Latest 'Man Of Steel' Rumor Claims Another Villain Appears To Menace Superman

It's not enough that Zack Snyder's Superman revival, Man of Steel, features a spin on the Superman II villain Zod. Audiences want more, and given that there are expectations that Man of Steel will lead to another film in a similar vein, some fans figure that Snyder's first Superman film will introduce another big bad around whom the next chapter could be built.

Screenwriter David Goyer has suggested that another classic Superman villain will show up, and now there's a report that attempts to confirm that we'll definitely see additional villainy in the film. We'll keep all the detailed talk after the break, to shield those who aren't interested in potential spoilers.

There are a few Superman villains people have hoped to see in upcoming films, but the subject of the current rumor is Lex Luthor. David Goyer recently said "I don't think anyone has ever confirmed that we haven't included him." But there's a report now that says the character is 100% in the film.

AICN reports that Mackenzie Gray, who played a Luthor clone in an episode of Smallville, appears in Man of Steel playing an "ambitious, ego driven and cold version of Luthor" who has a significant role in the story's endgame.

There's even video of Gray talking about being in Man of Steel, with talk starting at 1:10 here:

Gray is definitely in the film, but the nature of his role isn't known for certain. Some legit questions have come up to cast doubt on Harry's report. The primary one is related to Gray's status as a relative unknown. True, Henry Cavill was hardly a star when cast as Superman. His big role in Immortals hadn't even hit, but he did have a significant role on The Tudors at that point.

Gray has been around for a long time, and putting him in a star role like Lex Luthor wouldn't be the first time a hard-working actor got big exposure from a key role. (Think of Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds.) There have been comments that casting someone like Gray as Luthor isn't at all how Man of Steel producer Christopher Nolan works, which is true.

But it is much closer to how Zack Snyder works — look at the way he cast 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. Snyder is a lot more prone to look to under-exposed actors for major roles. Is that conclusive evidence to support this rumor? Hardly.

This report may just be an attempt at canny timing on Harry Knowles' part. Yesterday he was the subject of a long THR profile, and today THR ran a piece from Peter Jackson talking about how much Jackson likes Knowles. What's at the top of the AICN page for any new or returning visitors to find? An exclusive spoiler report about a movie that continues to be shrouded in relative secrecy. Not a bad call on his part.

Man of Steel opens on June 14. As the film starts to screen for advance press we'll get a better idea about the truth of this rumor.