Russell Crowe and Connie Nielsen in Talks for Zack Synders MAN OF STEEL June 16, 2011 Harry Lennix also offered role. Russell Crowe is in negotiations to play the role of Superman’s Kryptonian father Jor-El in the Zack Snyder-directed ‘Man of Steel.’ The role was famously played by Marlon Brando in Richard Donner’s 1978 ‘Superman.’ According to Variety the Australian actor was the final choice for producer Christopher Nolan and that Sean Penn and Clive Owen had also been in consideration for the part. Latinoreview reports that Crowe’s ‘Gladiator’ co-star Connie Nielsen is also said to be in talks to join the project. The Danish-born actress would play Superman’s biological mother, Lara, played by Susannah York in Donner’s classic.Harry Lennix (‘Dollhouse,’ ‘The Matrix Reloaded’) is also believed to have been offered an unspecified supporting role. The trio will join the cast of Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon and Antje Traue. The reboot is set to begin shooting in August with a script by David Goyer.