With one of the big casting questions of 2011 answered on Sunday, with the announcement that "The Tudors" veteran Henry Cavill will be playing Clark Kent/Superman in Zack Snyder's reboot of the iconic hero, questions immediately turn to who will be joining the British actor in the film, and specifically, who will play the Man Of Steel's better half, spunky reporter Lois Lane. Natalie Portman had been vaguely linked to the role before Christmas, but if there was ever any truth to the rumor, the recent announcement of her pregnancy surely puts paid to that, and otherwise, word has been fairly quiet. Until now.
Australian site What's Playing reports that a number of names are in contention, some of which are entirely expected, some of which rather less so. The site suggests that Anne Hathaway, an excellent choice, was the front-runner for a while, but that her casting as Selena Kyle in "The Dark Knight Rises" has obviously made her unavailable. Now five other names, in various degrees of likelihood, have been mentioned, and it's a relatively diverse list. Well, as diverse as a list of white women in their twenties and thirties can be.
"Watchmen" graduate Malin Akerman was said to have been in the running at one stage, although the site speculates that, at 32, she may be too old. We're not convinced that's a problem -- it's only four years on Cavill -- and hopefully it's more the fact that she gave a truly horrible performance in Snyder's earlier superhero flick that rules her out. At the other end of the age scale are "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart and "Glee" cheerleader Dianna Agron, the latter of whom was also in the running for Gwen Stacy in "Spider-Man." However, unless Lane's been reenvisioned as an intern at the Daily Planet, and unless Warner Bros are comfortable with the idea of making Superman look like James Mason in "Lolita," we think both are unlikely, particularly with Stewart supposedly being pursued for "Snow White and the Huntsman" (Agron is 24, to be fair, but looks younger).
More plausible are the rest of the names on What's Playing list. Rachel McAdams is mentioned as a favorite of studio executives, having being linked to the Kyle role in "The Dark Knight Rises" and she's something of a no-brainer: she's been on our list of possibilities since the beginning, and would clearly knock the role out of the park. However, the site also suggests that Jessica Biel (who also tested for TDKR) is in the mix as well, and may even be the front-runner; they say "don't be surprised if the trades reveal that the "Blade Trinity" star has gotten the nod in a week's time," proving that, no matter how many roles you do in the meantime, you will never be forgiven for being in "Blade: Trinity."
More vaguely, 'third and fourth-hand sources' also mention the names 'Winstead' and 'Bell,' although this seems thinner -- the former clearly "Scott Pilgrim" star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, a solid choice for the role, the latter most likely "Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell (although she's just signed on for a Showtime pilot alongside Don Cheadle). But what if it's comic actress Lake Bell, whose scene-stealing performance in "No Strings Attached" suggests that she could be kind of a genius choice for the role?
Ordinarily, we'd be a little bit more doubtful about this list, but What's Playing have proven to be a relatively reliable source in recent months, so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment -- we're sure, with Cavill being cast, firmer news will emerge down the road. In the meantime, we'd like to remind execs of names like Rebecca Hall, Lizzy Caplan, Rashida Jones and another Catwoman contender, Kate Mara, who we think would all be excellent choices.