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But What of Lois Lane?


(From the upcoming All-Star Superman, click to embiggen.)

Warner Brothers has found their Superman in Henry Cavill, and once people got done arguing about whether or not it was OK for a Brit to play an alien raised in Kansas (only I seemed concerned with whether it was suitable for someone so sexy to play an icon of wholesomeness), people naturally turned to the next burning question. Who should play Lois Lane? Understandable. She's usually the second most important character in a Superman movie. Except now there is all sorts of talk that Lois Lane may not be the female lead in the Man of Steel, or that she might not even be in it at all.

I'm just going to ignore all that, because it's stupid. So we're just going to go ahead with the speculation. After what happened the last time, people are rightfully nervous. (Superman Returns had many problems, but I am certain I am not alone in my belief that Kate Bosworth was among its biggest.) Now, everyone is going to have different ideas about who should play Lois Lane, because, as with any character that has been around so long and been interpreted so many ways, everyone has different ideas about who Lois Lane is.

loises.jpg

Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich is no different, and he expressed those ideas in a post on the PopWatch blog where he explained his theory of "the Kidder-Durance Scale of Lois Lane-dom":

Margot Kidder played Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in four Superman films in the ’70s and ’80s. Her performance emphasized Lois’ workaholic personality and her slightly unhinged, chain-smoking tenacity...At the far end of the scale sits Erica Durance, who’s been playing Lois on Smallville for several years. Durance’s Lois is more glamorous, more obviously heroic, and more overtly sexy — you wouldn’t have seen Kidder’s Lois go undercover as a stripper. She’s almost more an action heroine, really.

Now, I think this is all very interesting, and I personally lean more towards the Margot Kidder version, never having warmed to the more modern, Army brat, version of the character...Wait! What was that?

Durance’s Lois is more glamorous, more obviously heroic, and more overtly sexy — you wouldn’t have seen Kidder’s Lois go undercover as a stripper. She’s almost more an action heroine, really.

What the fuck does going undercover as a stripper have to do with being an action heroine?

Let's start with how completely awful it was that "Smallville" thought it was OK to have an episode where Lois goes undercover as a stripper. It's obnoxious for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it's a show about Superman. You want to know why Margot Kidder wouldn't have gone undercover as a stripper? Because kids were watching those movies. That's why.

You can tell me about that John Byrne comic where Superman and Big Barda make a porno until you're blue in the face. I don't ever want to see Superman and his related characters in a strip club. However, Franich himself points out the tenacity and workaholic tendencies of Kidder's Lois Lane. You better believe that if the story was in the strip club, she would have found her way inside the strip club. Any Lois Lane worth her salt would. (Most of them are far too short and flat-chested to pass themselves off as strippers, though.)

Leaving the topic of strippers -- (I know, I'm sad about it, too) -- I was serious in my statement that Darren Franich's overall point was interesting, despite some absolutely head-scratch worthy comments. His casting ideas aren't bad. I think Anne Hathaway would have made an excellent Lois Lane, if she weren't already playing Selina Kyle. Rachel McAdams would bring a lot of wit and charm to the role. OK, I would have to flat out swear off the film if Jessica Biel is in it, because she's just awful always, but Sarah Polley is an intriguing idea.

Prior to the Variety report I'm ignoring, a supposed "short list" of actresses in the running for Lois Lane. Aside from Rachel McAdams, I think it's pretty awful, though. If they were looking for someone with TV experience, but not much of a film career, like they did with Superman, Castle's Stana Katic might be good, unless being older than Cavill would rule her out. Personally, I'd like Lois Lane to at least seem mature enough to seem like a highly professional woman. I think I have come up with the absolutely perfect actress for the role. Kristin Bell is young, but "Veronica Mars" proved that she can play a role with intelligence and humor. She's both shrewd and funny, and could be intimidating as hell. She's blonde, but, as the picture shows, that's easily fixed.

Who do you think should play Lois Lane? Would you have liked to see Margot Kidder strip? I'm just going to go ahead and assume you want to see Henry Cavill strip.

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Comments (6)

Bren:

If you're like "Gosh, why would they hire some random blonde instead of having a Lois Lane," Latino Review thinks they have the answer. (Link goes to Gamma Squad, though, because they smell like brownies.)

That just opens up a whole other question. What the hell have they done to Ursa that these actresses would be considered remotely right for the part?

This just makes it worse.

PBMonkeyKing:

As I said on Twitter, Kristin Bell would be great, even if Margot Kidder will always embody Lois Lane for me.

I know people like Erika Durance. I'm sure she's a lovely person. I buy her as Lois Lane about as much as I bought her being in her early twenties when she was introduced. And they don't make eye cream or botox to make you appear smarter on-screen.

Carey:

Margot Kidder will also always be Lois for me, the way Leigh Merriweather and/or Julie Newmar will always be Catwoman. The idea of Sarah Polley is terrible. I have liked her a lot in a bunch of different movies, but she's not Lois. I don't even know... Lois has to be real and unafraid but not a stripper. This is hard.

Bren:

It's interesting. I like Erica Durance but never really think about her as being Lois Lane, because I never consider the Smallville versions of characters as the actual characters. Also I never found the "old lady" jokes funny. She isn't any more out of place on Smallville than Gabrielle Carteris was on 90210.

We could make jokes about Gabrielle Carteris' age. I think a better defense would be Tom Welling, who also looks crazy old for his role.

My problem with Erica Durance, aside from bad writing, is that she's so far from the type that I envision as Lois Lane. Lois should be beautiful, but in a really average person sort of way. I have a lot of problems with the attempts to make Lois Lane into some sort of superhero, and I think Smallville does that in a lot of ways. IMO, it makes Lois Lane far less special when she's not the completely normal human woman that happened to capture the attention of Superman. If she looks and acts like all the other women in comics that wrap themselves in spandex and fight crime, it lessens the impact. (I put a lot of thought into characterization and representation, so it is really dangerous to get into these discussions with me.)

But I agree with Brenda that the Smallville versions of the characters are so far removed from my idea of who those characters should be, that it doesn't even matter. Also, Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve will always be Lois and Superman to me. I thought that went without saying.