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Superman’s Jimmy Olsen May Be A Woman In Man of Steel Thanks To Zack Snyder

There’s a new rumor, that if true, may be one of the coolest things to happen in a superhero adaptation. In Man of Steel, Jimmy Olsen may actually be a woman. 

Fans were concerned about the upcoming Superman film before any talent was attached. Then Zack Snyder jumped on board as director and people grew even more wary. But while we wait to see it and judge whether or not it’s actually a good film, we have to admit the director is making some bold choices.

You may remember the internet errupting when Laurence Fishburne was cast as Perry White because, well, he’s not white. A lot of despicable racist remarks were veiled beneath “staying true to the comic” but it looks like Snyder may be pulling another switcheroo with a famous Superman character.

Digital Spy picked up on something interesting. Actress Rebecca Buller is listed as Jenny Olsen on the Man of Steel IMDB page. You can’t always trust the information there but when you add in this still from the trailer of Fishburne running with Buller, things get a bit firmer.

She doesn’t have red hair but then, Lois does this time around so I guess a swap was in order there too. Perhaps Snyder is trying to make a point that we need to start breaking the mold when it comes to comic adaptations.

Jimmy Olsen has had a lot of interesting character morphs in old Superman comics and while he’s dressed up as a woman for undercover work several times, he’s never actually been a woman. Again, this whole thing could be totally off. Buller could be any Daily Planet employee, or just a friend of Perry’s, there’s no way to know for sure since neither Warner Bros. or Snyder have mentioned Jimmy Olsen but what do you think of the possibility?

(via io9)

Previously in Man of Steel

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  • James Gardiner

    I can go with this. So long as Jimmy (Jane?) Olsen still acts and feels like Jimmy Olsen, I could care less if he doesn’t have a Y chromosome.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care if Jimmy is a woman so long as she feels like Olsen and maintains that “kid” vibe in comparison to Lois and Clark. In fact, I kind of like the idea of Lois being potentially able to mentor a younger woman in the profession. It gives it a new depth. Jimmy has always looked up to Lois but now it becomes more, “help me understand how you got to the top as a woman” as opposed to “let me be like you.”

    I ::do:: think people really need to stop pointing out that Adams as red hair as if that’s something that Snyder changed because it’s not.

    Lois has history as a redhead. I cannot be the only person that knows this.
    Lois was a redhead for quite a long period in the 90′s. She has RED HAIR in the Death of Superman story which is still the highest selling comic of all time.
    Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane for years and was ::the:: Lois Lane to millions of people in the 50′s had red hair.
    And Joanne Siegel, the woman who actually inspired Lois Lane, had red hair.
    Guys, Lois Lane having red hair is not this huge change that Snyder made as it’s totally in canon for her to have red hair. I understand that most people are used to the dark haired looks of Margot and Teri Hatcher to the animated series etc. But this isn’t really earth shattering. It’s different from the most RECENT adaptations of Lois Lane but it’s not actually new.

    Henry Cavill saying that his inspiration for the film and favorite Superman story was the “Death and Return of Superman” was your first clue that Lois was going to have red hair in this movie.

  • Anonymous

    That’s my feeling too. As long as the character still maintains the “kid brother” vibe except transferred to a “little sister” vibe…I’m fine with it.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Yes, I was aware of Lois having red hair in cannon but I think the big shock was them giving us a non-brunette when all the past films have depicted her that way and Hollywood seems ultra concerned about the average person’s connections with the character.

  • Anonymous

    True. Although, I watched Lois as a blond and Lana lang as an Asian woman on Smallville for several years and Erica was spot on for me from the start. So that’s probably why it didn’t surprise me.
    At this point, one of the cool things about Lois is that she is instantly recognizable based on her personality. The general public knows her well enough that we know her when she speaks no matter what color her hair is. :)

  • Anonymous

    Can I just say I love that the writer pointed out that people often try to hide behind the “Well I just want it to be true to the source material argument!” to justify trying to keep women and minorities out of the movies? Ten points to Gryffindor!

  • Aeryl

    My introduction to that part of fandom came when Idris Elba and Tadanobu Asano were cast in Thor.

    Yes, we can cast mythical figures of stories and legend in movies, but Lord and Lady forbid they are anything other than white!!

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Agreed. Erica Durance was a superb Lois. :)

  • Captain ZADL

    Cool! Jimmy’s gender really doesn’t matter any more than Perry’s skin. The characters can easily surpass such superficial outward things with the roles they play in Clark’s / Superman’s life.

    And for the record, Jimmy’s Gender would be an awesome band name.

  • J.S. MacDougall

    I think this is a great idea, but I hope their relationship stays the same. I dislike when a lot of television and films make two opposite gender characters have to be a love interest continue the idea that men and women can’t be just friends, comrades, acquaintances or fellow employees.

  • Christopher Duffy Austin

    As long as she is the every-woman swept up in all sorts of crazy nonsense like her male counter-part, I don’t care. If they did it to be, like: “Lookey, it’s another girl!” then I will be very dissapointed.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. THat’s the only thing that would upset me. I think it’s important that both Lois and Clark serve as a mentor “big brother/sister” to Jimmy no matter what gender the character is. If that piece was removed, i’d be very upset.

    I’m particularly excited that this might mean that Lois might actually be mentoring a younger WOMAN this go round which is….pretty great.

  • Anonymous

    She was. Absolutely superb. But now we get to see Amy give it her best shot and she’s so thoughtful and talented that I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. The Marvel movies made a lot of changes and took a lot of liberties with the source material (GASP you mean changing things isn’t inherently bad?!) but the ones that are always singled out?

    “Why is Nick Fury black?!” “Why is Heimdall black?!” “Black Widow isn’t supposed to be a founding Avenger!”

    I’m seeing a pattern….

  • RST

    Why did you say that the Jimmy Olsen’s sex change would be one of the coolest things that could happen?; don’t get me wrong, while the true nature of the character gets respected they can change whatever they want, but in this case that won’t happen.
    Jimmy should be Superman’s pal, but the only thing that could come out from changing the sex will be a love triangle, it’s the typical executive mentality: executive: -we need that his best friend secretly loves him. Screenwriter: But his best friend is a man. Executive: – like i’d give a damm, just change the sex.
    I hope that i’ll be wrong but Snyder doesn’t show the contrary, he is a mediocre director and doesn’t how to handle women; sucker punch confirm it.


  • Smoke Tetsu

    Yeah considering it’s Snyder I wouldn’t start celebrating on the potential sex change for Jimmy Olsen just yet. Kind of like, “be careful what you wish for”. She may end up being overly sexualized with a background in sexual abuse and get inserted in some contrived love triangle with Superman & Lois. Kind of like, “be careful what you wish for”.

    Personally, I wasn’t even sure I wanted his grubby mitts all over Superman in the first place. HIs movies tend to be very well made technically speaking but lack heartsoul or it gets lost amongst typical excessive gratuitous sexviolence he inserts in my opinion.

    Some master film makers have used over the top stuff to drive a point across but I don’t feel he’s at that level to be honest. His movies tend to be more schlocky than those master film makers.

  • 3-I

    It TOTALLY matters. Now, when she gets superpowers by crossdressing, it won’t be nearly as taboo.

    … Okay, maybe that’s not a huge deal.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    “the only thing that could come out from changing the sex will be a love triangle”

    Or there could not be a love triangle and Jenny could just be Clark/Superman’s friend. That’s another option.

  • Rick Richards

    So, then, why the change?

    It was pointless. If they wanted the demographic, they have Louis. They must focus in her, now we’ll just have two poorly written women; insted of just a regular written woman. Goyer doesn’t know how to write femenine characters: and Snyder… Sucker punch (again).

  • Mr. Anansi

    I always look at comic movies as just another universe. This could be DC’s Earth 45 or 45a for all we know. Keeping that in mind, all that matters is that the essence of the character is kept in tact.

  • Neville Ross

    This is why Superman Returns still works for me (as it does for a lot of people); despite the trailer, Snyder has a lot to live up to as far as I’m concerned.

  • Neville Ross

    To be frank, there could have been a love triangle between the male Jimmy Lois, and Clark (there was a suggestion of one in Megamind between the Lois Lane-like character and the Jimmy Olsen-like character, IIRC.) There’s also a unrequited crush on Lois by Jimmy in Superman: Birthright:

    Lois-’What did the court say about being near me?’

    Jimmy-’Fifty feet.’

    Lois-’Be good, and I’ll make it thirty.’)

    So, the idea isn’t that bad-at best, it could add a little sparkle to the mythos this time around.

  • Santos

    Weird. This could also serve as an article for the TV show Hannibal where Laurence is also playing a character who was originally white and a woman is playing a character who was originally a man.

  • Anonymous

    ….I’m well aware that Ultimate Fury was black and that Wasp was a founding Avenger, thank you.