Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Super Cameos

It's clear that Superman Returns holds the Superman legend in high regard. Likewise, it also attempts to pay homage to the well-liked The Adventures of Superman TV series from the 1950s, which starred George Reeves as the Man of Steel. Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in the TV series, and Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen, both have cameos in the new film. Neill -- who also had a clever cameo in 1978's Superman: The Movie as Lois Lane's mother on a train ride through Smallville -- appears at the front of the new film as Lex Luthor's dying wife, Gertrude Vanderworth, who signs her fortune over to him then expires. Although appearing in a number of films before the Superman TV series, Neill has pretty much been trading off her Lois Lane persona (both on screen and off) ever since. Larson shows up a bit deeper into the film as Bo the Bartender. I'm certain had Christopher Reeve been alive, the filmmakers would have found a small role for him as well. As it is, they used digital technology to resurrect Marlon Brando from the grave for a small cameo, and more extensive voiceover, as well.

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