Viggo Mortensen Being Courted To Play General Zod In Zack Snyder's 'Superman'

by Oliver Lyttelton
February 26, 2011 3:17 AM
7 Comments
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Kevin Costner Confirmed To Be Up For Jonathan Kent


It's not so long since we speculated on the choice of villain in the upcoming Zack Snyder-helmed, Christopher Nolan-produced reboot of "Superman"; with Henry Cavill being picked to play the man of steel, it seemed like the next logical step for his adversary to appear, but, despite a number of names cropping up in rumors, it was never entirely clear which villain from the character's 80-year history would be facing off against Clark Kent's alter ego. But, breaking last thing on Friday night, we seem to have an idea of not only who the antagonist will be, but also the actor that seems to be leading the pack to play him.

The Hollywood Reporter suggest that Viggo Mortensen is at the top of the wish-list to play the role of General Zod in Snyder's film. The character, a megalomaniac fellow-exile from Superman's home planet of Krypton, is one of the best-known of the classic adversaries, having been embodied memorably by Terence Stamp in 1980's "Superman II" (easily the best cinematic depiction of the series so far). Zod was rumored to be the bad guy from early on in the project's history, although Snyder had previously dismissed the talk as 'just a rumor' -- something which now seems like damage control, rather than anything else.

Nevertheless, Mortensen, who's had a few years off from tentpoles after wrapping up the "Lord of the Rings" series, is by no means a sure thing; the article stresses that the actor is only a "person of interest" (which makes him sound like a murder suspect, quite frankly). Furthermore, the actor had seemed like all-but-a-sure-thing to join Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in another high-profile project, "Snow White and the Huntsman," and that deal would have to fall apart, or the two studios would need to share the actor's schedule, in order for him to play Zod. Could this be the actor's representatives playing hardball?

He's a very strong choice for the part, it should be said, but it sounds like things are in very early stages, and Snyder's likely to be meeting with a number of a names for the part -- indeed, Badass Digest pass on, in a rather roundabout, half-assed kind of way, that Snyder had been bent on reuniting with his "300" star Gerard Butler by casting him as Zod, which sends shivers up our spine.

It also gives credence to speculation that the unnamed female character that Alice Eve, Diane Kruger and Rosamund Pike were up for would be Ursa, Zod's right-hand woman, although it's unclear whether the actresses are still in the running: Kruger seemed unaware of any talk of the film at the time, while Pike and Eve have both subsequently signed on to other tentpoles; the "Clash of the Titans" sequel and "Men in Black 3," respectively, although with filming imminent or underway on both, it doesn't necessarily rule them out.

Furthermore, THR confirm rumors that the role that Kevin Costner was linked to earlier in the week is that of Jonathan Kent, Kal-El's adoptive father, although again, things seem to be far from locked on that front. Snyder's also currently casting three female characters -- one of which is presumably the role that Eve, Kruger and Pike were up for, and we imagine the others are Martha Kent and the best-known love interest for the character, Lois Lane. We're sure that things will start to crystallize soon (and, it should be said, the names of Mortensen and Costner do bode well for the project), but we hope that the alleged script problems are being sorted out in the meantime.

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7 Comments

  • water tower | February 27, 2011 8:04 AMReply

    This movie sounds like such a disaster. There is a reason everyone started screaming in anger when the Zod rumor surfaced. The negative blowback was so strong that Snyder had to come out and deny it to calm things down. Top this off with a cast that can't sell a ticket and we have the Hindenburg looming.

  • Jessica Kiang | February 26, 2011 11:50 AMReply

    Wow, that picture represents the easiest game of "marry, boff, kill" ever.

  • Mark | February 26, 2011 11:40 AMReply

    Ritas sums up the problem with the movie kids nowadays. All they are interested in is computer-generated churned out crap. Superman Returns was a disaster on every front, yet the original Superman and Superman II look like 'crap' because they were hand-made with imagination and with love and respect for the source material.

    Richard Donner > Zack Snyder. Every day of the week. The Omen, Superman and Lethal Weapon or 300, Watchmen and The Legend of Gahoole... tough call huh?

  • Abz | February 26, 2011 8:33 AMReply

    Recently it was pointed out that Superman would never have gone and beat up the human bully at the end of Superman 2. Not a very Superman thing to do.

  • rodie | February 26, 2011 5:42 AMReply

    Is this the first strong hint that Zod will actually appear in the movie? Viggo is always interesting on screen, so if anyone can follow Stamp, I would think Viggo could do it and do it differently.

  • Theoc | February 26, 2011 4:30 AMReply

    Ok Zod and viggo i just got a little bit hard. I don't wanna care about a snyder movie, DAMN YOU.

  • Ritas | February 26, 2011 3:33 AMReply

    Actually, when I saw the Superman 2 movie, I thought the Zod character dull to say the least. Probably because with all the present day CGI and FX the old movies look like crap.

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