Just over a week ago, word got out that Zack Snyder had found Superman’s father, Jor-El, for his Man of Steel reboot in the form of Oscar-winner Russell Crowe. Now it seems the director has possibly settled on an actress to play Supe’s Kryptonian mother, Lara, as well.
Julia Ormond (who recently won a Best Actress Emmy for her work in HBO’s Temple Grandin) has been reportedly offered the role of Superman’s biological mom – a role that Gladiator actress Connie Nielson was previously rumored to be in contention for.
Deadline says that Ormond is likely to lock down a deal for her to appear in Man of Steel “shortly.” The site’s report also reiterates that Crowe has been offered the part of Superman’s birth father, but that the New Zealand actor has yet to officially sign on and follow in the footsteps of fellow Oscar-winner Marlon Brando by portraying Jor-El on the big screen.
The character Lara (full maiden name: Lara Lor-Van) was generally presented in the Superman comics as a dark-haired Kryptonian woman who played a more passive role in the events leading up to the birth of her son – prior to the 1970s. Following Susannah York’s portrayal of the character in Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie, her physical appearance has varied slightly (occasionally, she is depicted with auburn or blonde hair). However, Lara became much more of an active figure in Mark Waid’s “Superman: Birthright”, where she assisted Jor-El in the construction of the spaceship used to transport their son to Earth – following the explosion of Krypton.
Ormond generally appears in artsier or more awards-friendly fare on both the big screen (Legends of the Fall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and small screen (Iron Jawed Angels, Inland Empire). More to the point: she has more than enough of a regal screen presence to suffice as Supe’s mom in Man of Steel.
Much like Christopher Nolan has done with his Batman trilogy, Snyder is aiming to fill out the Man of Steel cast with more than its fair share of award-winners and respectable stars, including Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman’s foster parents, Pa and Ma Kent; Amy Adams as Clark Kent/Superman’s career-driven love interest, Lois Lane; and Michael Shannon as the infamous criminal Kryptonian, General Zod.
Between the DC comics universe being rebooted, Action Comics essentially relaunching the Superman character, and Snyder aiming to fix what he sees as a broken concept (re: the Superman film franchise in its current form) with Man of Steel, it’s definitely a time of significant change for the classic costumed superhero. How well all these renovations and changes will go over with casual and devoted Superman fans alike, has yet to be seen.
Man of Steel is expected to begin production over the next couple of months. It is tentatively slated to reach theaters in December 2012.