Superman Returns is a 2006 American superhero film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris from a story by Singer, Dougherty and Harris based on the DC Comics character Superman. It is the sixth and final installment in the original Superman film series and serves as an homage sequel to Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980), while ignoring the events of Superman III (1983), Supergirl (1984), and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). The film stars Brandon Routh as Clark Kent / Superman, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, with James Marsden, Frank Langella, Eva Marie Saint and Parker Posey. The film tells the story of Superman returning to Earth after a five-year absence. He finds that his love interest Lois Lane has moved on with her life, and that his archenemy Lex Luthor is plotting a scheme to kill him and reshape North America.
Upon release, the film received generally positive reviews from critics, who complimented its visual effects, story, and Singer's direction. However, it received criticism focusing on its runtime and lack of action sequences. Even though it was the ninth highest-grossing film of 2006, Warner Bros. was disappointed with the worldwide box office return of the film, cancelling a sequel planned for 2009 as a result. The Superman film series was completely rebooted in 2013 with Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder, starring Henry Cavill as Superman, and launching the DC Extended Universe. Routh later reprised his role as Superman in the 2019 Arrowverse crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths".
Superman has been missing for five years, since traveling to the location where astronomers believed they had discovered the remains of Krypton. During his absence, Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor was released from prison and married a rich widow to obtain her fortune upon her death. Superman, having failed in his quest to find surviving Kryptonians, returns to Earth and, as Clark Kent, resumes his job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. He subsequently learns that Lois Lane is now engaged to Perry White's nephew Richard, with whom she has a five year old son named Jason, and has won the Pulitzer Prize for her article "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." Meanwhile, Luthor travels to the Fortress of Solitude and steals Kryptonian crystals, which he uses for an experiment that causes a power outage on the East Coast. The power loss interferes with the flight test of a Space Shuttle to be launched into space from its piggy-back mounting on an airliner, occupied by Lois Lane, who is covering the shuttle story. Clark flies into action as Superman and stops the plane from crashing onto a baseball stadium.
The world rejoices at Superman's return, but he has difficulty coping with the fact he feels those he was once close to have moved on from him. With Superman distracted by an out-of-control vehicle (a diversion involving Luthor's henchwoman, Kitty Kowalski), Luthor steals Kryptonite from the Metropolis Museum of Natural History. Perry then assigns Lois to interview Superman while Clark investigates the blackout. Lois and Jason inadvertently board Luthor's yacht and are captured after Lois decides to hold interest in the blackout story, which she connects to Luthor's experiment. He reveals to them his grand scheme of using one of the stolen Kryptonian crystals, which he has combined with the Kryptonite, to grow a new continental landmass in the Northern Atlantic Ocean that will supplant the continental United States and kill millions of innocent people.
Director, screenwriter and producer Bryan Singer conceived the storyline of "Superman returning to Earth after a five-year absence" during the filming of X2 (2003). He presented the idea to X-Men (2000) and X2 producer Lauren Shuler Donner and her husband Richard Donner, director of Superman (1978). Donner greeted Singer's idea with positive feedback. In March 2004, Warner Bros. Pictures was commencing pre-production on Superman: Flyby, which had a target theatrical release date of June 2006. McG was signed to direct with a script by J. J. Abrams, but dropped out in June 2004. That same month, Singer was approached by Warner Bros. to pitch his idea for Superman Returns, as he was preparing to leave for Hawaii on a short vacation with his X2 writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. While in Hawaii, Singer, Dougherty and Harris began to outline the film treatment. In July 2004, Singer signed on to direct and develop Superman Returns.
On January 9, 2012, more than five years after the movie was released, the independent film community daily news site IndieWire released a two-part video essay that probes the melancholic nature of Superman Returns. Produced by Matt Zoller Seitz and Ken Cancelosi, the critique was inspired by a review that Seitz wrote for the New York Press in 2006, in which he stated that "From the moment its hero returns to the sky to rescue Lois Lane from a plummeting jet, Superman Returns flirts with greatness."
Empire ranked the movie 496 on its "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list, stating, "It may have been a slighter return than some people had hoped for, but Singer's vision of the Man of Steel is an heroic effort. Plenty of spectacle and a lot of heart helps Kal-El soar."
In February 2006, four months before the release of Superman Returns, Warner Bros. announced a mid-2009 theatrical release date for a sequel, with Bryan Singer reprising his directing duties. Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Sam Huntington, Frank Langella, and Tristan Lake Leabu were to reprise their roles. Due to his commitment, Singer dropped out of directing a remake of Logan's Run and an adaptation of The Mayor of Castro Street. Writer Michael Dougherty wanted the sequel to be "action packed", featuring "other Kryptonians" with Brainiac and Bizarro also considered for primary villains. The "New Krypton" landmass floating in space at the end of Superman Returns would have served as a plot device. Although Superman Returns received mostly positive reviews, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures were disappointed by the film's box office return. Warner Bros. President Alan F. Horn explained that Superman Returns was a very successful film, but that it "should have done $500 million worldwide. We should have had perhaps a little more action to satisfy the young male crowd." Singer reacted incredulously to the studio complaints, saying, "That movie made $400 million! I don't know what constitutes under-performing these days..." $175 million was the maximum budget Warner Bros. was projecting for the sequel, as Superman Returns cost $204 million.
Henry Cavill's Superman has been a scorching hot topic of conversation amongst DCEU fans for the last few years, namely due to the Man of Steel's absence from the story since 2017's Justice League. Even with his semi-return in Zack Snyder's Justice League, fans have waited for any big news on when he would return to play the iconic Kryptonian hero in a canon theatrical movie once more, especially after Superman was seen twice via faceless cameos in Shazam! and Peacemaker.
Now, that time has finally arrived, as Cavill blasted into the mid-credits scene of Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam upon its long-awaited arrival in theaters. He was only seen on screen for a few seconds alongside The Rock telling the newly-crowned anti-hero that they needed to talk to one another, but from a big-picture perspective, the most important part of that scene was that Cavill finally returned to the most iconic role of his career to date.
DCEU star Henry Cavill took to Instagram to share an emotional message about his long-awaited return to the role of Superman following his appearance in the mid-credits scene of Black Adam, as well as an all-new look at him back in the suit:
Although Henry Cavill is one of the more reserved and private superhero actors in this day and age, respectively, he's always been open about his desire to continue playing Superman on the big screen. Now, with Black Adam opening the door to his return to the role, it seems only right that he's sharing such gratitude for the chance to don the red-and-blue suit for the first time in five years.
It's strange how little dialogue the title character has in the movie. Clark Kent is monosyllabic, and Superman is microsyllabic. We learn Superman was away for five years on a mission to the remains of his home planet, Krypton. In the meantime, Lois got herself a boyfriend and a little son, played by Tristan Lake Leabu, who mostly stares at people like a beta version of Damien, the kid from "The Omen" (1976). Now Superman and (coincidentally) Clark have returned, Clark gets his old job, and Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is out of prison and plotting to rule the earth.
According to insider @AjepArts, "Multiple scoopers 100% believe Henry is back, the dm I received said '[Cavill's] back[.]' This friend who told me this I trust very well, and has ALWAYS been skeptical over Cavill and Affleck returning. They are now believing into the idea of [Cavill's] return."
Warner Bros. will no doubt be fully aware of how much so many DC fans want Henry Cavill to return as the Man of Steel. But with the actor busy filming The Witcher, among other prospective projects, will Cavill be ready, willing, and able to once again fight for truth and justice on the big screen?
Cavill confirmed his Superman return on Monday, sharing a post to social media following his cameo in the Black Adam end-credits scene. He also recorded a video thanking fans for their support as he returns to the DC universe. 041b061a72