Superman Returns (2006)
Frequently Asked Questions
Superman Returns is based on a script by writers Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, and Bryan Singer. The Superman character is, of course, based on the fictional character created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster in 1932 and sold to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1938. Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938), and the rest is history.
Superman Returns has what has been described as a "loose continuity" with Superman (1978) (1978) and Superman II (1980) (1980) in that it re-establishes Donner's Superman continuity for a modern audience, so some consider it to be a sequel. The reason for re-establishing the continuity has to do with the large gap of time between this film and the first two installments. The film's director, Bryan Singer, felt it was necessary to refresh the audience's memory, as well as honor Donner's work, by including similar situations and dialog amidst new plot elements that set the film apart as its own. It was also meant as a passing of the torch to Singer and the cast and to provide closure to the older stories. There are numerous references to the original 1978 film in particular, although the continuity is not exact upon close scrutiny and, of course, all roles except Marlon Brando as Jor-El have been recast (though Glenn Ford does appear in a photo of Jonathan Kent on the mantle). In the final two, Christopher Reeve Superman installments, Martha Kent is deceased, creating one major breach of continuity between the third and fourth installments and Singer's film. The film is meant to have taken place after the second film, however, and discounts the "history" established in the third and fourth installments (Superman III (1983) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)).
It may seem incongruous that Superman can lift a large portion of Lex Luthor's Kryptonite-laced continent and hurl it into space. However, he first gathers strength from the Earth's "yellow" sun (his traditional power source), and then using the insulation of the bedrock between himself and the Kryptonite to temporarily protect him until the Kryptonite grew into the bedrock. While under the continent, Superman could have spent an indeterminate amount of time "excavating" underneath to separate it from the ocean floor with his eye beams to achieve the necessary amount of protection. It can also be said that he gets far on sheer force of will. The Herculean effort, and the exposure to the Kryptonite, does nearly kill him. One must also understand that this is loose continuation of the original Superman movie and its first sequel, where Superman was based on the Silver Age version of Superman. That Superman, as well as the current Superman almost again, has unlimited strength. The idea that crystals inherit the traits of the minerals around them is what is left to be addressed. Though this is true to an extent, crystals cannot simply be used to make an exact duplicate of any solid element. The Kryptonite emulated by the crystal was then diluted, dampening its potency to an unknown degree. This is evidenced by the fact that Superman was only weakened by contact with the continent. A true continent made of pure Kryptonite would have killed him before he even landed on it. Assuming that this crystal will also continue absorbing mineral traits, once the emulated Kryptonite crystals hit the ocean bedrock, it was diluted once more, absorbing the traits of the minerals contained within the ocean floor. Also, the chunk of Kryptonite that Lex stole was already diluted in the first place by earth rock, having been filtered through the crystalline minerals already in the Addis Ababa mine where it came from. Thus, what Superman was exposed to on the surface of the continent was much more potent than what was on the bottom of the continent.
1. Lex Luthor's plot to get rich(er) by acquiring a large amount of land, whilst killing millions and billions of people in the process.
2. The dialog between Lex and his principal female accomplice (Kitty Kowalski this time and Eve Teschmacher the last time) about what his father used to tell him. And her later showing of emotion at a crucial time.
3. After saving an aircraft with Lois on board, Superman says, "I hope this doesn't put any of you off flying. Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel." And, as in the first movie, Lois faints after Superman flies away.
4. Superman stops Lois from lighting a cigarette on a balcony before he takes her on a night-flight.
5. Clark Kent bumps into Lois, her purse falls to the floor, things fall out, and he helps her pick them up.
6. Clark and Lois and a revolving door.
7. Clark says, "Swell."
8. Young Superman running in a cornfield and throwing a ball to the horizon.
9. Superman's spacecraft and its skid marks on the ground.
10. Line about a news story concerning a massacre.
11. The piece of meteorite from Krypton found in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
12. Lex's wig collection.
13. John Williams' theme returns for the new film, re-composed by John Ottman.
14. The title graphics, while not the same, are designed in a similar style to the original. In the original film, they fly into the screen. In this film they do the opposite.
15. Marlon Brando plays Jor-El.
16. Kitty and Miss Teschmacher are both involved in a car accident, both designed by Lex Luthor as a distraction so that Luthor himself can steal a missile in the first film and a piece of Kryptonite in Superman Returns.
17. Lois's newspaper article "I spent the night with Superman" is referenced.
18. Superman nearly drowns in both films, due to Lex.
19. In the first film, Clark Kent has trouble hailing a taxi until Lois whistles one down. In this movie, it is Clark who whistles down the cab after Lois has trouble hailing one.
20. Superman is shot in the chest with a machine gun on a rooftop in both movies.
21. In both films, Superman nearly drowns from being exposed to kryptonite by Lex Luthor personally: a kryptonite necklace in the first film and the shard of kryptonite he's stabbed with in the second. Also, in both films a female character has to jump into the water to save him (Miss Teschmacher in the first and Lois in the second).
He shouts, "I'm still Superman!"
The song is a famous duet called "Heart and Soul" and is one of the first songs many learn to play on the Piano. It's also the same song played by Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia in the film "Big" on FAO Schwartz's giant piano.
In the original Superman movies, based on the silver age comic book superhero, Superman's costume was woven from blankets that arrived with him in the rocket that brought him from Krypton. His boots, belt and so on were crafted from other parts of the rocket, such as the upholstery, safety harness, etc. Under the Earth's "yellow" sun, they became invulnerable, just as he does. Later comics introduced the idea that a natural bio-electric aura accounts for part of Superman's invulnerability acting like a natural force field mere millimeters from his skin, this accounts why his costume (made of normal materials in these comics) is often protected. It was common in the newer comics for Superman's cape, not close enough to his body to be protected by the aura, to be torn to shreds during his activities. During Superman Returns, no damage is shown to occur to his cape, leading to speculation that the movie uses the earlier costume premise. It seems that a doctor or nurse yanks his suit top from his chest when he enters the emergency room. However, the doctor is heard saying "here it is" immediately prior to removing the suit top, indicating that he found some kind of zipper or quick-release fastener.
Metropolis is a fictional port city located somewhere on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Where exactly varies depending on the source. The four superman movies made in 1978, 1980, 1983 and 1987, starring Christopher Reeve, do not specify its location, but based on the existence of various real-life landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, it must be a stand-in for New York City. In the DC Comics Universe, it is considered to be in New York State (which also is said to be geographically larger than its real-life counterpart). Some sources had previously placed Metropolis on the shore of Delaware Bay in the state of Delaware, across from Gotham City (from the Batman universe). However, this has been superseded by more recent continuity. In Superman Returns, when Lex Luthor unveils his plan on a series of maps, Metropolis can be seen located on a Northeastern U.S. map exactly where New York City would be. (Also, on a side note, Long Island is not present at all.) In the TV series Smallville, Metropolis must be located either in Kansas, or close by in a neighboring state, as the show has established that (1) Smallville is in Kansas, and (2) Metropolis can be seen from town on clear days in the distance. There is a real life town of Metropolis in Illinois. Upon entering the town, one is greeted by a statue of the Man of Steel.
The movie Superman (1978) located the fictional U.S. town where the baby Kal-El was found and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent in the state of Kansas. This tradition has carried through into subsequent Superman comic-book stories, animation, and television series. Earlier comics however placed Smallville in the northeastern United States, somewhere near the eastern seaboard. Also, some comics-related sources in the 1970s and '80s placed Smallville in the state of Maryland. In the TV series Smallville, Smallville has been established as being located in the state of Kansas and also close enough to Metropolis that on clear days, one can view it in the distance.
Jason spotted him. Remember the hurled piano? Jason was just beginning to discover his powers because of the stress from watching Brutus try to kill his mother. It's reasonable to assume that the super vision of his father would begin to take effect too, enabling him to spot Superman from the plane.
Kryptonite is a radioactive substance that only harms denizens of Krypton. Jason probably felt that radiation emanating from the piece Luthor had, however, because he was also part human it didn't have an immediate effect. Also his own immaturity might have lessened the effect because he hadn't fully discovered his own powers yet.