Emerging from a group of names that included Sean Penn and Clive Owen, Russell Crowe has been tapped by Warner Bros. to take on the role of Superman’s biological father, Jor-El, in Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Variety confirms Crowe’s casting in the project which is set to begin production next month in Vancouver. While Jor-El’s level of involvement in David Goyer’s script is currently unknown, the “A-list” casting of the role harkens back to Marlon Brando’s turn as Kal-El’s father in Richard Donner’s original Superman.
Crowe joins a cast that already includes Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon and Diane Lane. The role of Jor-El’s wife, Lara, is still up in the air, although Dark Horizons reported earlier today that Crowe’s Gladiator co-star Connie Nielsen may have an offer for the gig on the table as I type. Man of Steel is currently eyeing a holiday 2012 release.