Superman Rises is a 2003 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Superman. The film serves as a reboot of the Superman film series which began in 1978, with Christopher Reeve portraying Superman. The reboot was directed by Bryan Singer and stars Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey. The film's storyline deals with the origin story of the hero.


On Krypton, a scientist named Jor-El discovers that pressure is rising in the planet's core, which will eventually cause it to explode. Jor-El's desperate attempts to convince the Kryptonian elders of the imminent danger are unsuccessful. Out of options and time, Jor-El and his wife Lara place their infant son Kal-El in a small pod and launch him into space, shortly before Krypton explodes and the entire population is wiped out.

Kal-El's shuttle eventually crash lands on Earth, where he is found by Johnathan and Martha Kent. They take him in and he lives with them in Smallville, Kansas, where they rename him Clark Kent.

As he gets older, however, Clark comes to realise that he is not like other kids. He possesses impressive feats such as super speed and super strength. His adoptive parents then choose to inform him of his origin but Johnathan explains that he must keep his powers secret, which frustrates Clark. As he reaches 18, Clark's world is shattered when Johnathan suffers a heart attack and dies.

Shortly thereafter, Clark begins to hear voices which direct him to the Kent's barn, where he discovers a mysterious green crystal. The crystal informs that it's time for him to find himself and after he bids Martha an emotional farewell, Clark sets off on a long journey. 

Clark's search brings him to the Arctic, where the crystal transforms into the Fortress of Solitude. The Fortress contains a message for Clark from his father, Kal-El, explaining everything about him and tells him that there was a reason he was sent to Earth. Clark spends the next 12 years training and educating himself in the Fortress, emerging with a new blue costume with a red cape and the El family crest on his chest.

Clark, now ready to return to civilization, heads for the big bustling city of Metropolis. He meets the editor in chief of the Daily Planet newspaper, Perry White, and is employed as a reporter. His colleagues include teenaged photographer Jimmy Olsen and star journalist Lois Lane, who Clark quickly falls for. In his bumbling facade as Clark Kent, however, he is unable to win her affections.

His chance soon comes, however, when Lois gets involved in a helicopter accident atop the Daily Planet building and her life is put in danger. Clark wastes no time in changing into his Kryptonian suit and flying to her rescue.

Over time, more incidents occur and each time Clark comes to the rescue. Perry White orders all reporters to find out all they can about this mysterious new hero. Clark soon takes the opportunity to arrive in his costume at Lois' place and allows her to interview him. After he flies away, she says to herself "What a super man..." and then dubs him Superman, a name which sticks.

Meanwhile, billionaire Lex Luthor, the head of LexCorp, takes an immediate disliking towards Superman and becomes determined to create bad publicity. He hatches a plan to turn the public opinion against the hero, with the help of his personal chauffer and henchwoman, Mercy Graves. His plan ultimately fails, however, thanks to the combined efforts of Lois, Jimmy and Clark. Superman's reputation is saved.

The film's climax sees Air Force One, which is travelling over Metropolis, lose an engine, sending it into a steep decline. Superman rushes to rescue and in a thrilling finale, saves the plane and all on board. A disgusted Lex watches on TV as Superman is personally thanked by the President.


Brandon Routh - Ka-El/Clark Kent/Superman

Kate Bosworth - Lois Lane

Frank Langella - Perry White

Sam Huntington - Jimmy Olsen

Mike Farrell - Johnathan Kent

Eve Marie Saint - Martha Kent

Tristan Lake LeBeau - Young Clark Kent

Kevin Spacey - Lex Luthor

Parker Posey - Mercy Graves


The film was followed by Superman Returns and Superman Lives.

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