Kneel before Aragorn! LOTR star might be Superman's General Zod

Now that they've cast the Man of Steel himself, director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan are turning their attention to the villain in their Superman reboot—and a surprising name has come up.

According to Heat Vision, The Lord of the Rings alumnus Viggo Mortensen is said to be a "person of interest" for the role of General Zod. Sources say that Mortensen's name tops the list, but there might be a problem: He's been negotiating to star in another film, Snow White and the Huntsman, and unless that deal falls through or his schedule can be worked out to shoot both films, Zod might be out of reach.

There have been no official talks with Mortensen yet, and while there are other actors being considered for the role, he is said to be the favorite. Mortensen is the second actor to be connected with Superman this week, following the news a few days ago that Kevin Costner was a possible candidate to play Jonathan Kent. British actor Henry Cavill has already been signed to play Superman/Clark Kent.

Zod, of course, was the renegade Kryptonian general banished with two others to the Phantom Zone for attempting to take over Krypton. Although a version of Zod did originate in the comics (Adventure Comics #283, April 1961) and various incarnations have surfaced since, the best-known portrayal of him was by English actor Terence Stamp in Superman (1978) and Superman II (1981).

Rumors that Zod would be the villain in the Superman reboot began circulating several weeks ago when it was revealed that the production was also looking to cast Ursa, Zod's henchwoman. This appears to confirm that Zod will in fact be Kal-El's nemesis once again.

The new Superman will hit screens in December 2012.

What do you think of Mortensen playing Zod—and how do you feel about Zod being the villain? Would you prefer a bad guy we haven't seen on screen before?

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