More ‘Superman: Man of Steel’ Plot & Villain Rumors

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:28 pm,

Superman More Superman: Man of Steel Plot & Villain Rumors

Much like fellow DC comic book movie title The Dark Knight Rises, Zack Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel has been the subject of much speculation and a whole lot in the way of unsubstantiated rumor. Just yesterday there was “news” that the Superman reboot would essentially amount to an adaptation of Geoff John’s “Superman: Secret Origin”.

There’s another supposed Man of Steel plot synopsis currently making its way round the Web right now – along with a slightly more credible rumor that newcomer Adam Harris is in the midst of auditioning to play Lex Luthor in the film.

Here’s the Man of Steel plot description that’s popped up on both MovieNewz and Superman Superworld:

In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) is a young twenty-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – Why am I here?

Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as “Superman,” not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.

That vague synopsis actually sounds feasible, in terms of the approach Snyder will likely employ in order to “modernize” the Superman character. There’s a good chance that this description is just the work of fans, but Cavill’s Kal-El will almost undoubtedly have to grapple with similar personal and philosophical issues along these lines.

Lindsay Lohan and Lex Luthor?

A Man of Steel casting rumor that (bizarrely enough) is refusing to die is that of Lindsay Lohan being in talks to join the film. Despite her most recent scuffles with the law, Radar Online insists that the actress will be auditioning for the rumored female villain role in Snyder’s reboot. That’s assuming she isn’t convicted of grand theft by the time production officially gets underway (translation: don’t take this rumor seriously – we deserve to be shocked if Lohan actually signs on).

One bit of more reasonable news that Radar Online and You Bent My Wookie are both claiming as true is that relative newcomer Adam M. Harris is auditioning for the role of iconic Superman arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor. He would follow in the footsteps of Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey by portraying the brilliant (and often bald) criminal onscreen, and – if we assume there is any truth to this news – could possibly be in contention with the likes of Michael Shannon for the role.

Fans generally seem split over the potential inclusion of Lex Luthor in Snyder’s Man of Steel; some people seem quite tired of Luthor always popping up in Superman movies, and others appear dead set against the idea of a Man of Steel pic that doesn’t feature the brilliant but power-hungry character. If you glance over Harris’ IMDB resume, you’ll note (among other things) that he’s not that much older than Henry Cavill – and the idea of a Luthor who’s about the same age as Clark Kent is also something that I know a lot of Superman fans (those that enjoy Smallville aside) are not crazy about, put mildly.

While all of this should be considered strictly RUMOR for now, the idea of Lex Luthor appearing in Man of Steel is certainly a reasonable one. Given the high pedigree of stars selected for roles in Snyder’s reboot so far – including Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and Amy Adams – there seems a good chance that a better known thespian (like Shannon) would be selected for the role of Luthor, instead of Harris. On the other hand – Cavill was a left-field choice to play Superman, so who knows?

Superman: Man of Steel is gearing up for production to start in the second half of 2011, so we’ll find out more in the way of concrete information soon enough.

Source: MovieNews, Superman Superworld, Radar Online, You Bent My Wookie (via Moviehole)

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  1. “and the idea of a Luthor who’s about the same age as Clark Kent is also something that I know a lot of Superman fans (those that enjoy Smallville aside)”

    Possibly worth mentioning that there is something of an age gap between Clark and Lex in Smallville, not a huge one but it is there regardless.

    And that picture at the top of the article, thats SUPERMAN. Then look at any picture of Henry Cavill.

    • LOL, cheers, so far I think he is the worst casting they have done for the movie.Canill looks like he could play Superboy not Superman, he may have been better as a Flash, Barry or Wally, but not Clark.
      I also think you cant have this take place in Metroplois, without having Lex in it, he doesnt have to have a big role or even lines he just has to be a presence in the movie, watching on waitimng to make his move, but if we were to go by all the complaing we would nt have Lex in anything , and that just isnt Superman.

      • As you and I have both said in the past, make him President Luthor. Creates a totally different version of the character and makes him a genuine threat to Superman, it would make sense with the General Lane aspect if that turns out to be true.
        And you’re totally right,a lot of the things people are complaining about, if they listened to them, it just wouldnt be Superman anymore.

        • they should make superman – Red Son. that story was EPICCC!!!!!

    • True, DSB, Luthor & Superman are slightly different ages in Smallville. I was thinking more in comparison to the characters’ age differences in the movies, where it’s much more significant.

      • In Smallville Lex is 6 years older than Clark.

        • Right, and Harris is only about 2-3 years older than Cavill so… everyone can take that as they will. 8-)

          • So that would be a very close age gap indeed. Although many of the more recent comics origin stories have had them as friends in childhood. Birthright and Secret Origin. And as much as I think Michael Rosenbaum has created the definitive Lex Luthor, in the film he should be a good 10-15 years older than Clark. Lex should almost be a figure of authority to the rest of the world, either as President, a scientist or a corporate titan, I alwaya thought part of the reason he hated Superman so much was that he thought he should be the one revered by mankind.

            • I think some of the golden age Superman comics depicted Luthor and Clark as childhood friends too.

    • “And that picture at the top of the article, thats SUPERMAN. Then look at any picture of Henry Cavill.”

      That’s what I’ve been saying too since he was cast. Superboy indeed.

    • Or they can always just slide Cavill over and down, and let him play Jimmy Olsen. :)

    • Yep yep. Alex Ross can really do no wrong imho. His illustrations don’t portray superheros who wear super tight spandex, have muscles so ripped they should be skinless and pose in hyper extended positions. Instead they look closer to RL than just about anyone else’s work I have ever seen.

      I can hardly wait for the CGI to finally cross the uncanny valley so we can have Superman look EXACTLY like an Alex Ross Illustration.

      And while I am not fond of Cavill in the role, he was the best out of all the finalists, which sadly isn’t saying much. (but is still no Reeve ;) )

    • @ Dr.SamBeckett

      Lol This latest rumor is makin this reboot seem more & more like Smallville:The Movie that people didn’t want heh? I doubt Linsday Lohan will be in it(hope not) but if she is, it’s a guarantee deal i won’t waste money seeing the film. Seeing Lex as President would be a great idea, especially for the Justice League film coming up. But for this reboot imo, it would be nice not have Lex show up atleast till the sequel if one gets made that is or the 3rd film even. That’s just me.

  2. Difficult to believe anything now.
    I find myself constantly checking to see if a rumor is being debunked more then anything else.

  3. This is another possibility to go with. I personally like the other story of Secrets Origin. It’s just that General Lane thing that has me.

    Lex Luther can always be associated in a Superman film. He just doesn’t have to be the focused villian all the time. It seems like Lex is great manipulator, the man who pulls the strings. If something is going on, he normally has some hand in it. That means he can always be included somewhere in a Superman film.

    Thanks Sandy for the news.

    • In all fairness to Sandy, who always writes a good piece and is just reporting what is doing the rounds, this isnt news. It’s a spurious rumour at best.

  4. As much as I’m happy to hear the possibility of Lex appearing in the film, could they have maybe pick someone with a big resume. Just because he’s bald he has to play Lex? Profiling. Gosh.

    • And Lex doesnt have to be bald. In Lois And Clark John Shea was an excellent Lex Luthor, and he wasnt bald until the second season.

      • That is true. But I do prefer a bald Lex. It’s his trademark. Like how Perry Cox from Scrubs was made fun of for being bald. “Later on after the operation will you be fighting Superman?” (pause) “Cause your bald……like Lex Luthor.” “Yeah I get it.”

        • Honestly, I would prefer him to be bald tooo. But I would be against him having hair.

          • You’re gonan hate me for this one Sam, but I don’t think Lex is a necessary piece for this puzzle of a film. I am probably wrong though, but that’s the way I feel about it all. The fact I keep seeing all these weird castings, and much weirder villain rumors doesn’t hold my once highly anticipated need to see this film when it surfaces.

            • That’s fair enough, if thats what you think. But wouldnt you think President Luthor would be a cool element to the story?

              • I would.

              • Sam, I would go for that idea. Just as long as it really didn’t overpower the story.

                • this is where elements of It’s Superman is something I would love to see come into play. A powerful on the rise political authority figure working his way up the ranks going against a discovering Superman.

  5. I dont think anyone can portray lex as well as Michael Rosenbaum has on smallville.

    • What about Kevin Spacey. Thought he was pretty brilliant as Lex.

      • The problem was that Spacey had to play Hackman’s Lex, if he had just been allowed to play his own version he would have been even better because the menace was certainly there.

        • I thought Kevin Spacey was the best bit of casting for SR. I thought Routh made a better Clark Kent than Kal-el. He just didn’t seem comfortable in the tights, IMO.

  6. Is it just me or is the description that’s popped up on both MovieNewz and Superman Superworld, the exact description of the recent Superman: Earth One?

    • They should use the Earth One costume. And the story. Hell, they could even use the actors they photoshopped actors they digitally scanned for that comic.

      • I agree. Great costume to go with.

  7. I’d be for Luthor having a minor role, as a significant background character, maybe setting up for a sequel hook. Luthor never became a properly evil guy until Superman arrived and this film is just an origins film.

    I’m still optimistic over this. Sucker Punch for all its problems was very pretty and had very pretty action sequences. This film will have all of that prettiness without Snyder having written the script.

  8. The most important thing in casting a comic book character that is bald, be he Charles Xavier or Lex Luthor, is that the actor also be bald. Good casting. They didn’t have to expend any important mental energy trying to picture the actor without hair. Now they can concentrate on the perfect size of the “S” on his chest or the cut of the neckline. Fanboys should celebrate.

  9. I don’t like Alex Ross illustrations. They make me cringe, they look so silly. But mainly, they build unrealistic expectations from fans. They are skillfully done illustrations that create a photorealistic quality. Fans hold them up as possibilities of how a Superhero could look in a movie. Then we hear complaints about how skinny the actors are, how they changed the costume, or the color isn’t right.
    These illustrations are always nearby whenever live-action movies come up.

    • I’ve never heard anyone say they don’t like Alex Ross. His work is pure art.

      • BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!

        • I respect it on a technical level. But I think they look like people at comic-con, morphed into more idealized bodies. The expression on their faces are so serious, especially when they’re posing and in groups. I find them to be comical.

          My biggest problem is that it is illustration, which is highly controlled by the artist. Then it is held up as an example of how a live action translation could look. Always. If there’s an Alex Ross painting, someone will post it in relation to a movie every time. Why? Because it looks like a photograph supposedly.

          Like I said, I respect his ability. He has a subtlety with color and he subtlety manipulates the look of the costumes and anatomy to achieve the look he wants. He achieves what he sets out to do, but I don’t care for the results, and especially how it affects fan expectation.


          • Wait, what…build unrealistic expectations from fans? WHAT? are we even talking about the same person here?

            Sure his illustrations are idealized versions because that is what we expect our superheroes to look like, not some potbellied guy with 5 o’ clock shadow and a beer in one hand. If I want them looking like that I could just look out the window. They are not ordinary people and that is kind of the point.

            THIS is silly and unrealistic imho.

            Unlike comics however, Ross’ work looks like someone that COULD realistically exist.

            In fact, I always thought that Clint walker (best known for his role in The Dirty Dozen) was a nearly perfect physical match for Superman. It’s unfortunate he was born about 30 years too early.

            As to your comment about them looking comical because they have serious expressions….what expression would you want them to have, a smile? Superheroes are usually shown in the midst of some dire situation so having them pose as if they were sitting down for a family picture I think would be more silly. A dramatic look is what helps them feel more believable.

            But you are allowed to have your opinion, just know you are in a very small minority ;)

  10. I don’t think I was hearing anything like “Lex shouldn’t be in a Superman film ” until after Spacey’s performance. Lex isn’t the problem. Spacey was the problem. But for some reason he doesn’t get the blame.

    I think a really cool version of Lex (no armored suit please) would be a realistic (Nolan) protagonist for Supes.

    • Wow. I knew someone couldn’t resist using the N word.

  11. what about Bridges as Lexy?????

  12. Lex should appear, he shouldn’t be a villain during this movie though. However, I think they should build his character towards him being the main villain in a sequel (likely the third of a trilogy).

    • the only actor worthy of playing Lex Luthor is Kelsey Grammer.
      the right age. and the right theatrics.

      • That’s a joke right?

  13. Seriously if Lindsey Lohan is in this movie, (which I doubt will happen) Then I will NOT waste my money.

    • Well she COULD play a strung out junkie prostitute and do that well.

  14. This keeps getting better and better for me. The more villains the better, keep them commin. Can’t wait to see official pics from the sets, especially Cavill in full costume.

  15. Not a good casting for Lex. It should be someone with the same caliber as Costner and Lane. Maybe someone like Ralph Fiennes. I’d also like Jim Caviezel for Jorel.

  16. @DrSamBeckett I believe that Alex portrayal of Superman is very appealing. However man also see Christopher Reeves version of Superman, who was not as “buff” as the portrayal above, also as admirable. I believe Superman’s internal power does not need to be portrayed externally through an overly-muscular physique. The greatness of Superman is just who he is.

  17. I like the idea of a rather unknown actor playing Lex. One of my biggest issues with Superman Returns was that I could not get past Kevin Spacey doing what seemed like his best evil genius impersonation. I won’t go as far as saying it was bad but I just could not buy into him in the role. His age does concern me though. And I really like the idea DSB posted here about a President Luthor. That would be amazing and would give us a chance to see him portrayed on screen in a way that we have never seen before. And that’s something I really think this movie needs the most. I have zero problem with this film using the same characters that we have seen before in other films. But if it’s just gonna be the same with only a little twist here and there I don’t see the point…

  18. This film has been described as more realistic and modernized. I would love to see a “modernized” Lex Luther. To me that is not Luther wearing an armored suit or going toe to toe with Superman. I also think that DSB’s President Lex idea would be the right fit for a modern Luther. At the very least he should be a business tycoon who doesn’t like Superman upstaging him as the favorite son of Metropolis. He doesn’t need a big role, but a Superman film without Luther is like a Batman film without Gordon. I also like the idea of a unknown playing Luther. That means that there isn’t any baggage or past characters being brought into the role. I think we would get the best portrayal of Luther that way. Finally, Lohan is a deal breaker as far as credibility goes for me.

    • “This film has been described as more realistic and modernized. I would love to see a “modernized” Lex Luther.”

      Watch “Smallville”.

      • I have watched smallville and I enjoy it. That being said I would still like to see that type of Lex Luther on the big screen.

  19. I will not watch another “Superman” movie in which Lex Luthor makes any type of an appearance. We already have four “Superman” movies with Lex Luthor as the main protagonist.

    “Superman” is creatively bankrupt.

    “Superman I” – Lex Luthor
    “Superman II” – Lex Luthor (Helps Zod)
    “Superman IV” – Lex Luthor
    “Superman: Returns” – Lex Luthor
    “Superman: Doomsday (dvd)” – Lex Luthor
    “Lois & Clark: Adventures of Superman (tv-series) – Lex Luthor
    “Smallville” – Lex Luthor

    No more Lex Luthor. That is why the movie franchise is falling into hell.

    • Absolutely agreed with you on that. I might puke in the theater to see Superman fighting Lex Luthor again. Superman needs a bloody battle. I’d like to see Doomsday.

  20. I want Darkseid.

    • me2

  21. For all those who want Darkseid,
    Watch Smallville.

    • But a movie can spend a zillion dollars on effects for him. That would be cool all by itself.

  22. No more Lex Luthor. I’m sick and tired of seeing him in previous movies. What Superman seriously needs is a bloody battle with someone of his equal with powers.

  23. I don’t see what’s not to like about a Lex Luther that’s around the same age as Superman… It’s always worked in the animated series and Justice League/JLU, and I know everyone loved that interpretation of Luther in those shows. It’s all in how the actor portrays him.

    Cavil is in his late 20s, if they get someone who’s in his early 30s that’ll work out just fine IMO.

    As for the people who just don’t want Luther period, all I can say is that hopefully if he’s in it he will only be a figure in Metropolis that hates Superman and not the villain… Cause that would suck to fight the Kryptonite continent again :P

    • what kind of real Superman fan misspells Luthor’s name three times and thinks Smallville is infuential/relevant to the Superverse? please..

      • You are so right about the misspellings! I don’t know why I blanked out and wasn’t thinking when typing that…

        As for the Smallville comment, I never once mentioned Smallville above. What I was referring to was the cartoons(Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and the 90s Superman cartoon). All of which had had a Lex “Luthor” around the same age as Superman… I was simply stating that I think that there is nothing wrong with Lex and Clark/Superman being around the same age.

        And of course I don’t consider Smallville as a relevant/influential part of the Superverse. And anyone who doesn’t know that in many Superman comic adaptions, such as All-Star Superman(arguably the greatest Superman story ever told) and Superman Birthright, have had Lex and Clark the same age shouldn’t go insulting other fans for having an opinion and saying they aren’t “real Superman” fans…

        • @ DarkHorseLegacy

          Imo id say Clark & Lex always looked they were around the same age. But it i remember within the shows like Batman Beyond, Lois & Clark: New Adventures of Superman it been mentioned that Superman ages much slower than humans do. Even in Superman 2 you could bet it was one of the reasons why he would of have to live his life as a mortal if he wanted to spend his life with Lois in the Fortress of Solitude scene. Imo i do find Smallville as a relevant/influential part of the Superverse.

          • @WallyWest

            True that Superman ages slower than humans. I jjuspersonally prefer when they show the two the same age. And I don’t like the much older versions of Lex that has been portrayed in movies so far. I always liked when Lex is a physically in-shape and strong man.

            Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. As much as I love Smallville I wouldn’t look to it for a source of knowledge when talking about Superman because it’s its own thing. It works great for television but I wouldn’t want it for a movie(though I know many would disagree on that). But like I said, everyone’s entitled to their own opinions.

            • @DarkHorseLegacy

              Oh i think i see where you’re gettin at. The only time id notice Lex being shape & being physically active would be on Shows like JLU & the comics. But in a Superman solo show, film id say he was mostly always a mad scientist or businessman aswell in the comics.

      • um for someone pointing out spelling mistakes you spelled influential wrong lol

  24. I want Darkseid aswell. He was always my favorite Superman villain.

  25. Yeah cause Superman fighting the whole way through is a story by its self.

  26. I dont see why Lex cant be involved in a story that has Darkseid or other Super powered villains.

  27. Only villains i could Lex being involved with would be Metallo & Bizarro. But i can’t see him teaming up with the likes of villains such as Darkseid. Even if Lex did, Darkseid would get rid of Lex the second his usefulness is over.

    • There have been multiple story lines that have linked Lex with Brainiac. Any one of them could be easily adapted to a movie format.

      And yeah, Darkseid doesn’t play well with others. He barely tolerates his underlings. What do you expect from a nearly omnipotent being?

      • @ mongoose

        I find Brainiac the same as Darkseid in his own ways that he could use Lex for a short while & dispatch of him or theres somthing within a film where they try to double-cross each other. With a being like Darkseid, i can see a great film without Lex Luthor or earthly villains.

        • They are both very powerful but Brainiac is decidedly limited in it’s abilities and goals. Lex is a great vehicle to get Brainiac established and rolling but Brainiac will always betray him in the end.

          Darkseid on the other hand I don’t really think needs Lex.

          Better yet…….how about Brainiac and Darkseid? /evil grin. That might be too epic.

          • @ mongoose

            Brainiac & Darkseid? I think that would be too epic,especially if they made the film 3 hrs long or close to it. Darkseid, imo is one of those villains that can carry a film by himself w/ his minions by his side of-course.

  28. I did love the fact how Darkseid & Brainiac worked together in the 2nd season of Justice League & Darkseid betrays Brainiac by having complete control over him. Even more in JLU when Brainiac mentiones to Lex due to his partnership with Darkseid, he learned organic beings cannot be trusted which Lex agreed with him on the subject. And at the end of show when Lex tried to bring Brainiac back, he brought Darkseid back instead & he looked like he fused with alittle bit of Brainiac. Loved what he told Lex and the other villains. Darkseid: It seems i have you to thank for my resurrection. Though your world will suffer a slow,painful death… I grant you a quick

    • Darkseid or Brainiac would be great but not both of them.

      • @ jake the snake

        I agree on that. Both are too big threats to be in the same film together even if it was 3 hrs long or somthing. Imo the two of them could own a film by themselves. Btw, is it just me or does Adam Harris looks more like a young Patrick Stewart “Prof. Xavior” than that other guy in X-men: First class?

        • Wally,

          That’s funny because I was thinking the same exact thing. Adam Harris would be perfect for the role but I guess they don’t see it like we do.

          • @ Jake

            Yup. Im not familiar with Adam Harris & i see his picture again and think ,wow he looks pretty much like a young Patrick Stewart who could of been in X-men First Class. But too late for that now unless that other guy refuses to reprise his role in sequels to First Class.

  29. Although Lex is a tired villain, it’s hard for me to imagine Metropolis without him (probably because I’m ruined by all of the TV and film incarnations of Supes. Personally I’d like Lex in a small role in this one, then maybe come more to the front in later installments.

    I doubt Snyder will have Lex as a main villain anyway because Snyder likes his slo-mo fight sequences you can’t really do that with Lex :)