Russell Crowe (Jor-El) talks and Superman

As wild, crazy and difficult as he’s known to be, there’s no doubt Russell Crowe has put in some great performances.

Although he won Best Actor for Gladiator, Crowe was awesome in The Insider, and he also put in tremendous performances in L.A. Confidential, A Beautiful Mind, and more. 

Crowe hasn’t given us a truly great performance in some time, but there’s hope he’ll be back on top of his game again as Jor-El in Man of Steel.

Since Marlon Brando played Jor-El in the 1978 Superman, the role has had a tradition to live up to, and it was Brando’s last good performance. (Brando also made the Guinness books for highest paid actor for a role that was about ten minutes long).

So now that Crowe is playing Superman’s proud poppa, he told Collider that director Zack Snyder’s approach to the material is, “very complicated, it’s really complex. I don’t think anybody has really tried to get into the psychology of what it must be like to be Superman and [how] people would really respond in a modern society if somebody like that just popped up.” 

So while there’s big differences between Superman and Batman, like Nolan’s Dark Knight, Man of Steel is going to try and have Superman in the real world instead of a fantastical environment like the Tim Burton films. Like Batman, Superman’s one of the greatest superheroes in history, if not the greatest, and where Batman had a magnificent reboot with Nolan at the helm, Superman still has yet to be successfully revived.

Crowe acknowledged, “I think [director] Zack Snyder was given a great deal of responsibility because, when it comes to comic book heroes and superhero films, the top of the food chain is Superman.”

Indeed, Superman has even been called the Christ of superheroes, and if this edition doesn’t make it, how many more chances does he have on the big screen? Not to mention the threat of a geek revolt if Zack Snyder screws this up.

Still, considering the risks of taking on such a legendary superhero, Crowe is definitely excited to see it all put together, and how the world will react as well. In addition to Crowe, I’m especially interested to check out Michael Shannon as General Zod, which is sure to be a great performance, as well as Henry Cavill, who’s gotten a hell of a big break stepping into the red and blue suit. 

Man of Steel – which hits theaters June 14 – also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.