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.
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.