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Russell Crowe to play Jor-El in Man of Steel?

Superman’s Dad, a Gladiator

Russell Crowe is in talks to play the small but pivotal role of Jor-El in Warner’s “Superman” reboot.

If the deal comes off, it’ll be another casting coup for 2012 tentpole “Man of Steel” which has already secured the services of the likes of Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Henry Cavill, playing the title role.

Deadline says there’s no deal yet with “Next Three Days” star Crowe but the fact that he’s in talks indicates Warners are chasing big names for near every role in the film – outside of ‘Superman’ himself – which, obviously, is the same tatic Dick Donner and the Salkinds applied to the original 1978 “Superman” movie.

The role of Jor-El was played by Marlon Brando in “Superman” and more recently, Terrence Stamp and Julian Sands (who provided the voice and face, respectively) on “Smallville”.

What do you think of Crowe as Jor-El?

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