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Last week word began leaking out that the new Superman movie starring Henry Clavill will not have Lois Lane as the female lead. Given rumors that have swirled around the casting of Lois including a claim that Anne Hathaway had the job until she got the role of Catwoman this is a shock.
Reports are that three blonde women are up for a yet unnamed role. I find this very concerning news.
Variety has named Alice Eve, Diane Kruger and Rosamund Pike to be on the short list as the lead romantic interest for Superman. “Who?” you might ask to at least one, but that’s the idea. The studios apparently don’t want a big name to give Clavill the spotlight.
This moves seems to mirror that Spider-Man reboot which chose to make the lesser known Gwen Stacey the female lead rather than Mary Jane Watson. But having Gwen Stacy as the lead in Spider-Man is palatable because she has a fan base and has been a key part of Spider-man story.
But Lois Lane’s removal makes me uneasy. If they are casting an lesser known actress to give Clavill the spotlight, then is it unreasonable to think that they don’t want Lois to give Superman the spotlight. Add that they are taking a brunette, which Lois Lane has always been portrayed as, out of Superman movie and replacing her with second tier, perhaps third-tier white, blonde character? What message does this send?
Now, of course, this may mean they are focusing on Superman’s early years, but isn’t that what a decade of Smallville has given us? Will they really make a movie without Metropolis, the Daily Planet, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen? Because you can’t have those and not have Lois. You can’t have a famous Superman without Lois Lane. And you can’t have Lois Lane without her being the female lead.
More importantly this just doesn’t make sense for a Superman movie. Lois Lane is a critical, seminal part of the Superman mythos. She’s there in the first issue of the comic book. She’s been featured in almost every single Superman vehicle, save Superboy, since Superman has been on film, radio or television. Superman needs Lois Lane. She is his human touch point. She is key to his motivation. She makes the dual identity work. To remove her from the story is like Superman suddenly not being able to fly or or not having heat vision. The fact that they would see Lois Lane as a “variable” for a Superman story makes me very uncomfortable and seems to be sending the message - “women they’re all alike”. I would hope that’s not their belief, but I can’t say it doesn’t make me think it this morning.
And outside of the questionable desire to disregard his mythos it is equally disheartening that Lois Lane is one of the few female DC characters who had the best shot of getting on-screen intact. Who knows what is up with Nolan’s Dark Knight Rising and his maybe she’s Catwoman maybe she’s Selina Kyle? And Wonder Woman? Can’t get a movie and the TV show looks … well, I’ve said enough about that for this week.
Lois Lane is, I would wager, one of the most recognizable female characters that has come out DC Comics rivaled only by Wonder Woman. By making a Superman movie without her as the female lead shows a lack of respect for her importance, her legacy and her legion of fans. She’s not just a variable. She’s a core part of the character. I truly hope this is misinformation.