Image Credit: Everett Collection; Sergei Bachlakov/The CWNow that Henry Cavill has been cast as Superman, the creators of the Superman reboot have an even bigger challenge: Who will play Lois Lane, Supes’ hard-driving love interest/competitor? One of the first great SSOs (Superhero Significant Other), Lois provides a crucial dose of humanity in Superman’s fantastical world. She’s funny, she’s sexy, she works too hard and she’ll do anything for a story, but she’s also a deeply moral person battling society’s corrupting influences (i.e., Lex Luthor.) In the last thirty years, some talented actresses have put their own stamp on the character. By taking a close look at their performances, we can maybe come up with some decent possibilities for the new movie. I’ve come up with a handy scientific method for describing the various Lois Lanes: Call it 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. Viewed from this perspective, Lois should be played by someone like Rachel McAdams, who gave a dynamite performance as a yuppie workaholic in the otherwise-bland Morning Glory. 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. (That’s very much in line with the present-day comic book Lois, who was raised as an army brat.) A Lois Lane in the Durance spectrum could be played by someone like Jessica Biel or Durance-lookalike Michelle Monaghan.
I’d say that Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane in Lois & Clark exists at the perfect midpoint of the Kidder-Durance Scale: She’s a rom-com heroine, but also an adventurer, and she’s sexy, but in a lighthearted Howard Hawks way. The obvious Hatcher-esque choice would be Anne Hathaway, who’s unfortunately already starring in a movie with that other DC icon. So I’d personally propose a slightly outside-of-the-box choice: Sarah Polley. Polley hasn’t worked very often in big Hollywood movies, with one big exception: the Dawn of the Dead remake. She anchored that movie with a perfect Lois Lane-esque mixture of brave desperation — it’s one of the best action-heroine performances this side of Sigourney Weaver. And since Dawn of the Dead was helmed by new Superman director Zack Snyder, it’s not a complete outside chance.
Who do you think should play Lois Lane, PopWatchers? Should they cast another Brit alongside Cavill, like Keira Knightley, just to make this the most English Superman ever? Let’s start throwing names around, people.
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