UPDATE: Warner Bros. Pictures has confirmed today that Costner will play Jonathan Kent, father of Clark/Superman, in its upcoming reboot Superman: The Man of Steel. Director Zack Snyder had the following to say about the Costner's involvement:
“Jonathan Kent is the only father figure Clark has ever had, the man who was there to help Clark understand what he was meant to do in the world as Superman. Kevin will be able to communicate the quiet strength of this rural American man who raised the greatest super hero of all time.”
EARLIER: Kevin Costner has more or less been banished from science fiction since back-to-back flops in the 1990s with Waterworld and The Postman (both not-so-ironically guilty pleasures of mine), but he could bounce back and regain some geek cred if the rumor-of-the-day turns out to be true. Deadline first reported that the Oscar winner could be up for a role in Warner Bros. new Superman reboot The Man of Steel.
No details have been disclosed, so we have literally no idea who producer Christopher Nolan and director Zack Snyder would want the actor-director to play, but the obvious has already been pointed out. He could play father to Henry Cavill's Clark Kent. The Jonathan Kent part has always attracted talented middle aged actors, from Glenn Ford in the 1978 original film to the significantly less-known but no less capable John Schneider in the CW's long-running Smallville.
Other outlets have considered the possibility that Costner could play a younger-than-usual Perry White. His crusading antics of late (Costner helped develop technology that separates oil and water which was crucial in cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico) in small part support that theory. I could personally see Costner as the quintessentially American Pa Kent, a strong character who instilled in Superman the ethos that made him Earth's Greatest Hero. There are probably better suited candidates for the pivotal role, but there are also worse. Let's see how this one develops.