Original General Zod Terence Stamp talks about why 'Man of Steel' made him 'sad' and discusses removal of Richard Donner and Marlon Brando on 'Superman II'

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Image Credit: Everett Collection

Critics and fans have been divided about Man Of Steel. But one person in particular was not too happy when he heard about the new Superman reboot: the man who originally played General Zod in Superman and Superman II, Terence Stamp. Stamp stopped by the studio of Entertainment Weekly Radio (channel 105 on SiriusXM) to talk about his new movie Unfinished Song (which opens this weekend), and we asked him for his take on the new Superman film, which features Michael Shannon now playing intergalactic villain General Zod.

“When I heard they were remaking it, or they were doing a version of it, I was kind of sad in a way,” said Stamp. “Because it was the benchmark for all of these comic book movies. There’s never been anything quite as good as those Dick Donner movies. And since then, big movies have become computer generated. They’ve become unemotional, and so I was sad. I thought it would be diluted, in other words. And that it would be a personal dilution because it was such an incredible moment for me to come back, and to come back and play my first comic book villain. I was sad, but the truth is, I’m sure it’s vastly different…. But, hey, you know, they wanted to pull on the Kryptonite boots? Good luck to them. They’re big!”

Stamp also revealed his feelings on Richard Donner being fired and replaced by Richard Lester during filming on Superman II, as well as the decision to remove Marlon Brando’s Jor-el from the film. “They brought in this director, who was a very, very good director,” said Stamp. “But I was astonished that he’d step into another director’s shoes. I thought, that’s really beneath Richard Lester. He’s bigger than that. And none of us wanted to go back. And we didn’t go back, actually. It was only when Chris Reeve went back that we thought, well, who am I? I’ve been out of work for eight years. I can’t annoy the business, you know? So we all went back, but it was flat. Because it was without Richard Donner. And, incredibly, they replaced all of Brando’s stuff because he was trying to get a percentage that they had promised him. And to to weaken his case, they replaced Marlon with this English actress [Susannah York], Superman’s mom. It didn’t seem possible. So it was very unhappy. Fortunately, we didn’t have to do much. We had to do the last sort of eighth of the movie, frankly.”

To hear more of Stamp’s comments on Superman II and the new Man of Steel, click on the video player below. And to hear Stamp discuss his new movie, Unfinished Song, as well as his not so found memories of playing Chancellor Valorum in Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace, check out today’s EW Morning Live radio show on SiriusXM On Demand. And you can follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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