Russell Crowe is in talks to portray Jor-El in the Warner Bros. superhero reboot Man of Steel. Producer Christopher Nolan has been seeking a top-flight talent for the pivotal role. Sean Penn and Clive Owen were also contenders for the part of Jor-El, which Russell Crowe ultimately won.

Jor-El is the biological father of Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill), a role previously portrayed by Marlon Brando in Richard Donner's original Superman in 1978. Warner Bros. had no comment on Russell Crowe's casting, and it isn't known how far along the actor and studio are into the negotiations.

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It is believed that the last major role left to be cast in Man of Steel is Superman's biological mother, Lara. It isn't known how large the Jor-El or Lara roles will be in Man of Steel.

Zack Snyder is directing from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, who developed the story with Christopher Nolan. Production is slated to begin next month.