Principal photography on director Zack Snyder's rebooting of the Superman franchise, Man of Steel, has been ongoing for a couple months now - with a seemingly set-in-stone cast.
Snyder and his production team have spent several weeks working with the likes of Henry Cavill and Michael Shannon on Man of Steel - as evidenced by numerous set photos. This week's shooting docket look to involve (chronologically) early scenes set on Supe's formerly thriving home planet, Krypton. However, it turns out that Julia Ormond will not be portraying the superhero's biological mother, Lara, after all.
Deadline has learned that Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer is instead set to play Lara Lor-Van in Man of Steel - and will beginning filming her part this week. Ormond, for the record, was never officially locked for the role, so a breakdown in negotiations may be the reason for her non-involvement.
Most moviegoers are presumably familiar with Zurer for either her role as CERN scientist Vittoria Vetra (a.k.a. Tom Hanks' semi-love interest) in Angels & Demons - or the actress' turn as the wife of Eric Bana's Mossad agent, Avner, in Steven Spielberg's Munich. Zurer also had a recurring role on HBO's In Treatment TV show and appeared in the thriller Vantage Point a few years back.
Fans, however, are presumably most concerned with whether or not Zurer possesses the looks (and graceful screen presence) to suffice as Lara for her brief appearance in Man of Steel. The actress is quite capable in both areas, bearing a fairly strong physical resemblance to the darker-haired version(s) of the character - who, in Snyder's reboot, is expected to be modeled partly after her more intellectual incarnation in Mark Waid's "Superman: Birthright" comic book. There, Lara worked alongside her husband, Jor-El, in designing the spacecraft used to transport their son to safety before Krypton was laid to ruin.
To refresh your memory, here is the official synopsis for Man of Steel:
In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Cavill) is a young twentysomething 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.
In other words: Man of Steel is expected to be at least part-origin story. So look for Zurer as Lara to play as consequential a part - and have a similar amount of screen time - as Susannah York did when she portrayed the character, back in director Richard Donner's 1978 Superman movie.
Man of Steel is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on June 14th, 2013.