It’s been around two decades since Kevin Costner’s days as the rugged leading man in blockbusters like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Dances with Wolves, but he’s reportedly being considered to play a pivotal role in a new tentpole pic, Zack Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel.

Henry Cavill landed the reboot’s titular role a few weeks back, and Warner Bros. is continuing to search for actresses to play Lois Lane and the villainous Ursa, which raises the question – what part might someone like Costner play in the film?

Deadline isn’t saying much about what specific role Costner could play in the Superman reboot, other than describing it as “key.” While the news that Ursa is appearing in the film has resuscitated speculation that General Zod will be the villain (despite Snyder’s denials), Costner doesn’t seem at all a proper fit for that character. He could follow in the footsteps of Marlon Brando and portray Supes’ biological father, the Kryptonian leader Jor-El, but that too would be a strange bit of casting.

The most obvious and likely role for Costner is that of Jonathan Kent, Clark Kent’s down-to-Earth (pun intended) adopted father from rural America. Many of the characters that Costner’s played throughout the course of his career are variations on that archetype (see – Field of Dreams, Message in a Bottle, The Upside of Anger, etc.). He even essentially played a moral-teaching father figure to Ben Affleck (who once had some solid fan support to play Superman) in The Company Men.

Costner opposite Ben Affleck in ‘The Company Men’.

Jonathan Kent is certainly a “key” character in the Superman mythology, but the idea that Costner’s being eyed to play the role at this point seems a bit curious. The titular hero, female lead, and villain of The Amazing Spider-Man had been cast well before supporting character parts like Spidey’s parental figures, Uncle Ben and Aunt May, were officially settled. It’s possible that Costner’s name just happened to be leaked a bit earlier than expected, but the timing is peculiar nonetheless – assuming that he’s not up to play the villain or another major role in Man of Steel, that is.

UPDATE: Latino Review says that Costner is indeed being eyed to play Jonathan “Pa” Kent in Man of Steel. To paraphrase the famous line from Field of Dreams, “If you build [a new franchise], [Kevin Costner] will come.” ;-)

John Schneider as Jonathan Kent on ‘Smallville’.

Snyder’s Superman reboot is being produced by the likes of his wife, Deborah, and was “godfathered” by Christopher Nolan, prior to his departure to focus on The Dark Knight Rises. David S. Goyer is reportedly still working on and tweaking the screenplay, which was rumored last fall to be in need of a major overhaul as Warner Bros. keeps pushing the project to make a December 2012 release date.

Who do you think Costner is being eyed to play in Superman: Man of Steel?

Source: Deadline

Update Source: Latino Review