Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Larry is Perry

The last time we talked about Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder Superman reboot produced by Christopher Nolan, Christopher Meloni, late of NBC's Law & Order: SVU, had just signed on for an unspecified role (which has since been specified as a general of some sort). Now he's being joined in the project by another star who recently parted ways with a long-running procedural. Lawrence Fishburne, the lead on CBS stalwart CSI for the last two-and-a-half seasons, has signed up for "Great Caesar's Ghost!" duty as Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White.

This is another coup for the production (recently moved from its Christmas '12 berth to summer 2013), which has built up quite the stocking full of big name talents to fill out the supporting roles, including Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and Russell Crowe. Perry White is a nearly indispensable part of Superman lore who's showed up in almost every incarnation of the mythos at some point, with the late Jackie Cooper memorably playing him in the '70s-'80s Superman movies, and the late Lane Smith playing him on TV's Lois & Clark. The role was most recently filled by Frank Langella in 2006's Superman Returns, and Michael McKean on Smallville.

Having briefly glanced at the interwebs after this news broke, I saw plenty of bloviating from both comic nerds and, I dunno, racists (already up in arms over the news of a new, black Spider-Man), upset that the traditionally Caucasian White is now being inhabited by an African-American. And while there are times when color-blind casting legitimately doesn't work (three words: Wild. Wild. West), I can't think of a better "who cares" than this. Fishburne is a great actor who brings a lot of credibility with him, and I have no doubt he'll be excellent in the part. I only hope they give him dialogue as memorable as that of the top panel on the right.


Abdul-Halim V. said...

Wow, I don't think I knew that Lane Smith passed.

And I totally agree with you. LAwrence Fishburne totally can embody the essence of Perry White, regardless of race... I'm mainly thinking of his character in Mission Impossible III, the hard-ass boss who takes no shorts...

But I think you may be wrong about the Wild Wild West thing... have you ever seen Posse... or Blazing Saddles?

Zaki said...

I don't mean there can't be a black cowboy, but that the character as played by Will Smith is too far removed from James West as seen in the TV show. At some point, a character becomes so different that you can't really call him by the same name anymore, and I think that's my issue with Smith in WWW.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Oh wow, I totally misunderstood. I don't think it registered with me that Wild Wild West was a tv series before it was a movie. When the movie came out I had just assumed it was a totally new manifestation of steampunk as opposed to the revival of a 60s tv show.