don’t know how he functions, but he seems to be enjoying it. I mean there’s no rush, it’s not like it’ll disappear or anything,” Shannon said.

Michael Shannon can be seen in “Return,” hitting theaters this Friday in New York and L.A., before arriving on VOD at the end of the month. You can read our review here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , , , , ,



Don't agree with Shannon here but the comparison isn't completely baseless as Snyder is one of the most genuinely inventive visualists working today, he just hasn't figured out how to tie that innovation with actual purpose. He's like Joe Wright (all flash, no substance) but without the quality screenplays. Again I think he's reaching a lot but what Shannon said isn't quite as ridiculous as your gut might initially think; I can see what he's getting at, though knowing the internet this is going to lead to a flood of "OMG HE THINKS SNYDER IS AS GOOD A DIRECTOR AS SCORSESE WHAT AN IDIOT" comments.


Did Shannon hit his head before this interview?


Snyder and Scorsese are alike in one important way: neither has made a good movie in the last twenty years.

oogle monster

Is Malick looking to cast any more actors in either one of his films? My vote goes for Shannon… give this guy a role! Way too talented to have en empty plate.

Nik Grape

As outstaning Boardwalk Empire is, Michael Shannon still manages to outshine everyone, including Buscemi, that's how good he is.

His Take Shelter lead role is among the best from last year, no doubt about that. I hope he continues in this vain for many years to come. He's got crazy screen presence.


That Micheal Shannon was never even in the conversation for best actor this year is a disgrace. His performance in Take Shelter was at least the equal of all the nominee's. I hope he eventually gets another crack at a Best actor nomination because he definitely deserves it.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *