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Laurence Fishburne will be Perry White in 'Man of Steel'

Geoff Boucher
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

LOS ANGELES — Laurence Fishburne is going to Metropolis. The Oscar-nominated actor will join the cast of "Man of Steel" in the role of Perry White, the abrasive, ever-ethical old-school newsman who lords over the newsroom of the Daily Planet.

Fishburne is the first African American to take on the role in any of the many film, television and cartoon versions of Superman's adventures. Last year was the 70th anniversary of the newsroom character, who first appeared on "The Adventures of Superman" radio serial and then a few months later made his on-the-page box in the seventh issue of "Superman."

Fishburne, whose credits include "The Matrix," "Apocalypse Now" and "Mystic River," has just left the cast of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" after 2 1/2 seasons as Dr. Raymond Langston. He celebrated his 50th birthday last week and will soon be on his way to the Venice Film festival for "Contagion," the Steven Soderbergh pandemic thriller that also stars Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet and Jude Law.

"Man of Steel," now scheduled for 2013, will be directed by Zack Snyder and the producing team includes Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas from the Gotham City films that many observers rank as the pinnacle of superhero cinema. Henry Cavill will play Superman and Amy Adams will star as Lois Lane. The other stars include Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Diane Lane as Martha Kent.

Jackie Cooper portrayed White in Richard Donner's "Superman" in 1978 and also in three of its sequels. Frank Langella took on the role in "Superman Returns" in 2006. In the 1950s, John Hamilton memorably played the crusty White on television and radio — and his exasperated shouts of "Great Caesar's ghost!" and "Don't call me 'chief'!" became trademark lines that would find their way into the comic book portrayals of White as well.

In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.

If a single moment best illustrates the current divide between Americana music and mainstream country music, it was Sturgill Simpson busking in the street outside the CMA Awards in Nashville. While Simpson played his guitar and sang in a sort of renegade-outsider protest, Garth Brooks was onstage lip-syncindg his way to Entertainer of the Year. Americana music is, of course, a sprawling range of roots genres that incorporates traditional aspects of country, blues, soul, bluegrass, etc., but often represents an amalgamation or reconstitution of those styles. But one common aspect of the music that Simpson appeared to be championing during his bit of street theater is the independence, artistic purity, and authenticity at the heart of Americana music. Clearly, that spirit is alive and well in the hundreds of releases each year that could be filed under Americana's vast umbrella.

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From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.


60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

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This week on our games podcast, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

This week, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

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Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Artist biographies written for a popular audience necessarily involve compromise. On the one hand, we are only interested in the lives of artists because we are intrigued, engaged, and moved by their work. The confrontation with a work of art is an uncanny experience. We are drawn to, enraptured and entranced by, absorbed in the contemplation of an object. Even the performative arts (music, theater, dance) have an objective quality to them. In watching a play, we are not simply watching people do things; we are attending to the play as a thing that is more than the collection of actions performed. The play seems to have an existence beyond the human endeavor that instantiates it. It is simultaneously more and less than human: more because it's superordinate to human action and less because it's a mere object, lacking the evident subjectivity we prize in the human being.

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Gabin's Maigret lets everyone else emote, sometimes hysterically, until he vents his own anger in the final revelations.

France's most celebrated home-grown detective character is Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret, an aging Paris homicide detective who, phlegmatically and unflappably, tracks down murderers to their lairs at the center of the human heart. He's invariably icon-ified as a shadowy figure smoking an eternal pipe, less fancy than Sherlock Holmes' curvy calabash but getting the job done in its laconic, unpretentious, middle-class manner.

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