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The fictional character, an superhero in publications, has appeared in movies almost since his inception. He debuted in cinemas in a series of beginning in 1941, and then starred in two in 1948 and 1950. An independent studio,, released the first Superman feature film,, starring, in 1951.

and and purchased the Superman in 1974. After numerous scripts, was hired to direct the film, filming (1978) and (1980) simultaneously. Donner had already shot eighty percent of Superman II with before it was decided to finish shooting the first film. The Salkinds fired Donner after Superman's release and commissioned as the director to finish Superman II. Lester also returned for (1983), and the Salkinds further produced the 1984 spin-off before selling the rights to, resulting in the poorly reviewed (1987). Ilya Salkind commissioned a fifth Superman script before Warner Bros. acquired the rights entirely in 1993.

Over the course of eleven years, Warner Bros. would develop and then cancel 's Superman Lives, which would have starred, 's Batman vs. Superman, and the scripted Superman: Flyby, which went between directors and. The studio hired to take over the films in 2004, releasing in 2006, which starred newcomer. Donner's was also released that year. Despite positive reviews, Warner Bros. was disappointed with the financial performance of Superman Returns, and canceled Singer's proposed sequel. The studio nearly went in production of a film with directing and as Superman, but it was shelved in 2008 and the film series was in 2013 with, directed by with starring as Superman. Snyder and Cavill worked together again in and.


Early films and serials[]

Paramount cartoon shorts[]

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Superman first appeared in cinemas in a series of 17 theatrical animated shorts from between 1941 and 1943. They were released by. Of those seventeen, nine were produced by and further eight by its successor,.

Film serials[]

The first appearances of Superman in live-action film were in two serials for : in 1948 and in 1950, both starring and.

Superman and the Mole Men (1951)[]

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Superman and the Mole Men is a 1951 starring as and as. The film was produced by Barney Sarecky and directed by with the original screenplay by Richard Fielding (a pseudonym for and ). Shot on a low budget, it served as a trial run for the syndicated TV series, for which it became a pilot two-part episode titled "The Unknown People".

Christopher Reeve series (1978–1987)[]

Superman (1978)[]

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In 1973, producer convinced his father to buy the rights to Superman. They hired to pen a two-film script, and negotiated with to direct, though Alexander Salkind rejected him as went over budget.[] and signed on to play and respectively, and was hired to direct. However, Brando was faced with an obscenity lawsuit in Italy over, and Hamilton was unable to shoot in England as he had violated his tax payments. The Salkinds hired to direct the film. Donner hired to polish the script, giving it a serious feel with Christ-like overtones. was cast as Superman, having initially failed to impress the Salkinds before bulking up.[] Brando meanwhile, despite spending less than two weeks on the shoot,[] and not even reading the script until then, earned.7 million up front, plus 11.75% of the gross profits from the film.[] The film was a success both critically and commercially, being released during the Christmas season of 1978; it did not have much competition, leading the producers to believe that this was one factor in the film's success.

Superman II (1980)[]

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Shooting of the two films was marred by Donner's bad relationship with the Salkinds, with acting as mediator. With the film going over-budget, the filmmakers decided to temporarily cease production of II and move that film's climax into the first film. Despite Superman's success, Donner did not return to finish Superman II, and it was completed with Lester, who gave the film a more tongue-in-cheek tone. The Salkinds also cut Brando for financial reasons,[] while quit as composer due to turning his attention to other projects.[]Superman II was another financial and critical success, despite stiff competition with in the same year. In 2006, after receiving many requests for his own version of Superman II, and producer Michael Thau produced their own cut of the film and released it on November 28, 2006. The new version of the film received positive response from critics and the stars of the original film.

Superman III (1983)[]

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For the third installment, Ilya Salkind wrote a treatment that expanded the film's scope to a cosmic scale, introducing the villains and, as well as. The original outline featured a father-daughter relationship between Brainiac and Supergirl, and a romance between Superman and Supergirl, even though the two are cousins in the comics.[] Warner Bros. rejected it and created their own Superman III film that co-starred as computer wizard Gus Gorman, who under the manipulation of a millionaire magnate, creates a form of Kryptonite that turns the Man of Steel into an evil self. The retooled script pared Brainiac down into the film's evil "ultimate computer".[] Despite the film's success, fans were disappointed with the film, in particular with Pryor's performance diluting the serious tone of the previous films, as well as controversy over the depiction of the evil Superman. Salkind's rejected proposal was later released online in 2007.

Supergirl (spin-off film, 1984)[]

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Upon gaining the rights for the film , and his son,, also purchased the rights to the character of Superman's cousin.Supergirl was released in 1984 as a spin-off of the Reeve films; Reeve was slated to have a but he ultimately backed out of the production. It stars in her first motion picture in the title role, while (who received top billing) played the primary villain, Selena; the film also featured reprising his role as. Even though the film performed poorly at the box office, was nominated for a.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)[]

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picked up an option for a fourth Superman/Reeve film, with Reeve reprising the role due to his interest in the film's topic regarding nuclear weapons. However, Cannon decided to cut the budget of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace from million to million, with poor special effects and heavy re-editing, which contributed to the film's poor reception. Warner Bros. decided to give the series a break following the negative reception of the last two Superman films.

Abandoned projects[]

Superman V[]

Before the failure of, considered producing a fifth film with as director. Cannon's bankruptcy resulted in the film rights reverting to and. Ilya Salkind wrote the story for Superman V (also known as Superman: The New Movie) with writers and in the early-1990s.[] The story had Superman dying and resurrecting in the shrunken, bottled city of. The premise of Superman's death and rebirth coincidentally predated "". Salkind, Bates and Jones developed two drafts of the script, with set to reprise the title role.[]

Superman Reborn[]

"In any good Superman movie, the fate of the whole planet should be at stake. You've got to have villains whose powers and abilities demand that Superman (and only Superman) can be the one who stops them. That's the only way to make the movie exciting and a dramatic challenge."

—Writer Jonathan Lemkin on writing Superman Reborn:188

With the success of "" comic book storyline, Warner Bros. purchased the film rights of Superman from the Salkinds in 1993, and hired producer to develop a new Superman film. Peters in turn hired to write a new script.:188 Major toy companies insisted on seeing Lemkin's screenplay before the deadline of the 1993.:188

Lemkin's script, titled Superman Reborn, featured Lois Lane and Clark Kent with relationship troubles, and Superman's battle with. When Superman professes his love to Lois, his life force jumps between them just as he dies, giving Lois a. Their child, who grows 21-years-old in three weeks, becomes the resurrected Superman and saves the world.:188–189 Warner Bros. did not like the script because of the similar underlying with Bruce Wayne's obligations of heroism found in Batman Forever.:189

Peters hired to rewrite the script.:189 Poirer's December 1995 script had creating Doomsday, infused with " blood". Superman has romance problems with Lois Lane and visits a before he is killed by Doomsday. An alien named Cadmus, a victim of Brainiac, steals his corpse. Superman is resurrected and teams with Cadmus to defeat Brainiac. Powerless, Superman wears a until his powers, which, according to the script, are a mental discipline called "Phin-yar", return.:189 At Peter's request, Poirier had Superman wear an all-black suit at the end of the script.:189 Other villains included and. Poirier's script impressed Warner Bros., but was hired to rewrite. Smith thought that Poirier's script did not respect the Superman mythos properly.:189

Superman Lives[]

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Kevin Smith pitched Peters his story outline in late 1996, and was allowed to write the screenplay under certain conditions. Peters did not want Superman to fly,:190 arguing that Superman would "look like an overgrown Boy Scout." Smith wrote Superman flying as "a red-and-blue blur in flight, creating a every time he flew. Peters also wanted Superman to fight a giant spider in the third act.:190 Smith accepted the terms, realizing that he was being hired to execute a preordained idea.:190 Smith was also forced to write a scene involving Brainiac fighting a polar bear at the.:190 The 20th anniversary re-release in theaters also prompted Peters to commission a "space dog" that Brainiac could present to Luthor purely for merchandising appeal and toy sales. Peters also insisted that Brainiac's robot assistant was to be voiced by, calling the character, "a gay with attitude."

Smith's script, titled Superman Lives, had Brainiac sending to kill Superman, as well as blocking out the sun to make Superman powerless, as Superman is fueled by sunlight. Brainiac teams up with, but Superman is resurrected by a Kryptonian robot, the. Brainiac wishes to possess the Eradicator and its technology. Powerless, the resurrected Superman is sheathed in a robotic suit formed from the Eradicator itself until his powers return, courtesy of sunbeams, and defeats Brainiac. Smith's casting choices included as Clark Kent/Superman, as Lois Lane, as Lex Luthor, as, as, as the Eradicator, as Brainiac and as.[] Affleck would go on to portray Batman in the, beginning with in 2016.

was offered the chance to direct, but turned down the offer due to his commitment on, despite liking Smith's script.:191 Smith originally suggested to direct his script, and Burton signed on with a of  million. Warner Bros. originally planned on a theatrical release date for summer 1998, the 60th anniversary of the character's debut in., a comic book fan, signed on as Superman with a  million pay-or-play contract, believing he could "reconceive the character.":192 Peters felt Cage could "convince audiences he [Superman] came from outer space." Burton explained Cage's casting would be "the first time you would believe that nobody could recognize Clark Kent as Superman, he [Cage] could physically change his persona." was approached for the role of, while was Burton's choice for Brainiac, a role also considered for and.[], and had been approached for Lois Lane, while was cast as. confirmed his involvement, but when asked if he would be reprising his role as from Burton's Batman films, he would only reply, "Not exactly."[]

Filming was originally set to begin in early 1998. In the summer of 1997, Superman Lives entered pre-production,:193 with an art department employed under production designer. Burton hired to rewrite Smith's script. Smith was disappointed, stating, "The studio was happy with what I was doing. Then Tim Burton got involved, and when he signed his pay-or-play deal, he turned around and said he wanted to do his version of Superman. So who is Warner Bros. going back to? The guy who made, or the guy who made them half a billion dollars on Batman?":193 When Strick read Smith's script, he was annoyed with the fact that "Superman was accompanied/shadowed by someone/something called the Eradicator.":193 He also felt that "Brainiac's evil plot of launching a disk in space to block out the sun and make Superman powerless was reminiscent of of, with doing the Brainiac role.":193 However, after reading, Strick was able to understand some of the elements of Smith's script. Strick's rewrite featured Superman as an, thinking of himself to be an outsider on Earth. Superman is threatened by Brainiac and Lex Luthor, who later into "Lexiac," described by Strick as "a schizo/scary mega-villain.":193Superman is later resurrected by the power of 'K,' a natural force representing the spirit of, as he defeats Lexiac.:193

Art designer Sylvain Despretz claimed the art department was assigned to create something that had little or nothing to do with the Superman comic book, and also explained that Peters "would bring kids in, who would rate the drawings on the wall as if they were evaluating the toy possibilities. It was basically a toy show.":196 Peters saw a cover of, containing a picture of a skull, going to art department workers, telling them he wanted the design for Brainiac's space ship to have the same image. Burton gave Despretz a concept drawing for Brainiac, which Despretz claims was "a cone with a round ball on top, and something that looked like an emaciated skull inside. Imagine you take 's hat, and you stick a fish bowl on top, with a skull in it.":196 Concept artist Rolf Mohr said in an interview he designed a suit for the Eradicator for a planned scene in which it transforms into a flying vehicle.

"We got the Kevin Smith script, but we were told not to read it, because they knew he wasn't going to stay on the movie. So we used Kevin Smith's script as a guide to the sets we might be doing, and we waited and waited for the new script to come in, but it never did."

—Art designer Sylvain Despretz on designing Superman Lives:194

Burton chose, Pennsylvania as his primary filming location for,:197 while start dates for filming were pushed back. A minor piece of the Krypton set was constructed but then destroyed, and Cage had even attended a costume fitting.[] The studio was also considering changing the title Superman Lives back to Superman Reborn. Deeming Wesley Strick's script too expensive, Warner Bros. enlisted the help of to rewrite it into something more economically feasible. Gilroy lowered the 0 million budget set by Strick's draft to 0 million. However, the studio was still less willing to fast track production, due to financial reasons with other film properties,[] having Gilroy turn in two drafts. Ultimately, Warner Bros. chose to put the film on hold in April 1998, and Burton left to direct. At this point in production, Warner Bros had spent  million on developing the film.:198 Burton, citing various differences with Peters and the studio, said, "I basically wasted a year. A year is a long time to be working with somebody that you don't really want to be working with."

Disappointed by the lack of progress on the film's production, aspiring screenwriter/comic book fan Alex Ford was able to have a script of his (titled Superman: The Man of Steel) accepted at the studio's offices in September 1998. Ford pitched his idea for a film series consisting of seven installments, and his approach impressed Warner Bros. and Peters, though he was later given a farewell due to creative differences. Ford said, "I can tell you they don't know much about comics. Their audience isn't you and me who pay.00. It's for the parents who spend on toys and lunchboxes. It is a business, and what's more important, the 0 million at the box office or the 0 million in merchandising?"

With Gilroy's script, Peters offered the director's position to, and though they all turned down the offer. turned down the option in favor of. and were reportedly top contenders as well.[] In June 1999, was hired to write a new script, and Cage assisted on story elements. Cage dropped out of the project in June 2000,[] while Wisher turned in a new script in August 2000, reported to have contained similar elements with. was then approached to direct Wisher's script, but declined. Peters offered the role of Superman, but the actor turned it down over ethnicity concerns. The film's backstory was covered in the 2015 documentary film. Kevin Smith directed the ninth episode of the second season of, which was titled "Supergirl Lives" as homage to "Superman Lives".

In November 2016, Kevin Smith said that he was open to having the Superman Lives script be adapted as an animated film, with voicing and voicing. In October 2017, writer Michael Jelenic stated that he originally pitched an animated film based on Smith's Superman Lives script, saying that Warner Bros seriously considered it for a long time. According to Jelenic, Cage would have loved to voice Superman in the film, but the idea never materialized and Jelenic's pitch was eventually abandoned. In 2018, however, it was announced that Nicolas Cage has been cast to voice Superman in the upcoming animated film based on the TV show, which will be released on July 27 of the same year.

Batman vs. Superman (2001–2002)[]

Although it was widely reported that had become attached to Attanasio's script, in February 2002, was hired to write a new screenplay. It would ignore "" storyline, and instead, it would the film series with an origin story, going under the title of Superman: Flyby. The project had gone as far as being greenlit, but McG dropped out in favor of. The studio approached to direct Abrams' script; however, in August 2001, pitched an idea titled Batman vs. Superman, attaching Petersen as director. Abrams' script was put on hold, while was hired to rewrite Walker's draft which was codenamed Asylum.

Goldsman's draft, dated brandon routh superman body 2018 June 21, 2002, introduced attempting to shake all of the demons in his life after his five-year retirement from crimefighting.,, and are all dead. Meanwhile, is down on his luck and in despair after his divorce from. Clark serves as Bruce's best man at his wedding to the beautiful and lovely Elizabeth Miller. After Elizabeth is killed by the Joker at the honeymoon, Bruce is forced to don the once more, tangling a plot which involves, while Clark begins a romance with in and tries to pull Bruce back. In return, Bruce blames Clark for her death, and the two go against one another. Part of the script took place in, where Clark goes into exile with Lana Lang. However, is held to be responsible for the entire plot of Batman and Superman destroying each other. The two decide to team up and stop Luthor., who was being considered for the lead in 's adaptation at the time, was simultaneously approached by Peterson for the Superman role. Peterson confirmed in a 2010 interview the only other actor he approached for Superman was. Warner Bros. canceled development to focus on individual Superman and Batman projects after Abrams submitted another draft for Superman: Flyby. would later cast Bale as Batman the following year in. In the opening scene of, a large banner displays the Superman symbol within the Batman symbol in. It is meant as an by writer Akiva Goldsman, who wrote scripts for Batman vs. Superman and I Am Legend.

Superman: Flyby[]

Turning in his script in July 2002, ' Superman: Flyby was an origin story that included Krypton besieged by a civil war between and his corrupt brother Kata-Zor. Before Kata-Zor sentences Jor-El to prison, Kal-El is launched to Earth to fulfill a prophecy. Adopted by, he forms a romance with in the. However, Lois is more concerned with exposing, written as a government agent obsessed with phenomena. Clark reveals himself to the world as Superman, bringing Kata-Zor's son, Ty-Zor, and three other Kryptonians to Earth. Superman is defeated and killed, and visits Jor-El (who committed suicide on Krypton while in prison) in Kryptonian heaven. Resurrected, he returns to Earth and defeats the four Kryptonians. The script ends with Superman flying off to Krypton in a spaceship.

was hired to direct in September 2002, originally expressing an interest in casting an unknown for the lead role, while filming was to start sometime in late 2003. joined as project consultant, citing, who portrayed the teenage in, as an ideal candidate. Reeve added "the character is more important than the actor who plays him, because it is an enduring mythology. It definitely should be an unknown." Ratner approached,, and for Superman, but conceded that finding a famous actor for the title role had proven difficult because of contractual obligations to appear in sequels. "No star wants to sign that, but as much as I've told Jude and Josh my vision for the movie, I've warned them of the consequences of being Superman. They'll live this character for 10 years because I'm telling one story over three movies and plan to direct all three if the first is as successful as everyone suspects." Hartnett in particular was offered 0 million for a three-picture deal. Walker explained that "I could have made a gazillion dollars on that franchise. I could probably have bought my own fleet of jets or my own island. You know what? I don't need it.", and auditioned, along with as Lois Lane, but Kutcher decided not to pursue the role, citing scheduling conflicts with, the and fear of typecasting, while Boreanaz had to back out due to obligations with. stated in a 2006 interview that at one point he was approached by Ratner. Although it was never formally announced, confirmed he was in the running for the lead role, being Ratner's preferred choice at the time. Bomer would later voice the character in the 2013 animated film. had also auditioned for Lois Lane, and would eventually win the role eight years later when she was cast in.

Superman: Flyby was being met with a budget exceeding 0 million, not including money spent on Superman Reborn, Superman Lives, and Batman vs. Superman, but Warner Bros. was still adamant for a summer 2004 release date. was in negotiations for, while Ratner wanted to cast as Jor-El, and as Lex Luthor, two of his cast members in. turned down a chance to audition as Superman in favor of the villain Ty-Zor, before Ratner dropped out of the project in March 2003, blaming casting delays, and aggressive feuds with producer.[]

returned as director in 2003, while Fraser continued to express interest, but had fears of typecasting. ESC Entertainment was hired for work, with Kim Libreri as visual effects supervisor and designing a certain "prototype suit". McG approached for, with an interest to cast an unknown for Superman, as Lois Lane and for. The director confirmed in a 2012 interview that had been cast as Lex Luthor. and were set to produce the film. McG also commissioned to rewrite the Abrams script. He wanted to shoot in Canada, which would have cost  million more than WB's preferred Australian locale. McG also shot test footage with several candidates, including,,, and before leaving, blaming budgetary concerns and filming locations. He opted to shoot in New York City and Canada, but Warner Bros. wanted Sydney. McG felt "it was inappropriate to try to capture the heart of America on another continent." He later admitted it was his. Abrams lobbied for the chance to direct his script, but Warner Bros. replaced McG with in July 2004, resulting in, that was released in 2006.

In August 2013, mentioned that was considering turning unproduced scripts and screenplays into original animated films and had expressed interest in making an animated adaptation of the Flyby screenplay.

Superman Returns (2006)[]

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Following the departure of Ratner and McG,, who was said to be a childhood fan of 's, was approached by Warner Bros. He accepted, abandoning two films already in pre-production, (which, coincidentally, would come to be directed by Ratner) and a remake of. The film uses the events of and, to less of a degree, as backstory, while completely ignoring the events of and. Singer's story tells of Superman's return to Earth following a five-year search for survivors of Krypton. He discovers that in his absence Lois Lane has given birth to a son and become engaged. Singer chose to follow Donner's lead by casting relatively unknown as Superman, who resembled somewhat, and more high-profile actors in supporting roles, such as as. Singer brought his entire crew from to work on the film. Via digitally-enhanced archive footage, the late appeared in the film as. Superman Returns received positive reviews and grossed approximately 1 million worldwide.

In February 2006, four months before the release of Superman Returns, Warner Bros. announced a summer 2009 theatrical release date for a sequel, with Bryan Singer returning as director.,,,,, and were expected to reprise their roles, however, with the release of Superman Returns in July 2006, Warner Bros. was hesitant on moving forward with development. Warner Bros. President explained that Superman Returns was a very successful film, but that it "should have done 0 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 0 million! I don't know what constitutes under-performing these days ..." Filming was supposed to start in March 2008; no screenplay was ever written, but Singer would have titled it Man of Steel, with an interest in as the main villain. Singer stressed that it would have been more action-packed than Superman Returns. while writer was interested in using. "In my mind, if the Kryptonians really were a space-faring race ... it would only make sense that there would've been colonies and off-planet missions ... other Kryptonians making their way to Earth seemed like a pretty big one. It wouldn't necessarily be evil right off the bat. That's too easy and cliché ... I think it'd be interesting to see how these other Kryptonians show up, land and have all these powers and [have to learn] how to adapt to them."

Warner Bros. commissioned husband and wife duo Michele and to write a script for a Justice League film in February 2007, halting development for the Superman Returns sequel. The Justice League script was submitted to Warner Bros. the following June, which prompted the studio to immediately fast track production. Singer went on to film the following month, and signed to direct Justice League: Mortal in September 2007. The script would have featured a different Superman in a separate continuity from Singer's film; Routh was not approached to reprise his role for Justice League: Mortal, which ended up going to. The film nearly went into production in March 2008, but the denied Warner Bros. their 40 percent tax rebate and Cotrona's eventually expired. With Justice League: Mortal canceled, Singer renewed his interest in the Superman sequel that same month, stating that it was in early development., president of DC Comics, still expected Routh to reprise the title role, but Routh's contract for a sequel expired in 2009. "Superman Returns didn't quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to," Warner Bros. President of Production Jeff Robinov admitted in August 2008. "It didn't position the character the way he needed to be positioned. Had Superman worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009. Now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all."

DC Extended Universe[]

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This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2016)

Man of Steel (2013)[]

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In June 2008, Warner Bros. took from comic book writers, screenwriters and directors on how to restart the Superman film series. During story discussions for in 2008,, aware that Warner Bros. was planning a Superman reboot, told his idea on how to present Superman in a modern context. Impressed with Goyer's concept, Nolan pitched the idea to the studio in February 2010, who hired Nolan to produce and Goyer to write based on the financial and critical success of. Nolan admired Singer's work on Superman Returns for its connection to 's version, and previously used the as casting inspiration for. was hired as the film's director in October 2010. Principal photography started in August 2011 in, before moving to and. The film stars as //, as, as, as, as, as, and as.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)[]

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and Zack Snyder are set to write and direct a sequel to Man of Steel, respectively. is also expected to return as producer, albeit in a lesser role than he had in the first film. On June 16, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that the studio is possibly planning to release the sequel in 2014. Warner Bros. announced that Superman and Batman will unite in a new film which will be the follow-up to Man of Steel, set for release in 2015. Goyer stated at the Superman 75th Anniversary Panel at 2013, that Batman and Superman would face off, and titles under consideration are Superman Vs Batman and Batman Vs Superman. On August 22, 2013, it was announced that was cast as. On December 4, 2013, it was reported that was cast as.

On January 17, 2014, it was announced that the film had been delayed from its original July 17, 2015 release date to March 25, 2016, in order to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story". On January 31, 2014, and were cast as and, respectively. In an official press release, Snyder described the casting of Eisenberg as Luthor by stating, "Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions."

Justice League (2017)[]

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Shortly after filming had finished for Man of Steel, Warner Bros hired to script a new Justice League film in June 2012. With the release of Man of Steel in June 2013, Goyer was hired to write a new Justice League script, with the Beall draft being scrapped. In April 2014, it was announced that would also be directing Goyer's Justice League script. Warner Bros. was reportedly courting to rewrite Justice League the following July, after having been impressed with his rewrite of Batman v Superman. In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced the film would be released in two parts as the fifth and ninth installments of the shared universe, with Part One releasing in 2017, and Part Two in 2019. Snyder will direct both films with Henry Cavill set to reprise his role as Superman.

Untitled Man of Steel sequel (TBA)[]

In October 2014, a Man of Steel sequel was announced with an intended release between 2016 and 2020. In August 2015, revealed to DC Movie News on the Popcorn Network that the studio are rumored to have as the director for the sequel. In June 2016, Russel Crowe confirmed that a Man of Steel trilogy was originally planned before it was scrapped due to the announcement of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In August 2016, The Wrap reported that the studio had announced that the sequel was in development as a top priority for the studio and getting the character right for audiences was of tantamount importance. The news of a standalone Superman film were later confirmed by Dany Garcia, Henry Cavill's manager. While promoting, Amy Adams confirmed work has begun on the screenplay. Shortly after the release of Justice League, Cavill revealed he is under contract to play Superman for one more film.


Recurring characters[]

List indicator(s)

  • This table only includes characters which have appeared/appearing in multiple films.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's presence in the film has not yet been announced.
  • A V indicates a voice-only role.
  • A C indicates a cameo role.
  • A P indicates an appearance through photograph(s).
  • A Y indicates a role as a younger version of the character.
  • A O indicates a role as an older version of the character.
  • A A indicates an appearance through archivial footage, stills or audio.

The corpse of the now-deceased also appears in the film in a crucial role, however, did not film any scenes for the film and his corpse was created using the physique of fitness model and a head-shot of Shannon.

Non-recurring characters[]


Box office performance[]

dagger indicates that the film in the series is currently playing

Film Release date Box office gross Ref(s) North America Other
territories North America North American
gross when adjusted
for inflation Other
territories Worldwide

December 15, 1978

4,218,018 3,591,482 6 million 0,218,018 June 19, 1981 December 4, 1980 8,185,706 1,323,781.2 million 0,385,706

June 17, 1983

,950,623 7,302,667.2 million,150,623 November 21, 1984 July 19, 1984,296,438,675,850



July 24, 1987

,681,020,778,038  million,681,020

June 28, 2006

0,081,192 2,884,960 1 million 1,081,192

June 14, 2013

1,045,518 5,764,106 7 million 8,045,518

March 25, 2016

0,360,194 6,864,790 2.3 million 2,662,631 Total,153,818,709,866,197,806,399.7 million,553,521,146

Critical and public response[]

Film Superman: The Movie 94% (63 reviews) 86 (11 reviews) N/A Superman II 85% (47 reviews) 87 (11 reviews) N/A Superman III 25% (44 reviews) 42 (9 reviews) N/A Supergirl 7% (27 reviews) N/A N/A Superman IV: The Quest for Peace 12% (41 reviews) 22 (10 reviews) C Superman Returns 75% (260 reviews) 72 (40 reviews) B+ Man of Steel 55% (303 reviews) 55 (47 reviews) A− Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 27% (380 reviews) 44 (51 reviews) B


The initial four Superman films were released previously on, and throughout the film series' history, three of the films have been released by Warner Bros. The first occurred on May 1, 2001, when The Complete Superman Collection was released both on DVD and, containing that year's DVD/home video releases of Superman, Superman II, Superman III, and Superman IV. The set was valued at US.99 for the DVD release and US.99 for the VHS release, and received positive reviews.

The four Christopher Reeve films were again released on November 28, 2006, in new DVD releases to coincide with, also released in that year. Superman was released in a four-disc '' similar to Superman II, which was released in a two-disc special edition. Both Superman III and IV were released in single disc '', and all four releases were available together in The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection, an 8-disc set that was valued at US.92. Like the 2001 set before it, The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection received positive reviews.

Also on November 28, 2006, a 14-disc DVD box set titled Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition was released, containing Superman, Superman II,, Superman III, Superman IV, Superman Returns, and, among other releases. All contents of the set were housed within a case. The set was valued at US.92, and received extremely positive reviews when first released. However, after only a day on the market, Warner Bros. announced that there were two errors discovered within the set. The first was that the 2.0 audio track on Superman, was instead the 5.1 audio track already on the disc. The second was that the Superman III disc was not the 2006 deluxe edition as advertised, but the 2001 release instead. The set was soon recalled, and Warner Bros. offered a toll-free number to replace the faulty discs for people who had already purchased the set. Due to popular demand, a corrected set was released and Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition returned to store shelves on May 29, 2007.

On October 14, 2008, another Christopher Reeve Superman film collection was released, entitled Superman: 4 Film Favorites, containing all four films, but with far less bonus material than previous sets. The collection was a 2-disc set that included the first disc of both special editions from the 2006 release and both deluxe editions.

On April 1, 2011, it was announced that the entire Superman anthology would be making its way to for the first time. The anthology box set was released on June 7, 2011.

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