[Update: The character Pike, Kruger and Eve are vying for is none other than Ursa, the Kryptonian villainess.]

Casting rumors for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Superman: Man of Steel continue to roll out of Hollywood.

Today we’re getting word that Snyder has narrowed down his list of potential actresses for the female lead in Man of Steel – a female lead that is not Lois Lane.

Despite rumors and speculation surrounding a-list actresses, such as Olivia Wilde and Rachel McAdams, Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. is looking to cast lesser-known talent for the part – so as to not overshadow there new Superman, Henry Cavill.

While it’s still unknown what character (either old or new) the leading lady will play, the studio has reportedly narrowed the field down to three actresses – Diane Kruger, Rosamund Pike, and Alice Eve.

Check out the candidates below:

Diane Kruger is probably the most well known of the three, though she’s hardly a household name. Fans will recognize Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark in Inglourious Basterds, leading lady Abigail Chase in both National Treasure films, as well as Helen of/in Troy.

Similarly, Rosamund Pike has had significant parts in a number of well known films including Maggie (Bruce Willis’ wife) in Surrogates and Bond Girl Miranda Frost in Die Another Day.

Alice Eve is likely the least familiar of the potential leading ladies with only a starring turn as Molly in the recent comedy She’s Out of My League to put her on moviegoers’ radar. That said, audiences will be seeing her soon as Emily in the Edgar Allan Poe/Detective mash-up The Raven starring John Cusack.

All three actresses have proven they’ve got what it takes to take the lead in a high-profile film but Diane Kruger is certainly the easiest to see headlining an enormous, high-stakes production like Superman: Man of Steel but, given the studio’s interest in a starlet that doesn’t outshine Cavill, could her resume actually hurt her chances?

Of course the biggest question remains: who will the winner play? Since the upcoming Superman film will focus on “the early days of Superman” it’s certainly possible we could see high school sweetheart Lana Lang – who was featured prominently in both Superman III as well as the CW’s Smallville. That said, since the filmmakers seem to be taking a fresh approach to the film franchise it’s hard to imagine they’d rely on the same plot line as the recent TV series – with Lois inevitably overtaking Lana.

There’s always Lori Lemaris but working in the whole mermaid angle might be a bit convoluted for a franchise reboot – especially one executive produced by Christopher Nolan. Could Snyder take Nolan’s cue and create a non-canon love interest for the Man of Steel, similar to Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins? Whatever lady-character Snyder is casting, choosing to focus on a pre-Lois Lane female lead is a smart move on Snyder’s part – similar to what Marc Webb and Nolan did with their superhero love interests. Not only will it help differentiate this Superman picture from the Reeve and Routh projects, it’ll also give the filmmakers somewhere to go in future films.

Of course, it’s also possible that the female lead won’t be a love interest at all. Maybe Snyder will choose to follow in Bryan Singer’s footsteps and cast the leading lady as Superman’s daughter… from the future… or something.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know who you’d like to see get the role – and who you think the actress will play.

Superman: Man of Steel is targeting a December 2012 release date.

Source: Variety