Russell Crowe To Play Superman’s Dad Jor-El in ‘Man of Steel’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 11:16 am,

Richard Donner seems to have started a Superman movie tradition when he cast legendary actor Marlon Brando as Superman’s dad, Jor-El, in his 1978 classic. Now Warner Bros., and the team behind Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel are continuing in that tradition, by snagging a famous name to play Jor-El in the upcoming Superman reboot.

That’s right: Superman’s new daddy is none other than Russell Crowe.

Variety has the exclusive on the news, claiming that producer Chris Nolan had been pushing for a headlining name to play Jor-El role for some time, and Crowe is the man they got. It’s also stated that a big-name actress is being sought to play Superman’s mother, though no word yet on who that might be.

We were reminded during a recent panel on upcoming changes to the Superman character that Donner was one of the first to realize that populating a comic book movie with accomplished thespians in supporting roles was a great way to elevate the potentially-campy material to a proper dramatic level. It’s a tactic that Nolan himself has confessed as having borrowed for the casting of his Batman trilogy.

Well, you don’t get much more “accomplished” than an actor of Crowe’s caliber. The one-time Oscar-winner (thrice nominated) has so many hits under his belt that it’s almost pointless to list them (you know the titles). As far as being a match for the role of Jor-El: one of Crowe’s trademarks is his tough-yet-vulnerable┬ádemeanor (see: Gladiator, LA Confidential, Cinderella Man) and he can definitely play the nervous smart/clever guy (A Beautiful Mind, State of Play, The Insider). These qualities make Crowe a more than sensible choice to play Jor-EL, a character who is a brilliant scientist and loving family man, forced to face the end of his world and find the courageous resolve to save his only son.

superman zod ursa non Russell Crowe To Play Supermans Dad Jor El in Man of Steel

Jor-El (Brando) banishes General Zod to the Phantom Zone in Donner’s ‘Superman’

Considering that Man of Steel will feature Kryptonian villains General Zod (Michael Shannon) and Faora, Crowe may actually get a significant amount of screen time to fill. Recent Superman comics have featured a more extensive exploration of Zod and Jor-El’s history on the planet Krypton; will those comic book storylines influence the shape of Man of Steel? It’s quite possible. Other actors in the film include Henry Cavill (The Tudors) as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner as Pa Kent and Diane Lane as Ma Kent.

What do you guys think of Russell Crowe playing Superman’s pappy? Good choice?

Man of Steel will be in theaters in December of 2012.

Source: Variety

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  1. wow russel will be awesome! i can already hear him deliver the killer lines feeling the ground and then saying to ZOD what you do in this life will echo in eternity !,, it will be terrific! bring it on … and The big piece of symphony breaks in ZAAAAAAAAP and were all siting there watching Superman on the big screen again hip hip hurray!!! I cant wait for this oh my God this all good! sorry for getting carried away but I just love superman…

  2. What accent will he use? And will he be drunk?

  3. Love Russ My current fav Holywood big name actor. I loved Gladiator-Hood too

    The dude ain’t a pus*y that is for sure

  4. Great news! I have always thought Crowe should be considered as a candidate for the role of Jor El, especially if they could not get DDL or Viggo. Crowe is a good solid choice. It’s good WB’s, Nolan and Snyder were targeting big name actors for Jor El, just like how they got Brando back in the 70′s. Now I want to see Ed Harris be cast as Perry White!

  5. BAD CHOICE. End of story. For one thing, he’s too young. Now, I know, make up artists these days are incredible, but honestly? No. In my opinion(my professional one) Liam Neeson ought to play Jor-El.

    • Are you mental? If anything, he’s too old. He’s 47! There aren’t that many 47 year-old men out there who have infant children. I think he’s as good a choice as any they could have made.

      • Serious dude? You need to look around more, guys have kids into their 60′s. Brando was older than that when he did Jor El.

    • Take a look at the mans resume and versatility and tell me he is not a movie star!

      The Man with the Iron Fists (post-production)

      2010 The Next Three Days
      John Brennan

      2010 Robin Hood
      Robin Longstride

      2009 State of Play
      Cal McAffrey

      2009 Tenderness
      Lt. Cristofuoro

      2008 Body of Lies
      Ed Hoffman

      2007 American Gangster
      Richie Roberts

      2007 3:10 to Yuma
      Ben Wade

      2006 A Good Year
      Max Skinner

      2005 Cinderella Man
      Jim Braddock

      2003 Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
      Capt. Jack Aubrey

      2001 A Beautiful Mind
      John Nash

      2000 Proof of Life
      Terry Thorne

      2000 Gladiator

      1999 The Insider
      Jeffrey Wigand

      1999 Mystery, Alaska
      John Biebe

      1997 Breaking Up

      1997 Heaven’s Burning

      1997 L.A. Confidential
      Wendell ‘Bud’ White

      1995 Rough Magic
      Alex Ross

      1995 Virtuosity
      SID 6.7

      1995 No Way Back
      FBI Agent Zack Grant

      1995 The Quick and the Dead

    • Liam Neeson should play every part in every movie ever made. He is a god…. and not just one that sits around and says “Release the Kraken”… cause that wasnt real…. *cough*

  6. Thats a good choice for Russell Crowe to play Jor-El thats an awesome choice, I cannot wait to see him play Kal-El’s father

  7. So we have an Australian speaking father that produced a British speaking child? Ok then. Russell Crowe is a tremendous actor, but not this role, when I see and hear Crowe I think of a warrior or fighter, that’s why hood and gladiator worked for him. Neeson was my choice to play Jor El.

    P.S. Are they trying to overpower Cavill with all the star power they are getting?

    @DrSam. Great choice to have Hugh Laurie play Perry White I can imagine it perfectly.

    • Wow. Bad take by you. Thumbs down!

  8. wow, more good freakin’ news!

    • Russel crowe is the perfect actor to play supermans dad

  9. I love the cast, all kevin costner has to do is play his field of dreams character and hes set.

  10. Yeeep! The cast for this film is rounding out to be a POWERHOUSE cast indeed! Lets hope the story and direction follow, which I’m confidant it will after seeing all these good/great actors involved.

  11. I’m so glad Chris Nolan is involved with this project!

    • he actually isn’t. his involement included lunch with snyder a year ago to discuss what superman is. that’s about it. about all an exec producer is expected to be.

      • No, actually Nolan is involved. That’s part of the reason the casting has been excellent and superb for this film!

        • Very few people are dumb enough to be fooled by that company line. Thumbs down.

          • Last I heard Nolan wrote the story and is producer of this film. Do you honestly think these good of actors would come on board if Nolan was not involved? Think before you speak!

  12. What about brandon routh playing jor-el ?

    • That would have been cool.

  13. Russell Crowe playing Superman’s dad would work but a another great actor would be great.

  14. Oh great another origin story…didn’t they already do that with Donner’s Superman and this hardly counts but that horrible teenage girl soap opera cringe inducingly bad Smallville?
    I feel I have to apologize.. I should have never used Donner’s Superman and that horrid Smallville in the same sentence. My bad.

    • I like early season of Smallville better Donner’s film. Although the film does have a few great moments and Chris is tops with me.

    • You are mistaken in this matter. Have a nice day.

  15. Whos going to play supermans mom? Or should I say super M i l f ?

  16. “Makin movies writin songs and fightin ’round Krypton…”

    Is he gonna fight Zod during the opening? “C’mon Tugga! Let’s get’im!”

    • Nope can’t agree. Thumbs down.

  17. I think Anthony Hopkins would have been a better choice – he has much more gravitas than Russel, and those piercing blue eyes…

    • He almost was for Superman Returns backin 2006

  18. Russel Crowe will be awesome as Jor-el… I’m sure Christopher Nolan had final say on this. Don’t doubt me!

  19. Fanboys be cool… Wait until the movie actually comes out then bash it…

  20. I’m all good with Crowe as Jor-El ………. I’m just hoping that they keep the Superman theme music from the original movies

  21. that last post was a JOKE

  22. but Meg Ryan would be a pick

  23. I dont care if Russell Crowe plays Kal-El’s father Jor-El It doesn’t matter what the situation will be. And also I think Nicole Kidman or Daryl Hannah will be a good idea to play Kal’s Biiological Mother Lara.

  24. SHAZAM!!

  25. I almost don’t want to see it now, not a fan of zod, or russel crowe, and seeing crowe play jor-el just seems blech. really considering my feelings

  26. fightin’ round the world!!!!