Superman Returns

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Superman Returns is a 2006 film directed by Bryan Singer, centering around the character Superman who returns to Earth after a five year absence.

Screenplay by Dan Harris & Michael Dougherty. Story by Dan Harris, Michael Dougherty & Bryan Singer from DC Comics characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.


Kitty Kowalski: Lex, your friends give me the creeps.
Lex Luthor: Prison is a creepy place, Kitty. One needs to make creepy friends in order to survive. Even a man with my vast talents is worth less inside than a carton of cigarettes and a sharp piece of metal in your pocket. [walks over to his bookshelves] Do you know the story of Prometheus? No, of course, you don't (as Kitty is about to answer). Prometheus was the god who stole the power of fire from the other gods and gave control of it to mortals, in essence, he gave us technology, he gave us power.
Kitty Kowalski: So, we're stealing fire? In the Arctic?
Lex Luthor: Actually, sort of. You see whoever controls technology controls the world. The Roman empire ruled the world because they built roads. The British Empire ruled the world because they built ships. America; the atom bomb. And so on and so forth. I just want what Prometheus wanted.
Kitty Kowalski: Sounds great, Lex. But you're not a god.
Lex Luthor: Gods are selfish beings who fly around in little red capes and don't share their powers with mankind. No, I don't want to be a god, I just want to bring fire to the people. And I want my cut.

Jor-El: My son. You do not remember me. I am Jor-El. I am your father. By now I will have been dead for many thousands of your years.
Lex Luthor: He thinks I'm his son?
Jor-El: Embedded in the crystals before you is the total accumulation of all literature and scientific fact of dozens of other worlds spanning the twenty-eight known galaxies.
Kitty Kowalski: Can he see us?
Lex Luthor: No, he's dead.
Jor-El: There are many questions to be asked. Here, in this Fortress of Solitude, we will try to find the answers together. So, my son...Kal-El...speak.
Lex Luthor: Tell me everything. Starting with crystals.

Jimmy Olsen: Look who's back?
Perry White: Kent?
Clark Kent: Hey. Chief! Thank you for giving me my job back.
Perry White: Don't thank me. Thank Norm Palmer for dying!
Jimmy Olsen: It was his time.

Jimmy Olsen: [leans over an unsuspecting Clark who is holding a family photo of Lois Lane, her fiancé Richard White and Lois' son Jason, ] Ha! Yeah! He looks just like his mom. Already takes after her too, especially when it comes to getting into trouble.
Clark Kent: Mother?
Jimmy Olsen: Oh yeah, well I guess you've been gone. Fearless reporter Lois Lane is a mommy.
[Clark cracks the glass of the photo frame with his thumb]
Jimmy Olsen: [taking the photo from Clark] I'll just take that...
Clark Kent: Sorry.
Jimmy Olsen: No, it's okay, she's got tons.
Clark Kent: Wait, she's married?
Jimmy Olsen: Yes. No! Not really, It's more like a prolonged engagement. But don't ask Miss Lane when they're tying the knot 'cause she hates that question...

Bartender: Must be tough coming back.
Clark Kent: Coming back?
Bartender: To work.
Clark Kent: Well, you know, things change. Well, of course things change. But somethings that you thought wouldn't change could change. Take Lois. A woman like her, I never thought she'd settle down.
Jimmy Olsen: If you ask me, 'cause she'd never tell you this, but if you ask me? She's still in love with you-know-who.

[During Lex's experiment with the train set]
Kitty Kowalski: Wow, that's really something Lex.
Lex Luthor: Wait for it.
[nothing happens]
Kitty Kowalski: Wow, that's really something, Lex. It's freakin' Gone with the Wind.

Jason White: Hi.
Clark Kent: Hello.
Jason White: Who are you.
Clark Kent: Oh, I'm Clark Kent. I'm an old friend of your mom's, from before you were born.
Jason White: Really? She never mentioned you.
Clark Kent: Really? Never?
Jason White: Nope.

[Lois introducing Clark to Richard]
Lois Lane: Clark, Richard. Richard, Clark.
Richard White: Richard White.
Lois Lane: Richard's an assistant editor who basically saved our international section. He's also a pilot and he loves horror movies. Clark is... well, he's Clark.
Richard White: Good to finally meet you, I've heard so much.
Clark Kent: Oh, you have?
Richard White: Yeah, Jimmy just won't shut up about you.

Lois Lane: Can I ask you something? Have you ever met someone and it's almost like you're from totally different worlds, but you share such a strong connection that you knew you were destined to be with each other, and then he just takes off, without explaining why or without even saying goodbye? [turns around] Sounds cheezy, I know. Taxi!
Clark Kent: Well, maybe it was hard to say goodbye because he had to go and... he wanted to say goodbye but... maybe it was too difficult for him.
Lois Lane: Difficult? How is it difficult? What's wrong with goodbye?
Clark Kent: Who are we talking about again?

Richard White: So, I've noticed you've been acting a little different lately.
Lois Lane: Have I?
Richard White: You know, Lois... that article that you wrote-
Lois Lane: "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman"?
Richard White: No, no, no. No, the other one from years ago, before we met?
Lois Lane: Well, which article? I wrote dozens about him. I was practically his press agent.
Richard White: "I Spent the Night with Superman".
Lois Lane: Richard. Come on. It was the title of an interview. Plus, it was your Uncle Perry's idea.
Richard White: No, I know. It's okay.
Lois Lane: Richard... it was a long time ago.
Richard White: Were you in love with him?
Lois Lane: He was Superman. Everyone was in love with him.
Richard White: But were you?
Lois Lane: [long pause] No.

Kitty Kowalski: [slaps Lex] I was going to pretend the brakes were out! Pretend! Like we talked about! You didn't actually have to do that to them!
Lex Luthor: Of course I did. A man can always tell when a woman is pretending, especially Superman.

Lois Lane: Eh.
Perry White: Eh? These are iconic, and they were taken by a 12 year-old with a camera phone. What've you got, Olsen?
[Jimmy shows White a grainy photograph of a pair of buildings.]
Jimmy Olsen: ...I got those...
[In response to Perry's look, Jimmy points at a small dot, everyone gathers around.]
Jimmy Olsen: Look, in the sky, Chief.
Lois Lane: It's a bird.
Perry White: It's a plane.
Jimmy Olsen: No, look, it's...
Clark Kent: [Knocking and entering] Uh, you wanted to see me?

Lois Lane: But there are dozens of other stories out there!
Perry White: Yeah? Name one.
Lois Lane: Well, there was a museum robbery last night. Even Superman missed that one. [Taps photo of Superman with Kitty in his arms.] He was too busy saving this hooker.

Jimmy Olsen: Why don't you guys track down Lex Luthor? I mean, no one's seen him since his fifth appeal and he has more bad history with Superman than anyone, maybe he's got something to say?
Perry White: Luthor is yesterday's news.
Clark Kent: Jimmy, how did Lex Luthor get out of prison?
Jimmy Olsen: Well, the appeals court called Superman as a witness and he wasn't around. How much do you think that pisses off Superman?
Clark Kent: [seething with anger] A lot?
Jimmy Olsen: A lot.

Richard White: So with the Super-Hearing does he hear each sound by itself or everything all at once?
Lois Lane: Both.
Richard White: He's certainly a lot taller than I thought.
Lois Lane: 6'4".
Richard White: I love that he can see through anything. I'd have fun with that.
Lois Lane: Anything but lead.
Richard White: I bet he's-
Lois Lane: 225 pounds, faster than a speeding bullet, draws his powers from the sun, invulnerable to anything but Kryptonite, and he never lies.
Richard White: Kryptonite?
Lois Lane: Radioactive pieces of his homeworld. It's deadly. To him.

Lois Lane: Let's start with the big question. Where did you go?
Superman: To Krypton.
Lois Lane: But you told me it was destroyed ages ago.
Superman: It was. But when astronomers thought they found it... I had to see for myself.
Lois Lane: Well, you're back. And everyone seems to be pretty happy about it.
Superman: Not everyone. I read the article, Lois.
Lois Lane: Yeah, so did a lot of people. Tomorrow night, they're giving me the Pulitzer-
Superman: Why did you write it?
Lois Lane: How could you leave us like that? I moved on. So did the rest of us. That's why I wrote it. The world doesn't need a savior and neither do I.

Lois Lane: Clark said the reason you left without saying goodbye was because it was too unbearable for you. Personally, I think that's a load of crap.
Superman: Clark?
Lois Lane: Just a guy I work with.
Superman: Maybe Clark's right.
Lois Lane: You know my... [hesitates] Richard. He's a pilot. He takes me up all the time.
Superman: Not like this.

[Superman is flying high above Metropolis with Lois Lane]
Superman: Listen. What do you hear?
Lois Lane: Nothing.
Superman: I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn't need a savior. But everyday I hear people crying for one.

Richard White: We're having beef, honey. You want the tofu wrap or the veggie wrap? [notices Lois' disheveled look and silence] You okay?
Lois Lane: Uh-huh!
Richard White: Where've you been?
Lois Lane: [awkward pause] I was...up on the roof! Getting some air.
Richard White: Tell the truth now. [looks around at Clark and Jimmy. Jimmy awkwardly stuffs his face] Were you smoking?
Lois Lane: ....No.

(Lois is sneaking on board Lex Luthor's ship)
Jason Kent: Mommy, are we trespassing?
Lois Lane: No... yes... shhh.

Lex Luthor: And what is your name?
Jason White: I'm not supposed to talk to strangers.
Lex Luthor: Cute kid, and smart.
Lois Lane: Thanks.
Lex Luthor: But we're not really strangers, are we? This is kind of a little reunion, isn't it? Heck, I'm a fan! I love your writing... and your dress.
Lois Lane: I love your boat. How'd you get it? Swindle some old widow out of her money?
Lex Luthor: [laughs] Hey, didn't you win the Pulitzer Prize for my favorite article of all time "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman?"
Lois Lane: Didn't you have a few more years to go on that double life sentence?
Lex Luthor: Yes, well, we can thank the Man of Steel of that; I mean, he's really good at swooping in and catching the bad guys, but he's not so hot at the little things like Miranda Rights, due processing... making your court date.

Lex Luthor: What do you know about crystals?
Lois Lane: They make great chandeliers.
Lex Luthor: This crystal may seem unremarkable, but so is the seed of a redwood tree. It's how our mutual friend in tights made his arctic getaway spot. Cute, but a little small for my tastes.
Lois Lane: You're building an island?
Lex Luthor: You're not seeing the big picture here, Miss Lane. Let me enlarge it for you. [brings down another map] Not just an island. An entirely new continent. An extinct world, reborn, on our own.
Lois Lane: Why?
Lex Luthor: [confused] Land, Miss Lane. I mean- Kitty, what did my father used to say to me?
Kitty Kowalski: You're losing your hair?
Lex Luthor: No, before that.
Kitty Kowalski: Get out?
Lex Luthor: He said, "You can print money, manufacture diamonds and people are a dime a dozen, but people will always need land." It's the one thing we aren't making anymore.
Lois Lane: But the United States...
Lex Luthor: [brings down another map] Will be underwater. It's simple physics, Miss Lane. Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
Lois Lane: And the rest of the world will just let you keep it? They'll...
Lex Luthor: They'll... what? I'll have advanced alien technology. Thousands of years beyond what anyone can throw at me. Bring it on!
Lois Lane: But millions of people will die.
Lex Luthor: Billions! Once again the press underestimates me. Come on, let me hear you say it, just once, come on.
Lois Lane: You're insane!
Lex Luthor: No! [laughing] Not that, no, the other thing. I know it's just dangling off the tip of your tongue, let me hear it just once, please?
Lois Lane: Superman will never-
Lex Luthor: WROOOONNG!!!
[Lex shows Lois a piece of Kryptonite]
Lois Lane: What is that?
Lex Luthor: I think you know exactly what this is. Mind over muscle, Miss Lane. Mind over... [noticing Jason's looking at the Kryptonite] Who is that boy's father?
Lois Lane: [swallowing] Richard.
[Luthor is about to speak when his henchman calls through the radio]
Thug: Mr. Luthor, we're reaching the coordinates.
Lex Luthor: [looking at Lois] Are you sure?
Thug: [through the radio] Yes, sir.

Lois Lane: How did you get here?
Richard White: I flew.

Lex Luthor: [The crystal] It's like a seed, and all it needs is water.
Kitty Kowalski: Like... uhh... sea monkeys?
Lex Luthor: [sighs] Exactly, Kitty. Like sea monkeys.

Lex Luthor: See anything familiar?
Superman: I see an old man's sick joke.
Lex Luthor: Really? Because I see my new apartment. And a place for Kitty. One for my friends. And the place over there, I'll rent out. But, you know, maybe you're right. You know, maybe it- it is a little cold. It's, uh... uh, What's the word I'm searching for? It's a little... alien. It lacks that human touch.

Kitty Kowalski: Lex?
Lex Luthor: Mmm-hmm?
Kitty Kowalski: Are billions of people really going to die?
Lex Luthor: [casually] Yes.

[Lex Luthor and Kitty are stranded on an island in the middle of the ocean. Lex angrily throws a coconut into the ocean.]
Kitty Kowalski: Lex, we only had six of those!
Lex Luthor: Six? I would trade three hundred THOUSAND coconuts and every ounce of your blood, FOR A QUART OF GASOLINE! [points at their useless helicopter]
Kitty Kowalski: But what would we have to eat?
[Lex looks hungrily at Kitty's dog]

[last lines]
Lois Lane: Will we see you... around?
Superman: I'm always around. Goodnight, Lois.


Actor Role
Brandon Routh Clark Kent / Superman
Kate Bosworth Lois Lane
Kevin Spacey Lex Luthor
Marlon Brando Jor-El (Stock Footage)
Eva Marie Saint Martha Kent
James Marsden Richard White
Sam Huntington Jimmy Olsen
Tristan Leabu Jason White
Frank Langella Perry White
Kal Penn Stanford
Parker Posey Kitty Kowalski
James Karen Ben Hubbard
Stephan Bender Young Clark Kent
Jack Larson Bibbo Bibbowski/Bo the Bartender
Noel Neill Gertrude Vanderworth
Mike Massa 777 Pilot
Peta Wilson Flight Attendant Bobbie Faye


  • What I had noticed is that there weren't a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see The Devil Wear Prada, which may have been something I wanted to address. But when you're making a movie, you're not thinking about that stuff, you're thinking, 'Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.' And that's what I did.
  • I've always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses -- the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny. And this was a story about Christ -- it's all about sacrifice: The world, I hear their cries. So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I've always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy's for a summer movie.
  • I thought he'd make a really gay Superman but he didn't; it was more Jesus' Superman...a lot of Messianic poses and what not and I was hoping for a little more gay action.
    • Kevin Smith, A Complete History of American Comic Books by Shirrel Rhoades p.66

See also

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