- Directors: Bryan Singer
- Producers: Bryan Singer, Gilbert Adler, Jon Peters
- Writers: Screenplay, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Story, Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Characters, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
- Actors: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, James Marsden, Parker Posey
Superman has been missing for several years, having traveled to where astronomers believed they had discovered the remains of Krypton. During his absence, Lex Luthor was released from prison and married a rich widow to obtain her fortune upon her death. Superman returns to Earth and, as Clark Kent, resumes his job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, and learns that Lois Lane has won the Pulitzer Prize for her article â€œWhy the World Doesn’t Need Supermanâ€. Meanwhile, Luthor travels to the Fortress of Solitude and steals Kryptonian crystals. During an experiment with the crystals, Lex causes a worldwide power outage. The power loss interferes with the flight test of a space shuttle attached to a Boeing 777, occupied by Lois Lane who is covering the story. Clark flies into action as Superman and stops the plane from crashing onto a baseball stadium, which is full of spectators.
The world rejoices at Superman’s return, but Lois is more concerned with the blackout. Clark later meets her fiance Richard White, nephew of Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White, and their son, Jason. Clark is emotionally hurt when he overhears a conversation between Lois and Richard in which she says she never loved Superman. He then stops a bank heist, and saves Kitty Kowalski, Luthor’s co-conspirator. With Superman distracted, Luthor steals Kryptonite from the Metropolis Museum of Natural History. Perry assigns Lois to interview Superman while Clark investigates the blackout. That night, Superman arrives at the Daily Planet and takes Lois for a flight, during which he apologizes for leaving her and tells her that, because of his superhuman hearing, he knows the world needs his protection.
Meeting Luthor, Superman discovers the landmass is filled with Kryptonite, which weakens him to the point that Luthor and his henchmen are able to beat him. Superman is stabbed by Luthor with a shard of Kryptonite and falls into the ocean. Lois makes Richard turn back to rescue Superman, whereupon she removes the Kryptonite from his back. Superman, after regaining his strength from the sun, lifts the landmass after putting layers of earth between him and the Kryptonite. Luthor and Kitty escape in their helicopter; Kitty, unwilling to let billions of people die, tosses away the crystals that Lex stole from the Fortress of Solitude. She and Luthor are stranded on a desert island when their helicopter runs out of fuel. Superman pushes the landmass into space, but is weakened by the Kryptonite and crashes back to Earth. Doctors remove more Kryptonite from Superman’s wound, but after it is removed they cannot penetrate his skin with their surgical tools. While Superman remains in a coma, Lois and Jason visit him at the hospital where Lois whispers a secret into Superman’s ear and then kisses him. Superman later awakens and flies to visit Jason, reciting Jor-El’s last speech to Jason as he sleeps, the way his father did to him. Lois starts writing another article, titled â€œWhy the World Needs Supermanâ€. Superman reassures her that he is now back to stay, and flies off to low orbit, where he gazes down at the world once again.