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Russell Crowe as Superman’s father in “Man of Steel” behind-the-scenes photos hit the web

Russell Crowe as Superman’s father in “Man of Steel” behind-the-scenes photos hit the web (photo)

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We’ve long known that Russell Crowe would be taking on the role of Superman‘s father in “Man of Steel,” but it’s been up in the air how close his portrayal would hew to that of Marlon Brando, who played Jor-El in the original 1978 “Superman.” Fortunately, we can finally quit speculating as photos of Crowe on set have leaked to the internet.

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The Daily Mail snagged the photos, and couldn’t even get through their headline without making fun of Russell Crowe for being “paunchy” and sniping at him for his failure to quit smoking. For our money though, we kind of dig a respectably heavy Jor-El – no one’s dad should have six-pack abs, even Superman. We can even indulge the conceit that Krypton’s red sun might negate the dangers of smoking.

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If you aren’t a catty British tabloid, you’re probably more interested in what Crowe’s costume looks like, so let’s discuss that, shall we? Like Brando’s Jor-El, the outfit has the giant S-logo on the front, but that’s where the similarities end. Unlike Brando’s fab all white, turtleneck, sensible polyester-blend ensemble, Crowe’s costume looks decidedly more militaristic, with a heavily-detailed mantle and shoulder pads. The outfit also features a reddish cape and underneath the robe, the same dimpled blue material seen in the Superman costume worn by star Henry Cavill.

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Crowe joins Cavill, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman’s Earth parents, Ma and Pa Kent. “Man of Steel,” directed by Zack Snyder (“300” and “Suckerpunch“), will hit theaters on June 14, 2013.

What do you think of Russell Crowe’s Jor-El costume? Do you dig it, or like the Daily Mail, would you prefer a slimmer, more svelte Papa Superman? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Road Trip

Scott Aukerman Is Hitting the Road for a Comedy Bang! Bang! Live Tour

Scott and Comedy Bang! Bang! are coming to a town near you.

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Comprised of countless characters, hilarious guests, and running gags, Comedy Bang! Bang! simply can’t be contained in just its podcast and TV forms. As such, host Scott Aukerman is taking the show and its oddball cavalcade on the road in a brand new live tour. Fan favorites Lauren Lapkus, Paul F. Tompkins, and Neil Campbell will be along for the ride (either as themselves, as their show personas, or both — we’re not at liberty to say!), and there will surely be a few surprise drop-ins as well. And maybe…a little magic?

Scott Magic

Check out the tour dates below and catch the Comedy Bang! Bang! live tour when it swings nearby. And be sure to check back for updates on Comedy Bang! Bang!‘s new season, debuting this spring on IFC with new bandleader and cohost “Weird Al” Yankovic.

April 30 – Theater at the Ace—Los Angeles, CA
May 6 – Convocation Hall—Toronto, ON
May 7 – Wilbur Theatre—Boston, MA
May 8 – Keswick Theatre—Philadelphia, PA
May 9 – The Lincoln Theatre—Washington, DC
May 10 – The Carolina Theatre of Durham—Durham, NC
May 11 – The Tabernacle—Atlanta, GA
May 13 – Gramercy Theatre—New York, NY
May 17 – Texas Theatre—Dallas, TX
May 18 – Paramount Theatre—Austin, TX
May 19 – Pantages Theatre—Minneapolis, MN
May 20 – Athenaeum Theatre—Chicago, IL
May 21 – Royal Oak Music Theatre—Detroit, MI
May 22 – Paramount Theatre—Denver, CO
May 23 – Fox Theater—Oakland, CA
May 24 – Revolution Hall—Portland, OR
May 25 – The Moore Theatre—Seattle, WA
May 26 –Vogue Theatre—Vancouver, BC

Ayelet Zurer replaces Julia Ormond as Superman’s Krypton mom in “Man of Steel”

Ayelet Zurer replaces Julia Ormond as Superman’s Krypton mom in “Man of Steel” (photo)

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Though most fans identify Superman’s mom and dad as Ma and Pa Kent, being that the guy’s from the planet Krypton, his biological parents are actually a couple of aliens. Previously, Russell Crowe and Julia Ormond held the roles of Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, respectively, but new reports reveal that Ormond has been replaced by Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer.

Best known to American audiences for her roles in “Angels & Demons” and “Munich,” Zurer also appeared on the Israeli television series “Betipul,” which was later adapted into the American show “In Treatment.” Deadline broke the news of Zurer’s casting, but was unable to cite a reason for director Zack Snyder’s last-minute substitution.

Like most of Superman’s core mythos, Lara Lor-Van was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, but unlike some other elements, was first introduced in the “Superman” comic strip and then retrofitted into the comic books. In addition to her comics appearances, Superman’s biological mother has also appeared in a number of television and film series, including “Smallville,” “Superman: The Animated Series” and both “Superman” and “Superman II,” in which she was played by Susannah York.

Zurer will be joining Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon and others for the 2013 release of “Man of Steel.” What do you think about the casting? Would you have preferred to have Julia Ormond as originally cast? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Shannon steps out as General Zod in “Man of Steel” set photos

Michael Shannon steps out as General Zod in “Man of Steel” set photos (photo)

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Judging from earlier photos, it seemed clear that when Michael Shannon stepped into the role of General Zod in “Man of Steel,” he would also be strapping on a rather unflattering suit of motion-capture sensors. But now, new photos from the set of Zack Snyder’s Superman flick reveal the actor wearing a more traditional costume.

The star, best known for his roles in “Boardwalk Empire” and “Revolutionary Road,” was recently spotted in pictures posted to an unofficial Facebook page dedicated to the movie. In the images, Shannon is outfitted in a sleek suit that seems to share only its black color with the costume worn by Terrence Stamp when he portrayed Zod in the 1978 film “Superman: The Movie.”

Instead, the outfit has more in common with the Superman costume seen being worn by Henry Cavill in both official and unofficial shots. While there’s no cape and we can’t tell if there’s a chest emblem or not, everything else appears extremely similar, including the style of the boots and gauntlets and even the raised belt design.

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What do you think about the similarities between Henry Cavill’s Superman suit and Michael Shannon’s General Zod uniform? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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