Superman Returns
Superman Returns
Directed by Bryan Singer
Produced by Jon Peters
Bryan Singer
Gilbert Adler
Written by Michael Dougherty
Dan Harris
Music by John Ottman
Release Date June 28, 2006
Running Time 154 minutes
Budget $270,000,000
Box Office $391,081,192
Film Series
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Superman II:
(Lester Cut)
(Donner Cut)

Superman Returns is a 2006 superhero film produced, co-written and directed by Bryan Singer. The film serves as the fifth and final installment of Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology. It stars Brandon Routh as Superman/Clark Kent, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, James Marsden as Richard White, Frank Langella as Perry White, and Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen. Marlon Brando (who died in 2004) reprises his role of Jor-El from the 1978 Superman film through the use of previous footage combined with computer-generated imagery.

The film tells the story of Superman returning to Earth after a five-year absence. Director Singer has said that Superman Returns uses Superman and Superman II as a vague history to the events of the film. By establishing the plot as taking place after the first two films, it consequently retcons Superman III, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace out of existence.

It was to be followed by a sequel Superman: The Man of Steel, but due to the film being a commercial disappointment and critical failure it was cancelled. DC later rebooted the Superman film series with 2013's Man of Steel which had no relation to Donner and Singer's films.


  • Marc McClure, who played Jimmy Olsen in the original Superman Anthology cameoed as a taxi driver.
  • Superman director Richard Donner had previously worked with Superman Returns director Bryan Singer on X-Men.
  • John Williams' musical score and themes were used in the film as another homage to the earlier films.
  • After Superman saves Lois Lane on a passanger aeroplane he tells them not to be put off flying as it is statistically the safest way to travel, echoing the same line from Superman: The Movie after Superman saved Lois from a runaway helicopter.

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