Michael Shannon made his mark on the world of modern comic book movies when he starred as General Zod in Man of Steel (and briefly as a dead body in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice). That may be the last time we ever see him a project that big, especially a comic book movie, because he simply isn't interested. How do we know? Because he turned down a lot of money to play a major role in either a Star Wars movie or a Marvel movie.
During a recent interview with Fandango while promoting his latest movie Nocturnal Animals, Michael Shannon was asked if he would ever want to join a Marvel or Star Wars movie. His answer was pretty surprising as he revealed he was offered a major role in one of those movies and a ton of money to go with it, but he turned it down. Here is what he had to say.
"No, I'm not really looking for that. They called me recently about some iteration - I won't say - but some version of a movie that's been made already countless times. They were gonna give me a lot of money, but I was like nah. Big movie, too. But I have to think it's an interesting story. If I don't, I can't do it. I won't do it."
Unfortunately Michael Shannon wouldn't elaborate about the project in question, but it is clear that it was either for a Star Wars movie or a Marvel movie, given the question. That said, Star Wars hasn't necessarily had a lot of iterations, since it has all been in the same continuity. So, it seems much more likely that it was some sort of Marvel project. As for which one? Well, there does seem to be a likely project, but it is purely speculative.
Marvel just finished filming Spider-Man: Homecoming. Michael Shannon said that this was something that had been made "countless times." Given that there have been five standalone Spider-Man movies made since 2002, that franchise would seem to fit the bill. There is also a part he would seem great for and a window of opportunity in which he may have been talked to about it. Though Michael Keaton ultimately wound up playing Vulture in the movie, there was a period of time where it looked like Marvel couldn't get his deal done. So, they were reaching out to other actors. It seems possible that they could have reached out to Michael Shannon about taking on the part of Vulture for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Again, this is pure speculation, but based on his comments, this seems likely.
It is hard not to respect the artistic integrity of a guy like that who would turn down a lot of money and franchise stability simply because he didn't feel the material was right for him. Granted, it isn't as though Michael Shannon is hurting for work. He has 11 credits, including Nocturnal Animals, to his name for 2016 alone and has several projects already announced for 2017. So even though he won't be in a Marvel or Star Wars movie, at least anytime soon, there is plenty of Michael Shannon to go around.