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Brando vs. Crowe as Superman Franchise's Jor-El

by Anne Thompson
June 15, 2011 9:18 AM
  • |
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

I find disturbing the idea of Russell Crowe playing the role originated by Marlon Brando at age 54 in 1978's Superman. Crowe, 47, is in talks to play opposite Superman Henry Cavill as his beloved father Jor-El in Man of Steel, reports Variety. Of course this will give Crowe a handsome payday. Maybe it's the similarities between the troubled Brando and Crowe that worry me. Both are fine actors with inflated egos and a weight problem who have walked dangerously close to identifying with their leading roles. Keeping track of who you are as a human being and who you are as a movie star is half the battle in maintaining career longevity.

I'm sure Crowe will do fine in a role, written by David Goyer, that will barely tax his skills. That's what worries me. Coming up is another studio project shot in China, Universal actioner The Man With the Iron Fists. I'd rather see him dig into playing Richard Burton or some deeper psychological story on a smaller scale, with a David Cronenberg or Paul Thomas Anderson, assuming he was willing to defer to them. Producer Chris Nolan and director Zack Snyder will only have to manage the demanding Aussie thespian for a short time.

Thompson on Hollywood

Crowe joins Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Michael Shannon. Charles Roven and Emma Thomas will produce with Nolan and Deborah Snyder.

At least Warners decided not to reuse the same old Jor-El footage, see below.


  • Mario Garon | February 9, 2012 12:06 AMReply

    Crowe is no Brando, he's an overated actor who cannot convey any sort of emotion
    This movie is going to suck, anyway...
    it is going to be an emo Nolan movie without any emotion
    Superman is all about hope
    Nolan is all about douchebagery and emo hardcore bullshit just like crow ''I'm a man= I'm a retarted douchebag''

  • sven | June 16, 2011 7:01 AMReply

    No similarity with Brando, even if in his early years he sang "i want to be like Marlon Brando. No Russell Crowe isn't a troubled man, he's happy in life & just speks his mind; and he doesn't have a weigh problem either.Why are you always nasty with him? Because he doesn't follow your rules? He's not demanding, he's got enough money and fame in spite of what journos, ie you, write.
    Learn to know him and you'll love him

  • Liz Devlin | June 15, 2011 12:17 PMReply

    It's an an old old weary myth that Crowe is "demanding".Haggas, Scott, Mangold, Mangold et all seem to have survived quite happily. When was the last time you actually heard a bona fide story of his on-set "demands"?
    Take a moment to follow Crowe's Twitter stream and you will realise he is keeping track just fine, thank you,as a human being.

  • Mimi | June 15, 2011 9:53 AMReply

    Crowe wrapped his film in China months ago. He has another project in the works for later this year. This would only be a small role.. big paycheck.

    He'll be fine as Jor El. Don't worry Anne.

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