Now that Zach Snyder and Christopher Nolan have settled on Henry Cavill for their Man of Steel, the question remains: Who'll play the dazzling urbanite journalist who'll capture his heart?
The Daily Planet's second-most-famous reporter has been played lots of ways over the years: From the screwball comedy of Margot Kidder in 1978's Superman to the flighty no-way-we're-buying-that-you-won-a-Pulitzer daffiness of Kate Bosworth in 2006's Superman Returns. But Ms. Lane needs to have two qualities: the restless intelligence of a killer newshound and an inner tenacity. Which of today's actresses can fit the bill?
Here are some contenders:
Resume: Never Let Me Go, Public Enemies, Doctor Who
Even though one gets a slightly fragile vibe from Mulligan, just looking at her fine features, she's showed an intense determination—especially as Sally Sparrow in the legendary "Blink" episode of Doctor Who.
Resume: The Social Network, Parks and Recreation, I Love You, Man
She might be primarily known as a comedienne, but on-screen comedy isn't necessarily about being hilarious (though it doesn't hurt). It's about precision and timing—skills that could help bring a Philadelphia Story-style screwball spark.
Resume: Zombieland, Easy A, Spider-Man (upcoming)
Her role as Spider-Man's Gwen Stacy might take her out of the running, but Stone's got an acerbic edge that would feel right at home in a newsroom.
Resume: Angel, Dollhouse, No Ordinary Family
While she might be a little too old to match up with Cavill, Acker's proven that she can swing from timid to steely in the blink of an eye.
Resume: The Wolfman, The Devil Wears Prada, Gulliver's Travels
This statuesque Brit hasn't been well served by her genre outings to date, but she can play a Lois who feels a station or two above the corn-fed Clark Kent.
Resume: Lost, The Hurt Locker, Real Steel (upcoming)
As the romantically waffly Kate, Lilly wasn't always given the best material on Lost, but there was always a strength there. I'd buy Lilly's Lois taking stories by the bollocks and wrestling them to the page.
Resume: Inception, Juno, X-Men: The Last Stand
Page has already passed the Nolan test, doing her best with the dream architect part she had in Inception. It remains to be seen whether she can summon the required brassiness, though.
Resume: Shutter Island, Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine
A bit of a dark horse candidate, Williams has spent most of her post-Dawson's Creek career transforming herself into a daring performer. Would she even want to be in a big honking superhero movie?
Resume: Black Swan, V for Vendetta, Thor (upcoming)
Well, duh. Portman's gonna be on lists like this until she's in her 50s. Because she's got the tools and she's got the talent.
Resume: Glee, Burlesque, I Am Number Four (upcoming)
She's made the short list for Gwen Stacy in the Spider-Man reboot, so Agron's got her foot in the superheroic door. Her only downside is that she comes off a bit young, maybe too young.
Resume: Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class (upcoming)
Lawrence is also rather young to play a seasoned journalist, but her Oscar-nominated role in Winter's Bone showed that she's got a depth to draw from.