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Superman II (1980)

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Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.


Richard Lester, Richard Donner (uncredited)


Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman), Joe Shuster (character created by: Superman) | 4 more credits »
3,279 ( 158)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Lex Luthor
Christopher Reeve ... Superman / Clark Kent
Ned Beatty ... Otis
Jackie Cooper ... Perry White
Sarah Douglas ... Ursa
Margot Kidder ... Lois Lane
Jack O'Halloran ... Non
Valerie Perrine ... Eve Teschmacher
Susannah York ... Lara
Clifton James ... Sheriff
E.G. Marshall ... The President
Marc McClure ... Jimmy Olsen
Terence Stamp ... General Zod
Leueen Willoughby ... Leueen
Robin Pappas Robin Pappas ... Alice


Picking up where "Superman: The Movie" left off, three criminals, General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa, (Sarah Douglas), and Non (Jack O'Halloran) from the planet Krypton are released from the Phantom Zone by a nuclear explosion in space. They descend upon Earth where they could finally rule. Superman, meanwhile, is in love with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), who finds out who he really is. Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) escapes from prison and is determined to destroy Superman by joining forces with the three criminals. Written by Keith Howley <lald@ptdprolog.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Man of Steel meets his match! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | UK | Canada


English | French | Russian

Release Date:

19 June 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Superman 2 See more »


Box Office


$54,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,100,523, 21 June 1981

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Richard Donner Cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


On the first day of filming, set designer John Barry suddenly collapsed on the nearby set of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and died from meningitis. Peter Murton was then hired in Barry's place. See more »


When Non knocks Perry out by lifting him up into the ceiling, a crew member in the lower right corner of the screen is holding Perry's hand. See more »


[first lines]
Krypton guard: Alert, alert, alert.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits incorporate an extensive amount of footage from the first Superman movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

Superman is chased over the Metropolis river and city by Non in a far more exciting and action packed scene (which is abbreviated in theatrical version). During this chase General Zod can be heard shouting "Kill him, kill him!". The scene ends when Superman goes around a building at a sharp angle, Non follows him but chips off a huge piece of the building, scene then flows into the theatrical version, with Superman looking behind to see Non, with General Zod saying in the background "Come on kill him."
  • General Zod says to Lex Luthor during the flight to Superman's Fortress. Zod: "I trust, you do not waste my time, Lex Luthor!" Lex Luthor: "Of course not, your turbulance!"
See more »


Referenced in Justice League: A Better World: Part II (2003) See more »


Composed and Conducted by Ken Thorne
Original Material Composed by John Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best sequel theatrical cut is my second peronal favorite "Superman" sequel of all time
30 August 2018 | by rambofan4lifeSee all my reviews

Superman II (1980) Richard Lester version in my opinion is the best sequel of all time. The romance and two story's in the film makes it a good and heart in the film. It is my second personal favorite film in the franchise. I love that the film was made in the 80's and I am huge fan with Superman I and II so yes it is my second favorite film of all time. I grow up watching this movie. I saw it as a kid and I watch it on VHS tape 20 years ago. As a kid I loved this film to death it was my number 1 favorite Superman film and I still love it. Superman the Movie is my number 1 favorite Superman movie this is my number 2 Superman film. My idol in DC superheroes is Superman Christopher Reeve it always will be.

I know this movie is criticized by everyone from fans trough actors. The producers Salkinds fired Richard Donner when the first Superman film was released in 1978 and become a hit. The Salkinds did not agree with Richard Donner's vision and they fired him. He was replaced by Richard Lester and Lester re-shot most of the film. Only about 30% of Donner's work remained. This film is a completely step down form the first film, Marlon Brando is missing and he is replaced lucky by Susannah York who played Lara in the first film. Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrine are completely missing from this film. We know what happened to Otis he was caught in prison but what happened to Valerie Perrine as Ms. Teschmacher she disappeared trough whole film.

The film is split in to two half's one focus on Clark Kent and Lois Lane love romance relationship the other was focusing on the three villains. The first half: Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane. I thought the love sequence between Superman and Lois worked fine in the movie.

The second half: three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth. General Zod, Ursa and Non. Those three Kryptonian kills people and they have less humor than the first three villains in the original film did. This movie has a dark tone but I still prefer this version over Richard Donner's version which I think it is highly overrated in my opinion. Christopher Reeve still did a good solid job playing Clark Kent/Superman. Margot Kidder was much better than she was in the first film, she was a hot lady. Richard Lester did a good job directing this film.

I like the opening sequence in which Superman fly's in to Paris saves Lois in the elevator and throws the bomb away in to space. I like the attack on a white house from General Zod, Ursa and Non that was epic in the film. I like Superman saving a kid in the Niagara Falls. I like in which Clark teaches a trucker a lesson on the end of the film I like the song too. John Williams music score is still great. Good acting performance from Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Terence Stamp and Sarah Douglas those 4 of the cast are the reason too watch this movie. I like the battle in Metropolis in which Superman saves a young mommy and her baby, turn's off the fire from a oil truck caused by Zod, I love that. I love great shot of Superman returning the American flag to the White House saying to the President that he is sorry he had been away for a while - and that it won't happen again.

I respect Sarah Douglas so much because was the only cast member to do extensive around-the-world press tours in support of the film and was one of the few actors who held a neutral point of view in the Donner-Lester controversy.

R.I.P. - Christopher Reeve (1952 - 2004) the only Clark Kent/Superman who we always be my favorite superhero of all time!

R.I.P. - Margot Kidder (1978 - 2018) it is sad that Lois Lane died by age 69. I have nothing but respect towards the actress. I really miss her.

I love this film to death, the best sequel of all time. Superman I and II are the best movies about Superman ever. The attack of the White House from three villains is still memorable for me. I love this movie to death.

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