This is the first movie in the "Man of" Superman reboot series. It stars Michael Fassbender, James Spader, and Keri Russell. It was directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Doc Nygma and John Byrne. It was released on July 4, 2013 to mostly positive reviews.
- Michael Fassbender as Superman/Kal-El/ Clark Kent , as an infant, he was sent here from Krypton due to its impending doom. After 20 something years of hiding, he uses his powers to save Earth from one of his own.
- James Spader as Brainiac , a former Kryptonian scientist, he now roams the univrse, destroying planets and stealing their info.
- Keri Russell as Lois Lane , Clark's coworker whom he has a crush on.
- John Goodman as Perry White , Clark's boss.
- Matt Damon as Lex Luthor , a successful Metropolis businessman who conducts secret illegal activities. He is trying to buy the Daily Planet from Perry. He also makes a deal with Brainiac but is betrayed.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jimmy Olsen, Clark's roommate and best friend.
- Nick Stahl as Raymond Jensen/Parasite
- Matthew Goode as Ato'mic Skull/Joseph Martin
- Susan Sarandon as Martha Kent
- JK Simmons as Jonathan Kent
- Clive Owen as Jor-El
- James Gandolfini as Dan Turpin
- Bryan Cranston as Emil Hamilton
- Simon Pegg as Bibbo
- Billy Crudup as John Corben
- Cate Blanchett as Lara Lor-Van
- CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller
- Lisa Kudrow as Cat Grant
John Byrne cameos as a Planet employee who gets in the elevator with Clark while the theme from the 1978 Superman movie plays as elevator music. Chris Pine cameos as Bruce Wayne.
A rogue Kryptonian Science Council member, Vril-Dox, transforms himself into a cyborg with great powers, and disappears from sight. Five years later, another Science Council member, Jor-El discovers a series of devices implanted in Krypton's mantle that are emiiting a pulse, causing the core to heat up and eventually explode. As he gets up to go and warn the council, Dox reappears. Dox then presses a button that makes the devices explode, and they release an explosion as powerful as 10 nuclear bombs each. Dox then teleports back to his spaceship that is hovering over the planet. Jor-El has 90 minutes to prepare before it hits his house. Due to complications, only his month-old son Kal-El can fit in the family's experimental spacecraft. Jor-El and his wife, Lara, launch Kal-El's ship. As soon as it exits Krypton's atmosphere, a wormhole opens and swallows it (Jor-El had programmed the ship to create the wormhole, and chose Earth as the exit point because it's the closest planet with inhabitants that have Kryptonian-like physiology.). The wormhole opens over our atmosphere, and the ship crashes outside a farm in Smallville, Kansas.
A farmer named Jon Kent and his wife, Martha, find the ship. Over the next 17 years, the Kents raised Clark as their own, and instilling in him their ideals. Then one day, Clark falls off of a cliff, but flies back up. He then discovers his other superpowers. Jon advises that he hides these powers, and Clark takes his advice. Clark also discovers a green rock that seems to get rid of his powers.
When Clark is 25 yrs. old, he moves to Metropolis. He goes to find a job at the Daily Planet, but on his way there, he sees a girl being attacked by a robber. He attempts to stop it, but his powers misfire, killing the robber and the girl. Clark exiles himself, and over the next decade he hitchikes the globe taking various jobs. Finally, in Antarctica, he finds a crystalline Kryptonian structure that was created by a fragment of his ship. He sees a hologram of Jor-El, learns about Krypton, and figures out how to control his powers.
Clark returns, now at age 35, and gets a job at the Daily Planet where he meets and befriends Jimmy Olsen, who explains that their boss Perry White is currently nervous due to an offer by Lex Luthor to buy the struggling Planet. He moves into his apartment building, where he meets Dan Turpin, a cop and former friend of Jonathan. They become friends. Now, with his powers under control, Clark becomes a successful crimefighter. Lois Lane, his co-worker and crush, nicknames his alter-ego Superman. On his first assignment with Lois, he meets Lex Luthor at a dinner party. Afterwards, he pulls up files about Luthor that make him suspicious of the businessman. That night, he goes to Lexcorp as Superman and tells Lex that he is watching him.
Meanwhile, Brainiac finds Clark and his ship takes him to Earth. He deposits the same probes into Earth's surface (disguised as a rainstorm) that he used for Krypton, setting them to explode in five days. He also sends a larger probe containing a replica of himself in the form of a virus with his brain patterns that will steal all important Earth info.
Government official Amanda Waller discovers the larger probe and sends two agents, Raymond Jensen and Joseph Martin to examine it. They find the probe, but when they attempt to take any of the stuff, the failsafe kicks in, and their bodies are deformed. Jensen's skin is incinerated and the tendons and muscles disfigure, leaving him a purple mass of muscles and tendons with holes where his eyes and nose should be. Martin experiences more extreme effects. His entire body (except his skull) is incinerated. Martin is completely dead while Jensen is clinging to life.
Then, Brainiac offers to give him there lives back. He can give them powers, but can't make them human again. Jensen accepts for both of them. Brainiac revives Martin, and makes them promise that they will serve as hs advance agents on Earth, and that they must capture Superman and a human with great physical and mental qualities for his studies. Jensen and Martin name themselves Parasite and Atomic Skull. They promise and then proceed to attack random civilians before heading to their former HQ. They kill 6 civilians and 2 agents before Superman arrives and defeats them.
The two are imprisoned in a government base and are being interrogated by Dan Turpin and Amanda Waller. However, a power outage caused by Brainiac allows the two to escape unnoticed, leaving Lane and Waller strapped in the interrogation chairs.
Meanwhile, Clark has gotten enough courage to ask Lois on a date. She accepts, but while they are on their date, Clark hears about their escape. Clark disappears as Superman.
Meanwhile, war hero John Corben is receiving the Medal of Honor, but the ceremony is disrupted by Parasite and Atomic Skull. Superman comes and fights them. He has defeated Skull and is beating Parasite. However, Parasite was able to touch Superman for long enough to kill a normal human, but because of Superman's physiology, he loses only half of his powers. Parasite then disappears with Skull and Corben.
Superman visits Emil Hamilton to see the effects that Parasite had on him. Hamilton shows him that Parasite caused him to lose half of his powers and that unless he burns out the harmful substance it will continue to eat away at his powers and his life force.
Superman flies into the Sun and gets rid of the virus. He returns a couple of hours later with a plan to stop the villains. He enters Metropolis and sees the villains attacking the Daily Planet. He goes and fights them. After a long fight, he gains the upper hand and throws Atomic Skull into Parasite, who accidentally absorbs Skull's powers. Superman realizes that Parasite still has his powers. He has Turpin get the green rock and use it on Parasite. Parasite's powers are drained, and he escapes through a portal, leaving Skull behind.
Meanwhile, Luthor has made a deal with Brainiac after having discovered Brainiac's virus in his computers. He will keep quiet about the plan if Brainiac makes Luthor his partner. Brainiac accepts but plans on betraying Luthor.
Brainiac comes on live TV around the world and says that unless Superman comes to him, Earth will be destroyed. Lois Lane is there reporting the incident with Clark and Jimmy. Suddenly, Clark disapppears and Superman appears, flying towars the ship. Lois and Jimmy make a mental note of "Clark disappears, Superman appears."
He enters Brainiac's ship, which is 30 miles long in every direction. As soon as he enters, red sun radiation starts venting out causing Superman to lose his powers. He still searches for Brainiac, but Brainiac says that he lied and the bombs will activate in 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Parasite is torturing Corben. Corben breaks free with Parasite chasing after him. Corben switches off the red sun radiation, but is knocked out by Parasite. Superman uses his X-ray vision and smashes through to where Parasite is before he can reactivate the red sun radiation. Superman and Parasite fight (with Superman wearing a protective suit). Superman defeats Parasite and throws him through the hole in the wall that he made.
Meanwhile, the bombs have started activating. Brainiac also releses robots from his ship to attack the people. Dan Turpin leads the evacuation process/fight against the robots, but he is killed by debris. We see people evacuating Metropolis while Atomic Skull is killed by debris in the Daily Planet. Luthor shouts "We had a deal!" before taking off in his private jet. In Gotham, we see Bruce Wayne looking out the window and disappearing (to suit up as Batman).
Back on the ship, Superman and Corben are going to find the main control room. Brainiac approaches them, but Corben kills him with two bullets. Thinking this is too easy, Superman realizes it was a clone and suddenly a giant clone army attacks them. After a long fight, they finally dispatch the clones and move forward.
They eventually reach the main control room and find Brainiac. Superman fights him, while Corben searches for the button that will turn off the bombs. Corben is hit by falling debris and pinned down. Superman defeats Brainiac, but Brainiac presses a self-destruct button on the ship. Superman deactivates the bomb probes, saves Corben, and flies out of the ship while Brainiac mutters "Losers."
The ship then self-destructs and the bombs deactivate. All of the citizens are cheering except for Lois, Jimmy, and the Kents. Then, Superman and Corben fly out. Corben is missing alf of his right arm, his left leg, his right foot, and his left hand. A ceremony is held to honor Superman and Corben. When he is leaving, Lois walks up and says "Hey Smallville." which is how she greets Clark. Superman flies away, knowing that his secret is safe with her.
Post-Credit: Luthor walks into the hospital and makes a deal with Corben.
The film is dedicated to the memory of James Gandolfini, who played Dan Turpin in the movie. He died June 20, 2013 from a heart attack, two weeks before the movie premiered. He was 51 years old.