12 likely contenders for the role of Lois Lane in Superman

We now know that Henry Cavill’s officially the next Man of Steel, but who should star alongside him? Here’s Seb’s pick of likely actresses for the role of Lois Lane…

Now that the biggest question in comic book movies, the identity of Zack Snyder’s Superman, has been answered in the shape of Henry Cavill, attention has turned to the assortment of actresses thought to be in contention to play the third spoke of comics’ most famed love triangle, Lois Lane.

Here we look at twelve of the mooted contenders for the part, and why they may or may not have a chance…

Malin Akerman

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Why it will be her: She looks the part and has already worked with Zack Snyder on Watchmen, showing in the process that she’s not afraid to get down and dirty with the whole superhero thing.

Why it won’t be her: Age is reputed to be the biggest thing ruling Akerman out of contention at the moment. At 32, she’s a good five years older than Cavill. You suspect this shouldn’t really be an issue if a good actress is right for the part in all other respects. But to be brutally honest, we don’t think Akerman is either of those things.

Rashida Jones

Why it will be her: For Brandon Routh in 2006, read Rashida Jones in 2011. Quincy’s daughter and Parks And Recreation star, Jones is so like a younger Margot Kidder it’s scary. And while she lacks major film experience, with supporting roles in the likes of The Social Network and I Love You Man being about the extent of it, her TV work has been excellent.

Why it won’t be her: Again, age is a factor, as is her relative obscurity, and even (some have suggested) her race could be considered to make her a contentious choice. In theory, none of these should count against her. She’s certainly a favourite of ours for the role, but chances are at least one of them will.

Natalie Portman

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Why it will be her: The geek-friendly Portman will always be linked with roles like this when they come up. Her acting clout is without question. As a strong contender for the Best Actress Oscar this year, her casting would be a clear sign that, like Nolan’s Batfilms, the emphasis for Superman is on filling the cast with quality, respected actors.

Why it won’t be her: Is she a bit too big for this? She’s arguably one of the few names under consideration whose casting would genuinely cast a shadow over her potential co-star. Having gone for a relative unknown to play Clark, the smart money is on the film’s villain being the only piece of truly A-list casting. Besides which, Portman’s already part of the Marvel film universe, thanks to her role as Jane Foster in the upcoming Thor. Could she really do both?

Kristen Stewart

Why it will be her: Well, she’s got dark hair and she’s quite popular at the moment. Oh, and unlike everybody else on this list, she is actually reputed to have tested for the role. Gulp.

Why it won’t be her: She’s far too young. Not only is she two years younger than Kate Bosworth was in Returns, she looks it, as well. Bear in mind, she’s still quite convincingly playing a teenager in the Twilight films. Her lack of discernable charisma and range probably count against her, as well.

Ellen Page

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Why it will be her: Thanks to Inception, she can now be considered part of Christopher Nolan’s ‘troupe’, and although the Dark Knight maestro is only producing rather than directing this, he’ll undoubtedly have influence. Like Akerman, she also has comic book movie experience, courtesy of X-Men: The Last Stand.

Why it won’t be her: Age, again. Inception was arguably the film in which Page ‘grew up’, convincing as a post-teen character for the first time. But she’s still very firmly early, rather than late, twenties. If they were making the film in five years’ time, she’d be damned near perfect. But this is too early.

Rachel McAdams

Why it will be her: A good actress versed in both comedy and drama, attractive but not distractingly so, critically acclaimed but already used to doing blockbusters (Sherlock Holmes), she ticks all the boxes, frankly. Signing her up would be a statement of intent that this film’s Lois is intended as a significant character in her own right.

Why it won’t be her: We’re struggling, actually. Okay, so she’s another in her early thirties, but unlike some of the other contenders, she looks five years younger. Consider this one a very strong bet.

Carey Mulligan

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Why it will be her: Well, Superman is British, so why not Lois? One of the most brilliant young actresses around, Mulligan is already bordering on mega-stardom. This could be the role that tips her towards it.

Why it won’t be her: Her turn as Sally Sparrow in Doctor Who aside, genre work hasn’t really been Mulligan’s thing. If Snyder’s Superman were a period piece set in the 30s, 40s or 50s (and we’ve argued in the past what a good idea that would be), it’d begin to look more right for her. As it is, she doesn’t really seem the sort.

Jessica Biel

Why it will be her: She’s another one already being hotly tipped by some insiders, and again, she’s the right age and has ‘the look’. Still, arguably, awaiting a major breakout role, she’s steadily gaining kudos. Of everyone on the list, she seems to be at just about the right point in her career for this to make sense.

Why it won’t be her: It’s debatable as to whether she’d really be a standout name, however. This could work in her favour, if the same philosophy were taken as with Cavill, but should the producers be looking for a name to draw people in, she might not fit the bill.

Zooey Deschanel

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Why it will be her: There’s a groundswell of online opinion suggesting Deschanel would be perfect for the role, perhaps due in part to the way artist Pete Woods seems to have modelled the character on her in his and Paul Cornell’s recent Action Comics run. One of the most interesting actresses of her age out there, this would be an intriguing step into a new direction

Why it won’t be her: Is it really her ‘type’, though? It would require a shift away from the normal sort of character she tends to play. Lois needs to have that edge, and Deschanel is perhaps a bit too ‘sweet’, and maybe even a bit too conventionally pretty.

Olivia Wilde

Why it will be her: Pretty much the hottest female property in geekdom at the moment after Tron: Legacy, she’s another one who, word has it, has already tested for the role. Again, her distinctive look would seem to suit the by-turns soft and hard-edged Lois.

Why it won’t be her: As with Rachel McAdams, we can’t see too many reasons why Wilde wouldn’t work, and she has age on her side, too. She may be wary of taking on another big-budget sci-fi franchise so soon after Tron, but again, we think she’s a very strong contender.

Erica Durance

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Why it will be her: Well, she’s had the job once already. Durance’s Lois has been one of the best things about the later years of the increasingly irrelevant Smallville, and there’s nothing to suggest she wouldn’t cope with carrying her portrayal across to the big screen and joining up with a new Clark.

Why it won’t be her: Well, she’s had the job once already. Taking one already existent, recognisable version of Lois and dropping her into an entirely different cast and setup would just be weird. Can’t see it happening.

Parker Posey

Why it will be her: It would correct a wrong of some five years or so, when Posey was cast as Lex Luthor’s sidekick in Superman Returns, despite being a far better candidate for Lois than Kate Bosworth was. She’s got the look, the strong, yet offbeat character, and the undoubted acting ability.

Why it won’t be her: At 42, she’s a decade older than some of the other actresses whose own age is said to be putting them out of contention. It’s not going to happen. Besides, if even Brandon Routh couldn’t get in Snyder’s film, what chance do any of the other Returns cast have? This may have been a personal crusade of this writer’s for years now, but it’s probably time to give it up.

Show your support for your favourite Lois in the comments below.

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