In agreeing to play Jor-El, the biological father of Superman, in Christopher Nolan‘s Man of Steel, Russell Crowe has essentially taken out a huge trade ad that says, “I am now a high-end character actor….I am no longer the bankable movie star I was when I made The Insider and Gladiator and Master and Commander and Robin Hood. If Marlon Brando could take this paycheck role in the 1978 Superman, so can I. And if Nick Nolte could downshift and become a cool character actor in the ’90s, so can I. It’s all cool.”