The cast list for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel is notably lacking a certain Jimmy Olsen, the young Daily Planet photographer and Clark Kent tag-along who has been a reliable staple of all Superman movies, comics, and TV series.
In his place is a listing for a Jenny Olsen, played by Rebecca Buller, whose only other credit at the moment is a one-episode stint in the now canceled The Playboy Club.
Gender swaps aren’t unusual in reboots; Battlestar Galactica had two, Starbuck and Boomer; and Bryan Fuller changed the sex of tabloid report Freddie Lounds in his new series Hannibal. It’s understandable, shows and movies made back in the days when people didn’t care about equality just look antiquated from our perspective; almost as antiquated as having Superman work for a print newspaper.
And this isn’t the first time that Superman has tackled the issue. The most recent TV series in the franchise, Smallville, also took measures to raise the number of women, though in that case it did it by adding an original character, Chloe Sullivan (who, BTW, was also a young reporter), played by Allison Mack.