Laurence Fishburne is the latest major name added to Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel. EW reports that the Oscar nominated actor has been cast as Perry White, editor-in-chief at Metropolis’ top newspaper, The Daily Planet.
Fishburne’s best known for playing Morpheus in three Matrix films, also for Warner Bros., which is backing Snyder’s project. He takes over a role that previously has been played by Jackie Cooper (in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies) and Frank Langella (in Bryan Singer’s oft-maligned update). The actor recently walked away from CBS’ hit crime drama CSI after multiple seasons, leading industry trackers to wonder just how long it would be before he started landing roles in major motion pictures again. Few probably predicted Fishburne would land a gig in Snyder’s stocked tentpole picture, though.
Fishburne’s casting is the first official sign that Snyder’s not afraid to think outside of tried-and-true Superman canon (though if Marvel’s able to have a bi-racial Spider-Man, there’s no reason why a DC adaptation can’t have an African-American Perry White.)
Casting Perry White, at all, also helps fill in the areas of Superman’s story that we’re expecting to see on screen. It already has been announced that Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are playing Jonathan and Martha Kent, suggesting at least a handful of Smallville scenes. But with Amy Adams locked in as Lois Lane and now Fishburne in place for Perry White, you know Snyder plans a number of scenes in and around the newspaper, with new Superman Henry Cavill no doubt sharpening his physical-comedy skills to play clumsy Clark Kent. You wouldn’t hire an actor of Fishburne’s caliber for a glorified cameo, right?
Snyder has time to figure it all out. Man of Steel has been pushed back to June 2013, though with each new addition to this solid cast, the wait is getting harder and harder.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.