The Oscar winner is reportedly close to signing on to the Zack Snyder-Christopher Nolan reboot of the Man of Steel for "a key role." But will he be a hero, a villain or something else altogether?
There are, as we see it, four options for who Costner could be playing.
Jonathan Kent, Kal-El's adoptive father
This one probably makes the most sense, given Costner's folksy vibe of rural Americana. Ever since Field of Dreams, the actor hasn't been able to escape the hometown-hero-ness that came along with this career-defining role. Though it seems odd to rehash Superman's origin story yet again.
Perry White, Daily Planet editor
Could Costner play a driven journalist/mentor? Sure. But to call Perry White a "key role" would be overplaying his importance to the cinematic Clark Kent. In a two-hour film, Perry can never really be more than the guy telling Clark and Lois where to go to get into adventures.
Jor-El, Superman's biological father
Marlon Brando hammed it up as Jor-El in Richard Donner's first Superman flick, but this role feels like it'd be an overblown cameo at best.
Lex Luthor, archnemesis
On the surface, this feels the least likely. Which is why it's the most intriguing. Costner's played the villain a handful of times in his career. Sometimes to great effect (No Way Out), sometimes not (3000 Miles to Graceland). But a Lex Luthor who is a red-blooded American to the core, who feels that Superman is a threat to his way of life and an enemy of everything that America stands for? Who believes that Superman's power was not earned, in the way that his own fortune and standing came from decades of hard work, and so cannot be trusted? That's a Lex Luthor I'd like to see on screen, rather than the bald megalomanic we're so often given.
Will that happen? Probably not. But, man, it'd be great if it did.