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Superman Returns is an Academy Award nominated 2006 superhero film based on the DC Comics character Superman. It was directed by Bryan Singer and stars Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey. The screenplay was written by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. It was based on a story by Bryan Singer, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty.
The film is a relaunch of the Superman franchise that took more than a decade to get off the ground, and is the first Superman film since Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, made twenty years ago. Superman Returns revolves around Superman's return to Earth after a five-year absence. Director Bryan Singer has said that the continuity is "branching off from" elements of "the first two Superman films with Christopher Reeve," which serve as, as he puts it, a "vague history." The film received fairly positive reviews and earned $391 million worldwide.
As the film begins, we learn that Superman has been missing for five years. He has traveled to where astronomers believed they had discovered the remains of Krypton. Superman returns to Earth, crashing back into his adoptive mother's corn field in a craft like the one that delivered him to Earth when he was a baby. He returns to the The Daily Planet and his life as Clark Kent in Metropolis. He learns that Lois Lane has won the Pulitzer Prize for her article "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman."
During Superman's absence, Lex Luthor has been released from prison. While away, Superman missed the appeals trial to testify against Lex. Upon his release, Lex marries a rich widow and obtains her fortune, immediately upon her death. Lex travels to the Fortress of Solitude, steals Kryptonian crystals, and returns to Metropolis to experiment with a tiny fragment. The growing crystal causes a blackout due to an electromagnetic pulse, interfering with the test flight of a new space shuttle tethered to a Boeing 777—a plane which Lois Lane is aboard while covering the story. Clark flies into action as Superman and stops the plane from crashing onto a baseball field.
The world rejoices in Superman's return, but Lois is more concerned with the blackout. Clark meets her fiancé Richard White, nephew of Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White, and their son, Jason. Superman is emotionally hurt when he overhears a conversation between Lois and Richard in which she says she never loved Superman. He buries himself in his work, including halting a bank heist and saving Kitty, Luthor's co-conspirator. While Kitty distracts Superman, Luthor steals Kryptonite from the Metropolis Museum of Natural History. Perry assigns Lois to interview Superman while Clark investigates the blackout. That night, Superman arrives at The Daily Planet and takes Lois for a flight, during which he apologizes for leaving her.
After her latest Superman interview, Lois focuses her attention on the blackout again and ascertains its origin. She and Jason steal onto Luthor's ship, not realizing who owns it, and are captured. Luthor reveals his grand scheme: using one of the stolen Kryptonian crystals to grow a new continental landmass in the Northern Atlantic Ocean that will destroy much of Earth's existing continents, and in the process killing billions of people and leaving him as the world's sole landowner. Seeing the effects that a stick of Kryptonite apparently has on Jason, Luthor inquires as to who Jason's father really is, but after Lois asserts that the father is Richard, he leaves to launch the crystal (now encased in green Kryptonite) into the sea. Under water, the crystal begins to create Luthor's new landmass. Lois faxes their co-ordinates to The Daily Planet and is attacked by a henchman. The henchman is hit by a piano, appearing as though Jason pushed it at him; afterward, Lois and Jason are imprisoned in a galley. Luthor hears of the incident and flees in a helicopter. The landmass's growth causes destruction in Metropolis, to which Superman attends, and Richard arrives in a sea plane to rescue Lois and Jason. Superman arrives to help, and then he flies off to find Luthor, who has returned to the still-forming continent.
Meeting Luthor, Superman discovers the landmass is filled with Kryptonite, which weakens him to the point that Luthor and his henchmen are able to beat and torture him. Superman falls into the ocean, after being stabbed with a shard of Kryptonite by Luthor. Lois makes Richard turn back to rescue Superman, and she removes the Kryptonite from his back. Superman, after regaining his strength from the sun, lifts the landmass by putting layers of earth between him and the Kryptonite. Luthor and Kitty escape in their helicopter, but not before Kitty, unwilling to let billions of people die, tosses away the crystals; she and Luthor are stranded on a desert island some time later. Superman throws the landmass into space, but is weakened by the Kryptonite and crashes back to Earth. Doctors remove more Kryptonite from Superman's wound, but after it is removed they cannot penetrate his skin with their surgical tools. While Superman remains in a coma, Lois and Jason visit him at the hospital, where, careful not to let Jason overhear, Lois whispers a secret into Superman's ear. Superman later awakens and flies to see Jason, reciting Jor-El's last speech to Jason as he slumbers. Lois starts writing another article, titled “Why the World Needs Superman.”
Cast and characters
- Brandon Routh as Clark Kent / Superman
- Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane
- Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor
- James Marsden as Richard White:
- Parker Posey as Kitty Kowalski: Luthor's companion.
- Frank Langella as Perry White
- Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen: Clark's young friend and photographer at The Daily Planet, who is in desperate need of a good photo of Superman.
- Marlon Brando as Jor-El: Superman's deceased father, who appears as a hologram to Luthor and whose voice is heard several times in the film (footage from the filming of Superman and Superman II were used to create his character for this film.
- Tristan Lake Leabu as Jason White
- Kal Penn, David Fabrizio and Vincent Stone as Stanford, Brutus and Grant: Lex Luthor's henchmen.
- Ian Roberts as Riley
- Eva Marie Saint as Martha Kent
- Noel Neill as Gertrude Vanderworth: An elderly woman who signs away her fortune to Luthor, while on her death bed.
- Jack Larson as Bo the Bartender