Laurence Fishburne Cast as Perry White in MAN OF STEEL

The cast of Zach Snyder’s Man of Steel continues to grow with the addition of the recently unemployed Laurence Fishburne who has snagged the role of Daily Planet Editor-in-Chief Perry White. Entertainment Weekly has the story.

Fishburne is a fantastic actor. If you get the chance, check out his one man show Thurgood, it is excellent and scored him an Emmy nomination.

Comments

  1. I like Laurence but he is not Perry White,  should of tweak the role and called him Larry White.

  2. Well, that’s racist

  3. Laurence Fishburne! Allright, since he’s fantastic, I will close my eyes to the fact that perry is not a 50-60 something grey-haired white guy. Seriously though, the guy’s fantastic. He’s got a very good speaking voice for the part.

  4. I am looking forward to some awful speech in the news room and then an pointless dance scene intercut with Clark and Lois getting it on.

  5. Let the fanboy rage begin.

  6. Exciting.  If “M” can be a played by Judi Dench, then Fishburne can be Perry White. 

  7. I think Laurence Fishburne as Perry White is a fantastic choice. Snyder may be iffy as a director, but he’s certainly building a solid cast. And if the movie is still in the casting phase we could still see a Lex, right?

  8. Exactly, if there’s one thing worst than a black guy cast as a white male, it’s a woman cast as a white male

  9. I love it! I always for any decision that will piss of racist fanboys 😉

    …plus he’s an excellent actor. Good pick

  10. Not a good week for racism in the comics world.

  11. Should have cast S.mouse

  12. Oh man, him saying “Great Caesar’s Ghost” is going to be fantastic. 

  13. Ha. you should read the comments on http://www.slashfilm.com if you want to see want stupid racist fanboys sound like

  14. Im cool with this

  15. There has been nothing but great casting on this so far. Zach Snyder has no excuse for effing this up.

  16. @rapidEyeMovement – except for the little problem of being Zach Snyder being Zach Snyder…

  17. He has a very nice stoic quality while being more than capable of expressing energy.  Cool choice.

  18. I don’t see him as Perry White. I’m thinking about other roles I’ve seen him in and he just doesn’t fit in my head.

  19. The good thing about an undeveloped, totally amorphic non-character like Perry White is that anyone could play him

  20. The main question you should ask yourself when casting Perry is “Can this man pull off telling Lois Lane what to do?” I think they nailed it with this casting.

  21. Cool! He should be a good fit for the part!

  22. @edward  I don’t know that he’s that underdeveloped.  The actor needs to be fairly thick and middle aged.  He also needs to come off as experienced.  Can you imagine Chris Pine in that role?  Not everyone could play him.

    He should probably also like cigars.

  23. @stuclach  you know what i mean

  24. @edward  Sometimes.

  25. I’m loving this choice. Laurence Fishburne is a phenomenal actor and I think he could actually make Perry White more than just a screaming, beligerent jerk. 

  26. He looks like the guy that could run a newspaper, I see no problem at all. I love him as an actor.

  27. @edward 

    Thats a good point.

  28. Love the choice. I’m really hoping this Superman gets it right. I’m liking their casting so far.

  29. cool.

  30. Man, this cast just keeps getting better!  Zac Snyder has been given all the ingredients to make a stellar film.  I hope the script comes through.

  31. @edward  theres even one thing worse,  a black woman playing a white guy. look out Lex Luthor, Oprahs got you number. and a bald oprah no less. scary shit!

    I love this, fishburn has great range, check out his one man show on thurgood marshall and youll see he more than morpheus, more than a cop or a criminal, he plays older outspoken and dedicated to justice very well.

    and there have been great perry whites. John Hamilton nailed the 50s perry, Jackie White was cartoonish, but i totally bought him. Lane Smith was the best part of Lois & clark, Mckean was great as was Frank Langella as the world weary old school newsman. all good stuff, and fishburne will add his own flair

  32. I think it’s an inspired choice.  He’s always been one of my favorite actors.  I hope they grey him at the temples, that’s my only fanboy nitpick.

    Remeber that scene in “The Matrix: Revolutions” when he goves that speech to everyone in Zion?  I remember getting chills.  If he can call deveral thousand to stand in the face of certain death at the hands of people-eating robots, he can damn sure command a newspaper bullpen.  

  33. I really like this pick to play Perry White. In my films I want good actors and he is excellent! 

  34. Wonderful pick.

    Fishburn definitely has the chops to pull of a big screen Perry White. 

  35. The real question is whether or not Superman will finally fight a villain worth fighting in a Superman movie. If Lex Luthor is in the movie the only actor I can see playing him is Michael Rosenbaum he is the only actor to play Lex well in a Live Action movie. The other really well done Lex Luthor was in All Star Superman.

  36. First a non American Superman & now this.  HMMM no.  Look I voted for Obama & I’m a Democrat but hmm DC doesnt need to be a Marvel copycat.  I like Mr. Fishburne in Nightmare on Elm St. pt 3 as a bit actor but Perry White.  Sigh.  Just stick to the basics with NO bleeping Luthor (or non Luthor) land deals. 

    UGH.

    Matthew

  37. I respect the man’s acting ability but just don’t see him as Perry White. Perry the Platypus yes!!!

  38. I like the choice and I can really see it working. I’m reminded of his role in Boys N the Hood. He can play a good authority figure. Fishburne has come along way from Cowboy Curtis.

  39. Even though I like Fishburne for the roll, I think Bruce McGill would have made an awesome Perry White.

  40. He is better than Frank Langella.  


  41. @mguy77  I am fairly certain that they didn’t just decide to cast Laurence Fishburne yesterday afternoon after the Marvel announcement. It isn’t a draft.

  42. Forget about Superman, Perry, have you seen what your daughter’s been up to???

  43. Perry White NEEDS power and presence to sell modern-day film audiences that Superman, the Man of Tomorrow, would actually WANT to spend his time working for an organization that is currently in a state of decline and has been for quite some time now.

    Laurence Fishburne has THAT power, THAT presence.

    -J. 

  44. I have never seen Fishburne raise his voice. Even when he played Ike Turner, he beat Tina in near silence.

  45. @ThomasKaters  Everyone likes different things & that is ok.  It is part of what makes America great.  I will still go see the film in 2013 (or whenever it is released).  Bring on Superman the REAL Superman V:  The Quest for a better Superman movie in the 21st Century.

    Matthew

    (Note:
    Superman IV: never ever esisted.  Hush, our sercret.)

  46. Here’s a better idea- write a new and interesting black character to be the editor.

    Black actors can play white characters if they’re good actors- OK
    White actors could never play a black character b/c it would be marginalizing.  Fine.

    Casting like this is just maniuplation and sensational- It works it gets us talking about the movie right?
    The genesis of this is salesmanship pure and simple.

    Laurence Fishburne will do a good job b/c he’s a good actor- but the image of Perry White being this slightly older cranky white guy is pretty integral to the character”Great Ceasar’s Ghost!
    It IS part of his identity. 
    Today the part of your white grandfather will now be played by Morgan Freeman.

  47. They go the hair color totally wrong.

  48. Laurence Fishburne is great just as long as he doesn’t play cool calm Fishburne cus thats just not Perry White.

  49. There are two very different types of fantasy involved in old Superman stories. The good kind is all about flying, aliens, and robots. The bad kind is that everyone Superman has contact with is white.

  50. @ericmci  What about that description is impingent on being a white guy. How is his experience any different? What intrinsic thing about being white or black makes any bit of difference?

    Skin color has not one whit to do with personality. Being raised in a certain place, by certain people, with certain values and traditions affects how you interact with the world. but skin color is a blank slate like anything else, until people lay their preconceived notions of what that means on top of it. Exactly like you’re doing now.

  51. I hope they add more diversity to the cast. In a major metropolitan newspaper that’s going to be actual truth of the staff. Besides Superman loves all people, right? There’s that line in all the Geoff Johns Superman-Legion stories “the earth belongs to everyone – So Says Superman.” This is perfect. Maybe they’ll add a female-version of Jimmy Olsen? That’d be really cool. Especially as a nice balance to Lois.

  52. I can dig it.  Although, I’m trying to hear his voice in my head, but all I am getting is Ron Perlman doing the intro to Fallout.

  53. Putting aside the race issue, the idea that an actor couldn’t play the part because the character is a certain way has one giant hole in it. The way a character “is” depends on the context of the story. Yes, Perry White has been portrayed a certain way in the comics YOU read. But I bet he’s been portrayed in completely different ways in other comics. We don’t know if Fishbourne is a good fit or not because we have not seen the context. Someone above said Chris Pine could never be Perry White. I disagree. I think anyone could be Perry White in the proper context. Will it be the Perry White you want or are used to, maybe, maybe not.

  54. @ericmci yup. if they had gotten rid of Perry White entirely and just replaced him with a totally different character played by Lawrence Fishburn, there’d be absolutely NO controversy what so ever…

  55. This is a weird choice….

    I think in the end it’s a great actor doing a great character. But not sure why there is a change in race here. Not that I mind….

    Boy first USM and now this. Comics are AWKWARD this week.

  56. @mikegraham6 But you don’t need to. He could play Perry White EXACTLY as everyone expects….except he isn’t white. I fail to see what essential qualities Perry White has that Fishbourne is incapable of portraying.

  57. Well put @ josh. Seriously, all this hubba-balloo for a role that will have at best… 20 lines of dialogue? 10% of screen time?

    @ ericmci Could a non-black actor play a role originally imagined as black? Does Othello count?

  58. @ThomasKaters Sorry, i guess my sarcasm didn’t come off well enough in that comment. 🙂

  59. @mikegraham6  I read your post sarcastically.  Was I correct?

  60. Well, look at it this way…Frank Langella is the new Jackie Cooper, Edward James Olmos is the Hispanic Frank Langella and Lawrence Fishburn is the Black Edward James Olmos…so really, guys, if you follow the logic… #Ijustkidding. #hashtagsoutsideoftwitter

  61. @mikegraham6  SARCASM IS NOTED

  62. Josh-
    As you once said – That’s a pretty high horse your sitting on isn’t it?
    For me this a couple of things-

    Let’s try this -how about Zac Effron as Static Shock?
    I mean what if he went in there and just nailed the audition- ?
    (Being raised in a certain place, by certain people, with certain values and traditions affects how you interact with the world)
    What about Statick Shock- middle class,middle america- suburban kid who gets powers would it be neccesary for him to be black, I mean he could be white couldn’t he?

    Look for me this is about representing the character I hear Perry White and I picture the same guy everyone else does-
    Perry White was created as a caucasian and I think it is in the very least an interesting question as to why one racial identity is important and another
    can be changed withought it mattering at all.

    Now be very sure of what I am saying here.
    There can be a black Perry White- newspaper editor tough guy- as a character type Of course! 
    But simply recoloring an existing character with a diversity crayola is weak.

    Maybe Fishburne is the best guy for this job and we’ll see when the movie comes out- I like him as an actor so I am rooting for him, until
    the day when it’s ok for a white actor to play a black character race is certainly part of the equation.

    Diveristy is Important it’s utterly neccesary in the world we live in and should to be refelcted in the pop culture lens of our entertainment and media.
    I am saying let’s focus on new characters let’s bring to light history’s unrecognized players –
    Let’s not diservice the idea of diversity by throwing it a bone and remaking a minor supporting character’s racial identity.

  63. @nudebuddha  Nothing that I say in a response to Edward can be taken too seriously.

  64. Static Shock (and most of the other Milestone heroes) was created with the purpose of increasing minority representation in superhero comics, I can guarantee Perry White’s race wasn’t even part of the discussion when he was created in the 1940s

  65. @mikegraham6  Exactly!

    @stuclach  Gotcha.

  66. So if they kept the character exactly the same but called him Perry Black and had Laurence Fishburne playing him everyone would be oaky with that? That’s crap, based on what I’ve read the past 2 days the racists and bigots will complain regardless. Man, I really thought we were better than this. Sadly the past 2 days have greatly shaken my faith in my felloe man. Some sick people out there.

  67. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I was proud of the iFanbase reaction to yesterday’s news in light of how commenters elsewhere were behaving. But some of the stuff I’m reading in this thread embarrasses me deeply. 

  68. @PaulMontgomery  Yes, I agree completly. I mostly was referring to all the other sites where I saw the horrible comments (USA Today, Bleeding Cool, etc), just awful. The ifanbase was great yesterday, today , on this thread not so much. Just shows we have a way to go.

  69. I am totally excited for this news. I love Fishburne, he’s got that sort of gravelly gravitas that Perry White needs, while also being a little youthful, as compared to other acots who have played the role. I admit, Frank Langella might have been the perfect casting for the role, as he really has the Perry White feel, but I think Fishburne is going to be great. Especially in a 21st century setting – y’know, not a pastiche of a 30s newsroom editor!

  70. Superman would be disappointed in all of us, I fear.

    -J. 

  71. @JamesSeals  amen

  72. The only thing that could be considered more egregious would be recasting The Wiz with an all white cast!!!

  73. I think it’s a great choice. Inspired and forward thinking. I like the idea of having Fishburne as Perry White works. Personally, I am happy to see a little diversity in my superhero worlds. It’s not the 50’s anymore no matter how often some click their heels and wish for Happy Days again.

  74. Oh my God! Was there this much flack over Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury? Did everyone forget that Fury was originally a greying middle aged white World War II vet. So what, times change. Laurence Fishburne is a great actor. Now just write him a good part.

  75. @ericmci  Man, if you cannot see the difference that race plays in the identity of Perry White vs. Static Shock, then I am not sure if you know enough about either of the two characters to be commenting on them.

    If you had picked someone like Joe Robbie from Spider-Man, it would have been a far better analogy.

  76. Mikegrahm6- That wasn’t my point.
    If race truly isn’t an issue then any character should be open to any actor that fits what the role calls for.
    In that example Static (the character not the creation intent of the character)could truly be played by anyone.- If race isn’t involved. 
    My intent was to look at both sides of this issue to ask the same question from the other perspective.
    I will be seeing the movie supporting it with my dollars and no doubt be back here to praise Fishburne for his performance if it is anything like his other movies.
    But if we cant discuss this casting choice with anything but Glowing praise and nothing but surface curtsey then we really aren’t as enlightened as we pretend to be.
    I was trying to open this up to discussion- Because I find the social and source material implications interesting but I suppose it wasn’t really the place.
    So for the record- Great I support this casting choice.  If for no other reason than I believe Laurence Fishburne to be a talented actor capable of performing this role well.

  77. I am fine with having a black Perry White but is his wife being portrayed by a black actor as well? 

     

    I am not sure I am comfortable with a white Mrs. White. Even though she probably won’t appear on screen there is the possibility of a family photo appearing in Perry’s office. A black White married to a white?…

     

    Honestly, Jackie Cooper, Lane Smith, Michael McKean and Frank Langella are the live action Perry Whites I can think of off the top of my head right now. Out of those four Jackie Cooper and Frank Langella were our former big screen Whites. While there performances were fine neither part did much to add to the character development of Clark or Superman. They were just there. Frank Langella could have been cut completely and I don’t think it would have changed anything about Superman Returns.

     

    I think there needs to be an influx of new characters and supporting cast full of diversity but I don’t see how turning 71 year old character black does anything to add to absence of strong black superheroes. Unless, this is subplot in the movie where Perry White is doing his take on Eddie Murphy’s ‘White Like Eddie’.

     

    Laurence Fishburne will deliver an amazing performance as long as it is written for him. I want Perry White to affect Clark and make him grow as journalist. He needs to that boss you hate but hate even more to dissappoint. That boss who knows when to pat you on the back when you deserve it. Over time a comic can capture that but can it be done in a two hour movie? More importantly, can all of that only be conveyed by a white actor? No! Laurence Fishburne is a terrific actor who makes us forget that Morpheus was originally white. 

     

    PS. iFanboy please be sure to post any developments on the ethnicity of Perry’s wife.

     

    Outtake from brainstorming this comment below:

     

    “First a black President, now a black White!”

     

    I’m putting the Preface at the end.

     

    PREFACE

     

    If you honestly take issue with Laurence Fishburne playing Perry White then you need to reexamine the priorities in your life.

     

    Laugh it’s funny.

     

    ###

  78. @mguy77  What’s wrong with a non-American playing Superman? Last time I checked, Superman isn’t American. he isn’t even from this planet. Also, they cast a non-American as Batman and that turned out OK.

    I really like this choice for Perry White. After Hurricane Katrina, there was a big jazz concert near Lincoln Center to raise money for disaster relief. besides 4 hours of fantastic music, Laurence Fishburne was the host of the event. He was cool, likable, in control at all times, and had the most confident, authoritative speaking voice I’ve ever heard. That, to me at least, is Perry White. Plus, he’s a tremendous actor. 

  79. I could just imagine that every five minutes we are gonna have to hear some speech about the struggles of a young black man from the streets struggling against a systems made to work against him to rise up to be the editor in chief of a major metropolitan news paper…yeesh…This is what you asked for, people who voted for Obama! What hath thou wrought!
    #myimpressionofdumbasses…

  80. As a African American man I can see why some people would be mad at Perry White being cast as a Black Man if not for any other reason then being true to the source material. I kinda feel like this is a way for DC to add in a black character in the movie that would other wise not exist and that to me is kinda of a sellout.

     Nick Fury being played by the great Sam Jackson is different because that charatcer lives in the Ultimate Universe. To be honest who really cares about Perry White as a whole unless your a fanboy ,now if they had the balls to cast Lois Lane as a Asian or Jimmy Olsen with a Spanish hertiage or make Superman I dare say a black Man then that would make more of a statement to me that color is not a issue.

    So the whole idea of casting a character just because they are a great actor to me just sounds like a bunch of bullshit to cover up DC just pandering to a wider hopefully diverse audience.

  81. I’m just happy they seem to be putting actual thought into the supporting cast. Does anyone remember ANYthing that Perry or Jimmy did in the last movie? It’d be great if they were actually fleshed out and memorable beyond dropping a catch phrase.

  82. @drdeeeznutz  I’ve been reading a lot of the comments on different places about the Superman and Spiderman thing, and have found if read closely, many of the comments being singled out as racist, are actually saying, poorly, what you just said. Personally, I disagree with you, or I should say, I don’t know. We don’t know. We have not seen the film yet. We have not read the comic yet. So we don’t know if it’s empty pandering or not. I’m hispanic, so I get your reaction. Condescention is worse than outright racism in many cases. I don’t think that’s the case here or with the Spiderman thing, but we should wait and see before completely knocking it. Even if it’s coming from a place of pandering, it could actually turn out to be very good.

  83. @nudebuddha  Nothing that is said on this site can be taken too seriously

  84. I know I’m not going to say anything that hasn’t already been said, but hear it goes.

    The only reason I would question this choice is because traditionally Perry White is a bit more of an animated character then the ones Mr. Fishburne typically plays so well.  However, this is not to say that Mr. Fishburne couldn’t play this type of character, or that the director isn’t going for a more stoic editor in this film.

    To be honest I think an actor more along the lines of Sam Jackson would be closer to the traditional Perry White. But there is no way Nick Furry is going to be allowed to cross universes and play Perry.

  85. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @JohnNevets  You haven’t seen Fishburne in PREDATORS then. 

  86. @edward  Nothing that is said on the internet should be taken too seriously

    @PaulMontgomery  He is one of the lucky ones, then  😉

  87. @JohnNevets  You haven’t seen him in KING OF NEW YORK, either.

  88. @JohnNevets  Or PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE.

  89. I think some of the problem that people have with the casting may not be racism so much as the classic fanboy outcry “hey, he doesn’t look like the one in the comics”.  I can understand that it’s a much touchier subject, but people would bitch a lot more if Superman was blonde. 

  90. @JohnNevets  That’s interesting because a friend of mine had the complete opposite argumant saying Fishbourne was too dynamic and he’d perfer a Morgan Freeman. I thought he was crazy when he said it.

  91. What’s next? Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent?

  92. @conor lololol DAMN he was on Pee Wee’s playhouse as cowboy Dan-I’m getting to old

  93. I like Fishburne as actor a lot, but I think he is miscast as Perry White. Am I the only one who thinks he could make a bad ass Lex Luthor? I could totally see him in the role and he could very easily pull off a Clancy Brown type of Luthor, which is the voice I always hear when I am reading comics with Luthor in them.

  94. @Smasher  LMAO! I forgot about that

  95. I think it’s great. Fishburne looks like an editor. 

  96. @rafterman  agreed he really does, but I was tempted to say Id rather see him as Luthor. I mean that would really be interesting.

    But hey everyone wasnt Angelina Jolie cast as THE FOX in wanted…soo where was the uproar and complaints?

    Who cares as long the movie is good and from the cast im praying it is…

    god(if you exist) forgive me for this….

    IN SNYDER I TRUST