This just in — three-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams will play journalist Lois Lane in Hollywood’s revival of “Superman.”
The 36-year-old star got the news on Sunday from director Zack Snyder, who phoned her from Paris, where he was promoting his just-opened film, “Sucker Punch.” There had been a crush of Hollywood interest in the lead female role in the Warner Bros. project but Snyder said that after meeting with Adams, she was the clear choice to take on a character that dates back to 1938 and has long represented the strong, professional woman who can hold her own against any man — even if he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
“There was a big, giant search for Lois,” Snyder said. “For us it was a big thing and obviously a really important role. We did a lot of auditioning but we had this meeting with Amy Adams and after that I just felt she was perfect for it.”
Snyder declined to discuss the precise prominence of Lois in the story or any plot details about the film but he said the role is “a linchpin” to the project and that he considers it essential that Lois — an FDR-era creation — arrives on screen in 2012 with contemporary appeal and spirit.
“It goes back to what I’ve said about Superman and making him really understandable for today. What’s important to us is making him relevant and real and making him empathetic to today’s audience so that we understand the decisions he makes. That applies to Lois as well. She has to be in the same universe as him [in tone and substance].”
Adams has shown an affinity for finding the plucky but pitch-perfect center of old-school roles; in the cartoonish “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” she brought a surprising amount of yearning emotion to the role of a simplified Amelia Earhart and she won rave reviews for the role of Giselle in “Enchanted” and its sly send-up of Disney princess traditions that date back to “Snow White,” which premiered just six months before Lois Lane hit newsstands in the pages of Action Comics No. 1.
Adams is coming off an Academy Award nomination for her work in “The Fighter,” the David O. Russell film that took her into far darker territory; she played a bartender named Charlene who is fire-tested and fierce in her love for a down-but-not-out boxer portrayed by Mark Wahlberg. The film earned an Oscar win for Christian Bale, who played Wahlberg’s deliriously drugged-out brother, and he will be in the other big superhero film of 2012, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which will see Bale back in the cowl of Batman.
The big breakthrough for Adams was “Junebug,” which premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where Adams won a special jury prize for her performance. The star’s other notable credits include “Doubt,” Julie & Julia,” “Sunshine Cleaning,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Later this year, she will be seen in both “On the Road” (an adaptation of the famed Jack Kerouac novel) and in Disney’s new Muppets film.
I asked Snyder how it feels to be making a film where every casting choice is a global news flash. “It’s an epic thing, no doubt. But this good news is the cast is shaping up to fit that.” In the still-untitled Superman film, Henry Cavill will play Clark Kent and the Man of Steel. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are set to play the Kents, the adoptive parents of the last son of Krypton.
– Geoff Boucher
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