Laurence Fishburne cast as Perry White in 'Man of Steel' -- EXCLUSIVE

Laurence-Fishburne

Image Credit: Charles Eshelman/Getty Images

Lois Lane and Clark Kent just got their boss: Laurence Fishburne will play Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White in Man of Steel, EW has learned exclusively. White has traditionally been a hard-charging, old fashioned newspaperman, who relies on his ace reporters, Clark and Lois, to get the big scoop. Jackie Cooper played White in the Christopher Reeve-era Superman films, and Frank Langella took on the role in director Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns in 2006.

The casting resolves the question of what Laurence would be up to following his departure this May from CBS’ long-running CSI after just over two seasons. (Ted Danson will take Fishburne’s place on the show this fall.)

The Superman reboot, produced by Christopher Nolan and directed by Zack Snyder, stars Henry Cavill as Clark (a.k.a. Superman), Amy Adams as Lois, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, and Diane Lane as Martha Kent. David Goyer (Batman Begins) is penning the script. Man of Steel is due to begin filming this fall, and is slated for release on June 14, 2013. (Reporting by Jeff Jensen)

Read more:
Russell Crowe might play Jor-El in the new Superman movie. What this means for ‘Man of Steel.’
Ted Danson takes over ‘CSI’ from Laurence Fishburne
The new ‘Superman’ speaks! An exclusive interview with Henry Cavill

Comments (284 total) Add your comment
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  • Dave Willis

    Just like the Nick Fury character in the terrific Marvel movies, Perry White is now black. Although there is a terrific black Nick Fury character in the Ultimate Marvel books. I love Samuel L. Jackson!! Hope Lawrence does a fine job even though it does seem a bit miscast.

    • Lame

      FAIL, because he is not a good actor. The best Perry White available would have been the actor who portrayed him on Smallville. Alternative could be Tom Hanks

      • Lame

        EW should be ashamed that it is not covering three really terrific summer programs

        Switched at Birth
        Falling Skies
        Zen on Masterpiece Mystery

      • Jason C.

        Lame: You’re kidding about Fishburne being a terrible actor, right? He’s been nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, won an Emmy, and was nominated for another 3 Emmy’s. You don’t get those kind of awards if you’re not a good actor.

      • pastafarian

        Falling Skies has an EW TV Recap. And it is not a good show. I’d rather see one for Torchwood: Miracle Day (which isn’t too much better though).

      • DaDude

        Are we close to seeing Tom Hanks in a comic book movie to revive his career? If not now, the times coming.

      • harry

        are you kidding!? Laurence a bad actor!? you must have been born yesterday!

      • kh

        Wrong!! Morpheus can act!

      • @Lame

        EW does a weekly recap on that dreck Falling Skies.

      • Ana-Maria

        LOL, lame??? He played Othello for God’s sake! :)) He was nominated for Oscar, nominated 5 times for Emy and won the award 2 times, he won the Hollywood Film Festival award, MTV movie award, nominated for the Golden Globe, 2 image awards and so on… Who are you to say he’s lame? He started playing at the age of 12. What were you doing at that age? He’s a great actor so shut up!

      • Tim

        FAIL. You think the best Perry White is the guy who played Lenny on ‘Laverne & Shirley’?!

      • kahuna

        I have to pipe in along with everyone else. Not only is Fishburne not a bad actor, but he is one of the very best actors practicing the craft today. That man has some serious acting chops….Not that the role of Perry While will require them.

      • Lana

        How quickly everyone forgets “The Road to Perdition,” which was based on the graphic novel of the same name. That’s probably the closest thing to a comic book film Tom Hanks has done.

      • roget

        so Mr. Fishburne is not a good actor ..lmao
        so what movies have you been in ….. I suggest you do your research before making a comment like that

    • David Powell

      David Hasselhoff will always be the best Nick Fury!

      Yes I said it, and I love Fishburne!

      • Vince

        Oh please I took five mins of that junk

    • LOL

      They should have cast Will Smith as Superman.

      • Jules0004

        PUHleez! Will Smith, BLECH! Can’t stand him! He would have made a HORRIBLE Superman, his last “superhero” – FAIL!

      • Vince

        Why don’t they do the Martian Manhunter he can be played by a black man no problem? He was on Smaillville

      • Apos

        They already did- his name was Hancock and he failed to impress.

      • lyle

        Ha, ha! Good one.

      • Saline

        This isn’t a dating service you 28 year old slut emmasmile. Stick to the subject. And the subject only.

      • Chris Morales

        Will Smith as Superman? Two words,uhhh no….

    • Annette

      Perry White is White! what’s with casting agents now adays?

      • Devo

        This is a new millenium. The world ain’t all white no more. Sorry.

      • ROD STEEL

        Says who?

      • Liz Lemon

        Who gives a crap about race? Why is that important?

      • Jevon

        There is only one Race/Species of human but many different Cultures

      • roget

        Perry Mason is white can ask you why does he have to be white …. cant he just be a good actor

    • Kagome

      I just posted this….Are you people insane. What is this rush to take good characters and change their color? How would the powers at be like taking Malcolm X and making him white. No way that movie would be killed before it started

      • Greta

        Do you seriously not see a difference between casting a historical figure and casting a FICTIONAL character? Besides, there’s no one canon in comics — characters change in all kinds of ways. Race is one of the least radical things to change. Grow the hell up.

      • ROD STEEL

        Maybe because when the comics were originally written people of color were invisible. Grow up!

      • Alton Darwin

        Don’t care about Perry’s skin color, but hope Fishburne can pull off his trademark bluster. White has always been an over-the-top blowhard with a heart of gold type. Haven’t seen this portrayal from Fishburne (though he was awesome as Ike Turner). “Reborn” had its moments, but I hope this film takes us in a new direction. We do NOT need another origin story…

      • James K

        Give me a break about the race issue. Lots of comic book characters have been multiple races throughout varied iterations: Nick Fury, Kingpin, Harvey Dent… a good actor who can grasp the role is all that matters! I, amongst many others, think Laurence Fishburne is an amazing actor and can definitely pull off the role without blinking an eye!

      • roget

        your right Malcom X is a real person and part of our history …. he can only be played by a person of color Superman is a comic book character so you can use your imagination like the writers do in comics …. lol

    • jason8

      I dongt care what color Perry White is this movie is gonna suck. This Idiot who is making this turd is trying to re-invent the wheel. We dont need another re-boot on how Supes became the Man of Steel. We just had a great series for 10 years. This movie will suck no matter who plays Perry White. This director makes Bryan Singer look like Preminger. After this whole project fails they can get a real director to make the next film. You can make Perry White a 600 Pound Lesbian from Mars for all I care.

      • jason8

        I don’t care what color Perry White is this movie is gonna suck. This Idiot who is making this turd is trying to re-invent the wheel. We dont need another re-boot on how Supes became the Man of Steel. We just had a great series for 10 years. This movie will suck no matter who plays Perry White. This director makes Bryan Singer look like Preminger. After this whole project fails they can get a real director to make the next film. You can make Perry White a 600 Pound Lesbian from Mars for all I care.

    • poop

      I have a hard time imagining that there is any one who is mad about this. He’s black, who cares. People really need to stop complaining about filmmakers changing up the story. They’re trying to make a movie, not a direct screen translation of a comic. To think that they wouldn’t be making changes like this is stupid, and to think that these changes will make the movie bad are downright idiotic. It could’ve been a lot worse after all, they could have cast Martin Lawrence, or kept him white and made it Kevin James. Instead they have Laurence Fishburne who is a very good actor. As for changes that they will make to the story, I’m still crossing my fingers that Superman will no longer be invincible. Otherwise there’s no real suspense or drama.

    • Jean Guy Levesque

      Who is casting this movie? It is seriously the worst casting director in the history of movies. Fishburne is a mistake. Amy Adams is tooo old to be Lois Lane. Kevin Costner destroys every movie he’s in since the early 90’s. This is going to be large crap garbage. Vive la Quebec!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • jason8

        This movie will make Superman 3 look like gone with the wind

      • Dlivo

        This movie will definitely suck unfortunately. They’d have been better off getting Singer and Routh back, it would have sucked less…

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      student

    • Mike B

      And they thought the last Superman was bad. This just went from really bad to absolutely horrible.

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  • frankie

    why is this an issue ? because he’s black ? he’s a great actor. he will be amazing!

    • Kagome

      Hello…color isnt the issue, talent isnt the issue..the bloody issue is characters were written a certain way for more years then most have been alive and changing it to suit stupid people is insane! Go change Martin Luther King and others and see how fast that is stopped!

      • Ken

        Hey, dumbass: there’s a little bit of a difference between Perry White—a comic book character—and Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, Jr. The only differences between races are the ones you construct.

      • JaySin420

        Wow….just wow.

      • Mo

        Yes, because when Superman was created back in 1932, you know that no one would have batted an eyelash if his boss had been black, so you know that that’s why the Daily Planet’s staff is so diverse. Please. I for one don’t mind that they are getting with the times and showing a more diverse world. When I read the headline, I thought that Fishburne would make a terrific Perry White. I’m sad to read the comments.

      • Kim

        … a newspaperman in the inner city can’t be black? better question is, how ridiculous would it look if he were white? [the segregation of our society continues to get worse, not better.]

      • jerry

        AMEN

  • derek

    It’s funny, I always thought John Amos would make a great Perry White. I guess he’s probably too old now though.

    • Alton Darwin

      John Amos certainly has the bluster down… but his time has come and gone. Perry White is a minor character, Fishburne will be fine.

  • Adolfo H. Itleriano

    Perry WHITE is not black! This is a blasphemy! I mean, it’s there in his last name, W- H- I- T- E. I will NOT see this film. Hollywood needs to understand that comic book fans hate when our comics are raped and pillaged like this, just to alleviate the PC police. This is BS!!!!

    • Trey

      Way to make an issue out of nothing.

    • RP

      You won’t see this film because a black actor was cast in a traditionally white role? I’m sure Warner Brothers is crying because they won’t make $8 from a racist fool.

    • greg

      I hope to god you’re joking and just doing a really good parody of an outraged fanboy!

    • Adolfo H. Itleriano

      What’s next? An Asian Wonder Woman played by Lucy Liu? A Latino Batman, played by Carlos Ponce? A Persian Captain America, played by Madonna? BS, I say. I want my heroes to be white, strong, and proud.

      • greg

        And wearing a white hood and swastikas apparently . . . .

      • Tom

        Really? His name is Adolf H. itleriano guys. Look out for trolls!

      • xav

        Asian wonder woman with lucy liu sounds awesome.

      • Adolfo H. Itleriano

        My name is Adolfo, not Adolf, you moron. I am a proud white Mexican.

      • Jules0004

        LOL…I can tell you wanted to stir up trouble. I could care less how plays Perry, but Fish, is a good actor…but leave the dang superheros alone. I’m sorry, who do you think the writers were?! More than likely than not, white writers…who were their heros?! Ummm…well, I can tell you it wasn’t Harriet Tubman! Write a great superhero story, make your hero want you want…viola…you get a movie/comic book :)
        Sorry, I got off topic…Fishburne would make a good Perry…totally his personality!

      • Ryan

        obvious troll is obvious

      • Bull cr

        They are already making Spiderman a jig. UNF’EN REAl….

      • @xav

        I was thinking that too! Asian Wonder Woman! That could kick much ass!

    • John Shaft

      What a moron you are!

    • Bill

      White guys have been playing black guys in film for over 100 years and on stage for over 400 years (e.g. Shakespeare’s “Othello”). At least Fishburne isn’t playing the role in “whiteface”.

      • A-K87

        SO true.

      • BK

        And ironically, one of Fishburne’s best roles was as Othello, which was, of course, traditionally played by white folk. I’m depressed this is even a subject. I get that there are some “purists” who want the comic to just jump off the page, but obviously, they don’t read comic books, because the age-old serialized pieces like Superman, Batman, and others are hardly consistent with themselves. It depends on who the writers are at the time. But black/white, yikes. A black Superman wouldn’t work, certainly, because part of his mythology is the farm boy motif, not that there aren’t black farmers, but Perry White? At the time it was written, it should be our national shame a black man couldn’t be Perry White, but now, notsomuch. Sheesh. I still can’t believe this conversation is necessary in comments.

      • Kim

        bk,
        no, there were enough black farmers that you could make that work. But… i’m sorry, that sort of upbringing doesn’t bring a “nice guy” like Superman. (not to say that everyone is Reverend Wright. but I’d be hostile too if I was picked on by everyone!)

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    • chase

      @Hitler.. Come on man. White is such a SMALL character. There is no reason to get upset. Fishburne is such a wonderful actor. He will be a great addition to what will proably be a boring film.

    • Jenny

      And Tonto is not White–Johnny Depp anyone? And don’t give me, but he has some Native American blood in him nonesense. He does not even know what tribe he is supposed to belong to.

      So why can’t this character change races!!!!!!

    • mikeeee

      uhh.. i had a black teacher whose last name was white. it does occur

      • Dlivo

        It is actually weird though that the character is being played by a black man. That’s not racist, it’s just a miscasting, like Dianne Lane and Kevin Coster. Miscast!

  • Antonio of Gilead

    Cool…

  • Ian

    They changed the skin color of Pete Ross on Smallville, and Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if the actor does a good job that’s all that matters

    • Ian

      And Kingpin in Daredevil, whoops.

    • RM

      I completely agree and I’m a black actor. If he was the best actor for the part then go with that!

  • Gern Blanston

    First Kingpin is black, then Nick Furry is black and now Perry White is black?

    • greg

      Sure. Why not? Their skin color is not essential to their characters. All-white casts were the norm back 1930s and 1960s when most of these comics were created, but it’s 2011 now Times change–and we shouldn’t be stuck with all-white casts just because that’s how they did it back in the old days.

      • Kagome

        Greg your talk doesnt hold water. Why not stop raping the orginials and make up some other characters. Why take true and steady and ruin it? Because there are no more ideas in Hollywood and to be politically correct they change what was to suit their empty heads. Too bad they cant make up good characters that should start their own trend of black. Thewy have to take white characters and make them black again because there are no black characters worth it out there I guess and no one has the guts or know how to create them.

      • Bill

        Kagome, Dean Cain is 1/4 Chinese by ancestry. He played Superman/Clark Kent in “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”. The show ran for four seasons on ABC (1993-1997). Picture Dean Cain in your mind right now. Looks a little Chinese, doesn’t he? Don’t worry. It gets better.

      • Ryan

        As a more modern version of the character, the “Ultimate” Nick Fury does not have an issue with race and was intentionally designed after Samuel L. Jackson before he was even cast in the movies. The original Nick Fury, however, was a sergeant in WWII in command of an elite platoon, so yeah, it might be kind of hard to make him black.

        Anyway, on the subject at hand, I think Fishburne will do great. Frankly, Perry White doesn’t need to be white; just gruff, honorable and curmudgeonly.

  • Captain Obvious

    No one cares anymore about Stuporman . Last one had a gay Lex Luthor , this one a Percy Black – no one cares about this franchise anymore !

  • jnik

    Pete Ross, Perry White, the Knigpin, Nick Fury…all supporting characters.
    The REAL breakthrough is the new Spider – Man is BLACK!
    Not in the movie; in the Ultimate series.
    All you know has come to an end.

    • rerun

      He’s also half-Latino you racist!

      • Barack

        Which half?

    • RichMahogany

      “Knigpin” Unfortunate typo, or most unfortunate typo?

      • jnik

        AACKK!! Sorry! I should have proofread my post better!

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  • MC

    Nothing about this movie makes any sense.

  • andy a

    Someone PLEASE cast Ken Jeong as the Asian Jimmy Olsen!

  • Kevin

    It doesn’t matter who gets cast in this movie… it’s being directed by Zach Snyder. It’s going to suck, just like every other movie he has made since the admittedly awesome Dawn of the Dead.

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  • Flip

    But…but…he’s BLACK!!!

    • Apos

      Thumbs up for the Al Getz reference.

  • Haywood Jablowmi

    The whole cast should be black. Because it is not, the movie will probably suck. Just wait & see….

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  • Schadenfreude

    I’m black myself and I say enough with the PC revisionism. When the Norse god Heimdall was black in Thor, I was done. And Fish the actor hasn’t been good in a while. The last thing I actually liked him in was MI:3 and that was years ago.

    • Al

      Okay, Elba as Heimdall was ridiculous, but I don’t see the problem with Perry White being black. It’s not like his race is essential to his character. Come to think of it, Superman is an alien. Why can’t he be a different race. Nobody seemed to mind when half-Asian, Dean Cain, played him.

      • pastafarian

        I raised an eyebrow at that casting choice only because of the Norse mythos. But Idris Elba was pretty badass, so I let it slide. No problem at all with Nick Fury and Perry White though. Or Billy Dee Williams’ Harvery Dent. Or Morgan Freeman’s God. Halle Berry’s Catwoman is another story though, for a billion other reasons.

      • Kagome

        The problem is no one has the brains to create anymore so they are raping what is true and solid. Please color has nothing to do with it..the point is make some new characters and leave the old alone or portray them as they were written. I cant picture any black man saying “Great Ceasers Ghost”

      • Therealeverton

        Yeah, because there are no black aliens right?

        Anyone who thinks Branaghis PC knows nothing about him and little more about film.

      • harry

        I agree with “pastafarian”

      • Wendy

        @Kagome Can’t picture a black man saying… Really? I can’t picture a white man saying it either (hello, 2011!), so there you go.

        Darlin’, it’s all fiction. Free your mind.

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