First Look: Russell Crowe as Jor-El in “Man of Steel”

Note: Another week, another movie leak of a character and a costume: this time it’s Russell Crowe in the production of the Superman reboot Man of Steel. As many looks as Superman has had over the years, I think his father Jor-El has had a few more given his infrequent but substantial appearances in the Superman mythos. Well, Crowe certainly looks regal enough, but it really gets your mind wondering what Krypton’s styles are going to be like in this movie.  – Chris A.


27 comments on “First Look: Russell Crowe as Jor-El in “Man of Steel”
  1. Well, it’s obvious that there’s basically the movie Superman outfit underneath the overarmor, so I imagine this is how they draw the line between Kal-El’s kryptonian heritage and the super-suit he wears.

    I have a theory about that, too, actually: That he starts out in the more ornate Kryptonian suit we’ve seen, but by the end of the film, he “humanizes” it a bit (either by choice or because the Kryptonian suit gets ruined) into the iconic version we all know and love.*

    *This theory supported only by hope. ;)

  2. It’s…unique?

    It doesn’t look very alien or “space-agey”. He kinda looks like he belongs on the set of The Hobbit. There are similarities to Clark’s costume which, I guess, is a good thing, but this is a little to out there to really be called a Superman costume.

  3. Don’t like it, don’t like it, don’t like it.

    I’ve never been down with attempts to link Supe’s costume to some sort of Kryptonian design heritage. The idea that the big red “S” is a Kryptonian glyph strikes me as so unabashedly stupid, it defies description.

    I’ve always thought that a more “Kryptonian” costume just completely undercut the idea of his down-to-earth humanity. He goes from being “one of us” to “benign alien overlord.” It makes the transition from corn-shuckin’ farm boy to alien flying togs just…so…awkward.

    I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I don’t like it!

  4. The more I look at it, the stranger it seems. Which is a good sign, it certainly looks alien to me. Not sure if I like the sleeves or skirt part of the outfit yet…

  5. @John
    I agree 99.9% of what you are saying. The other .1% wonders what guy choses to dress like that. Does he mean to dress clownishly? I don’t mean that negatively btw. I mean exaggerating his humility and goofyness to put people at ease of his powers. I like that a lot but then does he than become laughable looking when you try to sell the character to a modern audience without the context of the movie plot?
    I dunno.
    I would love to hear resident Superman semiotics professor Jon Morris’ take on this.

  6. Loved the Superman costume, but not digging on this. Too ornate in a very historical Earthy kind of way. At best it looks like something leftover from the Thor movie, at worst a reject from Battlefield Earth.

    Why the plastic-looking armor? Do Kryptonians regularly get together to re-enact historical space-football games?

    Now if they light this thing up and it has an effect like the suits from the ’70′s movie, then it might look cool.

  7. If that is the Superman costume underneath all the armor and ragged robes, then that means Superman is basically just a guy flying around in his dad’s long johns.

    Also, why is Russell Crowe’s hair still trying to be Brendan Fraser?

  8. It was obvious that Mr. Snyder would find a way to further deride Superman. So far, people have only been mocking the red shorts as being “underwear”. Now – now people are calling his whole costume underwear.
    Well done, Mr. Snyder. We all have faith that you know what you’re doing, much like Joel Schumacher saved Batman from the brink of destruction by making the glorious “Batman and Robin”.

    This hobo-Jor El…
    Gods of Krypton, I do SO hope that what we see here is Jor-El after years of incarceration. In a fastfood restaurant, obviously…

  9. All hail the King of Football! That S shield will dig into his belly when he sits down. I don’t like anything that I’ve seen of this movie yet. Hope the movie is better than it looks.

  10. John, I agree with you 100% on the S-shield. If the original Kryptonian shield was more abstract (sort of like the super-shield from Kingdom Come) and Superman combines it with an S, I could understand that. As it is, it not only makes Superman too alien, but the idea that a civilization from thousands of lightyears away has a symbol that “just happens” to look exactly like an S stretches credibility, even for superhero comics.

  11. Ren Malone:
    If that is the Superman costume underneath all the armor and ragged robes, then that means Superman is basically just a guy flying around in his dad’s long johns.

    And that would be awesome since he would be wearing his underwear on the outside once again. But seriously, judges, priests they wear ceremonial clothing over their normal wear. Also some people wear body armor under their shirt, are you going to blush if you see someone in a Kevlar vest?

    I don’t like the design that much either, but different culture would have completely different ways. I always laugh has how aliens seem to share our cultural inflicted shame of showing selected parts of the body, and the parts are always the same.

  12. John:
    Don’t like it, don’t like it, don’t like it.
    I’ve never been down with attempts to link Supe’s costume to some sort of Kryptonian design heritage. The idea that the big red “S” is a Kryptonian glyph strikes me as so unabashedly stupid, it defies description.
    I’ve always thought that a more “Kryptonian” costume just completely undercut the idea of his down-to-earth humanity. He goes from being “one of us” to “benign alien overlord.” It makes thetransition from corn-shuckin’ farm boy to alien flying togs just…so…awkward.
    I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I don’t like it!

    I’m with you. I’m always interested to see new interpretations of old stories, and have enjoyed many changes to ‘canon’ over the last thirty years or so, but have never been pleased about the various attempts to link his super-hero suit to Krypton. bleh,

  13. I like how this is coming along. Those could easily be some kind of ceremonial gear as Jor-El was a major scientist and therefore could be on a council, or at least making his plea to the council about Krypton’s impending demise. I also like how we see touches of the suit Cavil and Shannon are wearing. Again I think their suits may be military in nature. Also why is it that when people thing alien everything automatically needs to be streamlined, and monchrome or whatever? Just because a society is technologically advanced doesnt mean their wadrobe has to be all sci-fi. Think about the Star Wars universe. It does a good job of mxing tech with some very modern, post modern and almost ancient dress. Masters of the Universe too. A bunch of barbarian looking guys that have tons of tech but still wear fur loincloths.

  14. I definitely understand all the criticism but I don’t hate the costumes. I mean, we are seeing them in regular harsh daylight and not in the context of the film or story itself. I look back to Snyder’s Watchmen costumes, which love the movie or hate it, I think he nailed pretty well. I have a feeling that once we see them on film, complete with all the effects and moody lighting that the director and dp are known for, they will look much better. They may not be what would appeal broadly to everyone- but I think they will at least be a solid interpretation. I mean, even in our beloved comics they don’t always get it right. I point to the not so distant past of Superman:Earth One. Here was a chance for DC to do something fresh and exciting in terms of a new costume and they shackled the artist and came up with … the same costume. So, I applaud Snyder and co. for at least trying to do something fresh and exciting. Even in these sneak peeks, I still think there is enough there that I am looking forward to seeing the end result.

    I’m just sayin’

  15. Comparing Superman to Masters of the Universe is – I don’t have words for it. Nothing against MotU, BUT their designs were Conan ripoffs, and the tech stuff wasn’t added until the later series of booklets came out, and Filmation had its go with the series. I remember that in the first booklets Castle Grayskulls mystic tech was the most futuristic thing going on. The rest were just barbarians. But I would agree to a comparison with the old Flash Gordon serial with Buster Crabbe.

    This movie needs to be better in terms of design.

  16. I like this. I like the idea of Supes wearing Kryptonian wear to honor his parents and his hertage. That makes sense. When he’s Superman, Clark is representing not only himself, but his lost family, heritage and planet, and that make sense to me. My dad died a couple weeks back, and I find myself wearing his old hats and a couple of his shirts that I loved growing up. So to me, that urge is appealing and makes sense with what the character has been through. We tend to forget how alone Clark must feel at times, so it makes perfect sense that he would be drawn to a style that would connect him to those who were like him, and through that connection reach out to others to save, help and protect.

  17. Dedpool:
    Also why is it that when people thing alien everything automatically needs to be streamlined, and monchrome or whatever? Just because a society is technologically advanced doesnt mean their wadrobe has to be all sci-fi. Think about the Star Wars universe. It does a good job of mxing tech with some very modern, post modern and almost ancient dress.

    Excellent point. I said elsewhere that the color palate and look to the the “armor” is suggesting maybe even a post apocalyptic vibe to Krypton. Maybe the planet has been long dying,it’s resulted in massive unrest, and the wars raged by the likes of Zod has kept them too distracted to do much about the coming catastrophe . . . topical plot moral!

  18. “but this is a little to out there to really be called a Superman costume.”
    Which is fine, since no one is calling this a Superman costume.

    “wow.. maximus desmus meridius jorelus…. kinda like it though.. hope russel slim down his belly..”
    Why? Never met a parent who didn’t have washboard abs?

    “I was going to watch this film prior to seeing this photo. Now? Not so much.”
    Really? REALLY? One single behind-the-scenes, on-set photo of a supporting cast member has completely turned you off seeing a film? Goddamn, you’re fickle.

    The costume looks stupid because it’s a cameraphone photo. Wait and see what it looks like on film.

  19. Right.
    1. Evaluation of a film based on a camera phone shot, without narrative context, is seriously silly. Grow up.
    2. The alien-ness of things is either compounded or detracted only in context of the story as well as subjective personal propriety. In other words, keep in mind that logic doesn’t always apply, and that yours is different than mine.
    3. While the symbol may obviously be an S, I think its silly that he would call himself Superman and that we must also assume that he (or Pa) is a genius graphic designer. To me, that’s an equal stretch in comparison with an alien symbol that so happens to look like something else. Is there no coincidence allowed, especially in symbology? I’m ok with it, as well as the idea of a kryptonian super-suit; the symbol is out of character but choosing to dress like that, without precedent, would be mentally ill. It would be insane. But a heritage item, a personal heirloom of a lost civilization? I don’t know, that. works for me. Aliens can dress like that.

    Ultimately?
    Wait and see.
    Peace and love,
    M

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