‘Man of Steel’ Writer Addresses Lex Luthor & Female Jimmy Olsen Rumors

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 28th, 2014 at 10:47 am,

Man of Steel 2 Movie Batman Superman Dawn Justice League Man of Steel Writer Addresses Lex Luthor & Female Jimmy Olsen Rumors

Dark Knight Trilogy architects David S. Goyer and Chris Nolan put their heads together to come up with the script and story for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot film, Man of Steel, and it was undoubtedly a challenge. Bryan Singer’s 2006 film Superman Returns all but proved that the warm nostalgic glow of Richard Donner’s seminal 1978 Superman film hasn’t shone through to modern times, leaving need for a new vision of the iconic hero on the big screen.

Man of Steel trailers have revealed a story focusing on Clark Kent’s (Henry Cavill) journey from alien orphan to a young man burdened by his secret gifts, to the hero he must eventually become in order to stop the threat of General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his Kryptonian forces. But, as with any new vision, there are revisions and changes to the mythos fans know and love – and Man of Steel has many such changes in store.

A tweaked origin story, a new Superman costume, and an all-around more “grounded” and “real-world” approach are in the cards – but many of the iconic Superman supporting character roster are also undergoing an evolution of sorts. Perry White is now black (thanks to Laurence Fishburne stepping into the role); Lois Lane is now sporting some red hair (thanks to Amy Adams stepping into that role); Lex Luthor has been decidedly absent from the proceedings (thanks to fan outcry about the need for a different villain); and there was even considerable rumor of Jimmy Olsen being changed into a female character.

Well, I Am Rogue sat down with David S. Goyer to talk Man of Steel (amongst other things), and directly addressed the many character changes that the movie will present. And, while trying to keep as coy as possible, Goyer may have inadvertently fueled several of the longstanding rumors surrounding the film.

Lex Luthor Man of Steel Cameo Man of Steel Writer Addresses Lex Luthor & Female Jimmy Olsen Rumors

When questioned about why Lex Luthor wasn’t included in the film, Goyer responded, “I don’t think anyone has ever confirmed that we haven’t included him.” Not a surprising that he is being vague: It’s long been suspected that like Batman BeginsMan of Steel would focus more on the central character in the first chapter, while setting up the primary antagonist for the second chapter. In any event, given his power, wealth and influence, there are so many ways to have Lex Luthor “in” MoS without actually having him seen (see: Norman Osborn in Amazing Spider-Man).

Regarding the question of having a female Jimmy Olsen, Goyer was less forthcoming, stating “I can’t comment on that.” Not that we need him to, per se: The initial rumors pointed to actress Rebecca Buller playing “Jenny Olsen,” and the following screen shot from the Man of Steel trailer practically confirms as much (I mean, who else would Perry White be dragging away from a collapsing Daily Planet?):

Jenny Olsen Rebecca Buller in Man of Steel 2013 Man of Steel Writer Addresses Lex Luthor & Female Jimmy Olsen Rumors

Goyer wasn’t afraid to address the so-called “controversy” over the race-switching of the Perry White character, stating, “I Thought it was an awesome choice. I think that it is silly that people are like, ‘You Can’t have a black guy named White.’ But I’m like, well what about Barry White? I thought that was stupid. You just want to get the best actor.” Amen to that.

How do you feel about the changes being made to the Superman mythos in Man of Steel? Are you good with it? Against it? Just hoping for a good Superman movie?


Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14, 2013.

Source: I Am Rogue 

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  1. I’m just curious if someone can offer an explanation of WHY Jimmy Olsen was turned into Jenny Olsen. That’s not the same thing as casting a male actor for a male part regardless of their skin color, as was done with Perry White.

    I understand wanting to diversify the cast. I think it was a very good choice to base Nick Fury off of the Ultimates version (who is African-American) in the Marvel movie-verse, because the rest of the protagonists are all white. But in this case, it’s not like there’s not another hugely prominent female reporter that will be representing her gender in Man of Steel.

    Again– not inherently opposed to the idea, I just want to hear the reasoning behind it.

    • Personally I don’t see the issue if the essence of the character remains the same. Male or female, if this Olsen character is still the plucky and excitable and mostly the same aside from gender as they’re depicted in the comics then it’s really not an issue as it doesn’t affect the story.

      • I think Screen Rant might have mentioned something previously about how MoS could work a female Olsen in as a kind of “little sister” dynamic with Kent. Unless they’re planning on bringing in Kara Zor-El which seems unlikely. Personally, I’d welcome that kind of dynamic because I think it would add some depth to the character of Clark Kent.

        • Kara Zor-El as “The Girl of Steel” shall get into the MOS sequel and the SUPERGIRL spin off. That’s what Iam assuming.

          • Considering how poorly the Supergirl movie was received in ’84 I doubt WB will be chomping at the bit to give her another solo film just yet.

    • Everyone keeps assuming that Jimmy has been changed into Jenny when in reality it has never been confirmed. All we know is that there is a Jenny Olsen in Man of Steel. What in that information precludes Jenny Olsen from simply being a relative of Jimmy’s? I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this ended up being the case and much like Lex, we don’t see Jimmy until an MOS sequel.

    • Maybe because Cloe from “Smallville” was so popular as the plucky school magazine reporter that they decided a similar approach would work for Jimmy Olsen!??

  2. Personally, I’m sick of all the reboots. The comics managed to tell stories with the same characters for years and years. I don’t care about them recasting whomever. But let’s see more story instead of constantly changing the back story and telling the beginning over and over and over. Lack of imagination is the problem.

    • Hopefully that’s not the case for MOS, or it doesn’t stretch out like Amazing Spiderman.

    • You do realize that even in the comics that they have changed origins and back stories of heroes and villains.

      • I don’t care if they tinker with the back story as long as it’s done well. Sticking to the same old formula for years on end is unimaginative in my opinion.

        • Well Superman needed a reboot. After the failure that was Superman Returns, he desperately needed a better telling of his story. SR tried to continue the Reeves legacy and it failed. So I hope this is a nice and fresh taste. I mean, the only movie that received a reboot quite early was Spiderman (I think they should stop with X-men though) and you’ll get mixed feelings there. I personally really enjoyed the movie, especially after the mess that was Spiderman 3, although I still like it enough to watch it when it’s on television. Superman needed a chance.

    • New 52 was a sort of reboot for the comics. Also, the Extremis Storyline in Iron Man retconned his origin, leading way to the movie version origin.

      Even comics have to keep up with the times to keep the stories fresh for newer generations.

    • New 52, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Heroes Reborn… reboots never happen in comics.

  3. I’m pretty open to the changes that are being made. The only characters you have to get right are the the kent family, Lois lane, and the villian(s) to make a good superman movie. After all it is a movie about superman aka clark kent and not perry white or jimmy olsen.

  4. Could be Cat Grant WITHOUT THE BLONDE (rant on).

    • I’d be ok with that.

  5. I agree with Kasandra in regards to Superman. His origin story has been done to death. Everyone knows it. Just move on with a new story…… Right from the end of Superman Returns. I don’t care if we get a different actor for Superman.

    I also don’t like Goyer’s writing. Look at his track record. Especially the films he’s written on his own. Blech!

    But with all my complaining…… I will be at the theater to see it on opening weekend.

    • I so wish that’s what they did continue from SR. The Hulk to Incredible Hulk approach could work.

      • Incredible Hulk was a reboot though, they just showed the accident in the opening credits to get on with the story.

        I also disagree about “everyone knowing Superman’s origin”. Not everyone does. My mother has seen the first two Donner movies a few times and even she still doesn’t really know the character’s origins so good luck telling a new, younger audience “here’s this character, good luck searching the net as homework to find out more about this character’s beginnings and motivations”.

        The only character I can think who doesn’t need an origin retelling at this point in time is Batman thanks to the successful and amazing trilogy we’ve just finished.

  6. I don’t think they have been doing Lex Luthor any justice in the live-action adaptations. And I also agree that it is time for them to start using other villains; there is a vast pool of awesome characters that can be used to make an excellent film.

  7. So, let me get this right, the first reboot copied the first Salkind Superman and bombed, so the second reboot is gonna copy the second Salkind Superman movie but they think it’ll be a success because they’ve inserted a black guy and woman into the secondary roles, is that correct? Way to go Hollywood.

    • If you honestly believe that is the case with this movie you haven’t been paying much attention.

  8. I’m tired of all the stupid race and gender switching going on in movies.Changing Perry to a black man is just stupid and Changing Jimmy to a girl named Jenny is even dumber. Enoughs enough it makes me NOT want to see the movie. Stick with the program and stop with all the PC garbage. I hate this junk.

    • I’m pretty sure Goyer made it clear this had nothing to do with, “PC garbage” when he said, “[y]ou just want to get the best actor.” This isn’t about marking some kind of racial checkbox, Fishburne is a good actor and if he fitted the role the way they wanted him too it makes sense that he’d be given the role. His being black shouldn’t have anything to do with how we judge the character.

    • Then don’t see the movie. Who cares if you see or don’t see it? No one cries when minority characters get changed to white characters every other day in hollywood.

    • Yeah cause it’s not like Fishburne isn’t an awesome actor or anything and was selected because, you know, he’s capable of embodying the character Perry White.

  9. Yeah I just want a good story. The other issues are other peoples problems. No Lex, doesn’t matter, gender and racial switches, interesting, engage me.

    I’ll be asking do they own the characters? Do they bring something to the role? Can they act? Does this ruin anything down the road? And most importantly will I be feeling something other than disappointment when I exit the theater?

    • I can agree with what you are saying. I would rather have someone who can act and become their character than someone who is just in the movie because he/she was in the comics.

  10. I think Jimmy would be better as a female. I don’t really have a reason as to why though. Personally the character wasn’t all that important to the comics or movies so this will cause more talk about the movie either in a positive or negative way.

    • Plus, a young man obsessing over a flying guy in tights might be a bit much for audiences to digest.

      • Yeah, now a female Jimmy makes sense.

  11. Jenny olsen will not replace jimmy, i read on other blog that is his sister, maybe she will be hurt or kill on this first one and maybe for that they introduce jimmy in a secuel, lex luthor is a good option to have drama and action in a second movie, i imagine a real lex luthor like a sinester version of bruce wayne or tony stark working with the military to take down superman, lex luthor can be the puppeteer for foes like metallo or the parasite, but if they change jimmy by jenny who cares is no jimmy olsen movie is an superman and new things are wellcome.

    • I’m not questioning if this blog is real. My only complaint is why would they introduce his sister just to kill her off and bring in Jimmy for the sequel? Unless they have something unique and major in store for Jimmy, I don’t see why they couldn’t just introduce him in MoS, even as a woman.

      • Could be the posibility that, they want to make jimmy olsen character more deep and intence in the next movie, if jenny is his sister and she get killed, jimmy will have many motivations to help superman, jimmy olsen could help and support superman/clark kent in some randoms jobs, snyder said is a very serious take on superman mythos, i think they want to put around superman/clark very solids characters with very good actors, like perry white(Laurence Fishburne), louis lane( Amy Adams) and many more that will be in this movie, so they can cast a very good actor to play Jimmy Olsen too.

  12. If they can’t do the characters right, then don’t do them at all.

  13. Jimmy was supermans pal, now Jenny is superman’s rebound. Do we need another Chloe?

  14. It’s hard for me to give even a small toss when it comes to the race of Perry White and the gender of Jimenny Olsen.

  15. There is no doubt in my mind; Lex will make an appearance. Count on it.

  16. perry’s looking fat in the picture. :/

  17. I have a very bad feeling about this movie. I’ve been looking forward to it since I first heard of it. But ever since then, everything I’ve seen and read has really caused me some real concern. Another origin story? Jenny Olson? A set-up movie for Lex in the sequel? None of this sounds good. Something tells me we’re going to have another reboot in a few years.

    • I dont think they are to worried. Since all screenings have went immensly well. Before you say all do remember the new
      Gi joe movie was so bad they re filmed.

    • When was there a Superman origin story? The 1978 film was hardly an origin story and Smallville was an alternate universe aimed at a CW audience. Even if you do call the 1978 film an origin story, that was 35 years ago. It’s time for a new beginning.

      As for setting up Lex Luthor for the sequel, I seem to recall the Joker being set up at the end of Batman Begins. How’d that turn out?

  18. This guy thinks that just because his last name is White that we (the fans) are complaining that he is black? Wow…

  19. Changing Perry white so that you can get a commanding actor like LF in the role isn’t a big deal, too good an actor race isn’t a big deal. Its not like they grabbed a sh*tty actor because they needed a black guy.

    and yes, Hollywood has done that before :(

    Hollywood has done the gender changes quite a bit. Elementary, the BSG reboot just to name a couple. I didn’t mind the Elementary one as much because the writers have done a fairly good job. The BSG I hated because growing up on the original Starbuck was my favorite character on the show so it really hurt the show for me personally.
    But I am one viewer and most people enjoyed the BSG reboot so it would have to be considered a success. so we will see how Jenny plays out.

  20. I’m sure after watching the film, these little issues people have with gender and racial changes won’t even remotely matter. In the end, it’s really the story, directing and acting that drives a film.

  21. I’m not certain this guy really thought about these changes all the way through. But as long as he thinks it’s cool – well that has to be ok then (sarcasm). I’m with other here – as long as the main characters have little changes it really is not an issue for the sub-characters being black, white, male or female.

  22. Jimmy being a girl i’m a littler wary of, but he was never one of my favorite characters so im not too worried about it.

    But Lex Luther should be in the new Superman movie. Just like Harvey Dent was in “Batman” and Dr Conners was in “Spider-man”

    they werent the villain or even main characters, but they were there and present as parts of the world. Lex Luther is way too big of a character to no have him a part of superman

  23. To be honest, I don’t get it. Why are people complaining over a movie they’ve never even seen yet. If your a fan of SUPERMAN then shutty, and go see it. Then after you see how it plays out. Then by all means if you don’t like it or its changes, feel free to b###h and moan all you want! I mean come on people I no everyone’s entitled to there own opinion. But hasn’t anyone ever heard the phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover.”

    • Um, welcome to the internet, jrod.

  24. … So long as they don’t change the gender of the Ace Reporter & have Louis & Clark – I’m okay with it! Don’t need a girly superman flyin around worried about a broken nail!

  25. I can get behind the gender swap if thats what it turns out they are doing, but what i would like to see happen is have Jenny Olsen be the older sister of Jimmy. Then if she doesn’t(or does) make it though the MOS, Jimmy could be brought in later(MOS2)as a teenaged intern at the daily planet following in his sisters shoes. There could be a great metor mentee relationship to be fleshout then in the future between Clark and Jimmy. Not that it matters but thats the way I would do it.

  26. I could easily see them dropping a hint about Lex Luthor similar to how they had the Joker card in Batman Begins. They’re definitely using him in this rebooted franchise and I think it makes sense to save him for the sequel and focus the marketing campaign on him to get people excited.

    • Yeah, MoS sets up Zod and Superman and then when MoS2 hits Lex is running around trying to pin all of Zod’s shenanigans on Supe’s because they hail from the same planet. Luthor gets the upper hand early on, Supe’s has to win back people’s trust, and then Lex wins the presidency and we’ve got a setup for MoS3. Booyah, this basically writes itself.

  27. The Perry White casting doesn’t bother me…but Jenny Olsen ? ARGGHHH ! If they play it that she is a relative…a sister or cousin, then fine.
    But you know…they never gave jimmy much to do in the movies anyways.

  28. yeah,since we havent seen the comic lex as yet or even the zod version of comics to be honest and im a huge fan of stamp’s zod and it was close but i believe michael shannon will be bring something fun anf very dark with his new take on zod and a new version of lex could also draw in future rogues with so many storys to chose from with brainiac,bizarro,parasite,metallo,darkseid,hank henshaw,lobo,and a some point doomsdays and if mos does what i think it does, the possibles are endless with some much ground to cover and so many storys to tap into as well and cant wait to see amy adam’s lois and henry’s new take on supe/clark and cant wait to see the new perry white and rest of the cast.

  29. They should change his name to Perry Black