Superman: Metallo is a 2020 DC comics live action film and the sequel to the 2016 box office blockbuster Superman: The Last Son of Krypton, directed by Ben Affleck. Scott Porter and Olivia Munn return as Superman and Lois Lane, respectively, as does Wes Bentley as the villainous Lex Luthor. Joining the cast is Gerard Butler as John Corben/ Metallo.
- Scott Porter as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman- An alien from the planet Krypton who protects Earth as the superhero known as Superman. After the events of Justice League, public trust in Superman has increased somewhat.
- Olivia Munn as Lois Lane- Star reporter at the Daily Planet, who is Clark's co-worker and Superman's love interest. She suspects that Clark and Superman are the same person.
- Wes Bentley as Lex Luthor- The billionaire CEO of LexCorp Industries, whose company has begun tanking as a result of the US Government's investigation into him following the events of Justice League. He blames Superman for his fall from grace, and swears revenge against him.
- Gerard Butler as John Corben/Metallo- An ex-employee of LexCorp who is nearly killed in a car accident. Luthor uses his body for an experiment in which he replaces his heart with kryptonite, using him against Superman.
- David Krumholtz as Winslow Schott/Toyman- Another ex-employee of LexCorp with a history of mental unstability. Lex re-hires him to use his brilliance with technology to defeat Superman.
- Alan Arkin as Perry White- The editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet.
- Nicholas Braun as Jimmy Olsen- A young photographer at the Daily Planet.
- Kelly Preston as Martha Kent- Clark's adopted mother, who lives in his hometown of Smallville, Kansas.
- Powers Boothe as General Sam Lane- A four star Army general, who has replaced Amanda Waller as the director of ARGUS.
- Rainn Wilson as Dr. Emil Hamilton- A scientist who now works for ARGUS, and remains Superman's de facto 'physician'.
- Diora Baird as Cat Grant- A beautiful and seductive gossip columnist for the Daily Planet.
- Kyle MacLachlan as The President of the United States- America's president, who now trusts Superman and considers him to be a close ally to the American government.
The film opens with Lex Luthor giving a speech immediately after the events of Justice League, in which he announces that LexCorp will be funding a project to help rebuild the nation's capital. John Corben is then shown listening to the speech on his car radio, while he is also drinking liquor from his flask while driving. Luthor is then shown again with his assistant, and asks if the stock numbers are in. She tells him that LexCorp has gone down seven points. He punches a wall, and says that it's time for a new shift in focus. Corben is shown swerving his car, obviously drunk. He loses control while swerving out of the way of another car and the car flips over several times. Quick flashes of him being taken out of his car and into an underground operation room are shown. He eventually wakes up alone in the room, gets up, and then looks in a mirror. He sees that his body is covered in scars as a result of the accident, as well as a big green kryptonite rock being in the center of his chest. He screams in anger and punches the glass in the mirror, which shatters.
The film cuts to a severe car accident on the Metropolis bridge. A semi-truck is about to fall off of the bridge and into the water, when suddenly it stops. Superman is then shown pulling the back of the truck, saving the driver's life. He then sees that another car has caught on fire with three people still inside. He rushes over, tears open a door, and successfully gets the three people out of the car, and then puts out the fire with his breath. He then flies away.
Lois is then shown at her desk at the Daily Planet, where she is looking at Clark's school records from Smallville High School, clearly suspicious of him. She tries finding birth records, but cannot find anything. However, she is able to find reports of a mysterious crater site not too far from his hometown of Smallville, and recognizes some of the surrounding objects in the picture resembling the ship that her father studied that led to Brainiac's arrival.
Clark then arrives in the office, so Lois quickly closes out of her research. She then subtly asks him about his time in Smallville, and points out that he rarely ever talks about his childhood. Clark, clearly uncomfortable, just says that there really isn't much to talk about when you come from a town like Smallville, and then gets back to work. She then asks if he has ever considered getting contact lenses, but he replies that he prefers wearing glasses. She soon leaves, and Clark can clearly tell that she is somehow onto his secret identity.
John Corben is shown again in the lab, screaming for help and asking where he is. A team of scientists are shown looking at him through a one-sided glass window. Lex soon arrives and asks how it is going. The head scientist replies that he is clearly not happy with his current predicament, but Lex replies that they expected that. He then commands the head scientist to go in the room with him and talk to him. Although reluctant at first, the scientist eventually gives in to Luthor's demand, and enters the room. He tries speaking with Corben to explain why he is there, but Corben kills him out of rage before he gets a chance. Lex then thinks to himself about how to handle the situation.
Superman is then shown foiling a hostage situation in which he saves over forty lives. Lois and Jimmy cover the story, and it makes the front page of the news the next day, along with the passage of the 'Superman Act' in Washington DC, which makes it legal for those with superhuman abilities to use said abilities without government interference, as long as they are acting in the best interest of America. Lois Lane is interviewed by Anderson Cooper about the passage of the act, due to her repeated news coverage of Superman, in which she says that she is 110% supportive of it due to all of the good people like Superman and Wonder Woman have done for America and for the world. However, Lex Luthor soon joins in the interview and gives a counterargument, in which he argues that if the government is not allowed to interfere with those like Superman, then they could very well turn against the American government and then it would be too late for the government to do anything. Lois gets annoyed with Lex and points out that Superman hasn't done anything to threaten the American people. Lex then brings up the rumors that Lois and Superman have a sexual relationship. Lois is infuriated and storms out of the interview. Cooper then asks Lex about the recent downward spiral that LexCorp has been taking, but Lex says that LexCorp will be back on its feet in no time.
Superman is shown flying all over the earth, and going down whenever there is trouble. He then flies to Smallville, where his mother is thrilled to see him. The two of them discuss the recent passing of the Superman Act, and how he must now set a good example more than ever before. She tells him that he worries too much, and he tells her that he has taken it upon himself to be Earth's protector, and it is now his job to worry about the earth. She then asks about Lois, and points out that his eyes light up whenever he talks about her, making it obvious he has feelings for her. He tells her that Lois obviously suspects that Clark and Superman are the same person, so Martha suggests that he tell Lois the truth. He tells her that it would be too much for her to handle, and that he wouldn't want to put her in harm's way. Martha tells him to let Lois worry about that, but that if she wants to know the truth, and if Clark has feelings for her, he must tell her who he is.
The small apartment of Winslow Schott is shown. While he is working on a project, several masked men break in and put a bag over his head. They take him to a warehouse and tie him to a chair. They remove the bag from his head, and he sees that Lex is there. Schott is disgusted to see him, as Lex fired him a few years prior. Lex tells him that he has a deal for him, that will allow him to be very wealthy. Schott is clearly interested, and tells Lex to go on. Lex tells him that he needs him to reason with John Corben, as the two of them were close friends when they both worked at LexCorp. Schott asks if that is it, and Lex says no, and that after he reasons with Corben, there his something that requires both his and Corben's immediate attention. Schott asks what it is, and Lex says that it is Superman.
Lois begins trying to dig up dirt on Lex. Clark, suspecting that she is still trying to find out who he is, so he uses his x-ray vision to see what she is looking for. Once he sees that it is Lex Luthor, he begins worrying about Lois's safety, as he is aware of how dangerous Lex is. He pretends to casually stumble over and see her computer, and tells her that maybe she should steer clear of Lex Luthor. She tells him that she is not scared of Lex just because he has a lot of money, and she plans on taking him down.
Corben sits by himself in the lab, when the door opens again. He gets ready to attack again, but then sees that it is Schott who enters the room. He asks what he is doing there, and Schott tells him that they both have the opportunity to make a lot of money, but they'll both need to cooperate with their new employer. Corben asks who their employer is, and Schott tells him that it is Lex Luthor. Corben gets enraged at the sound of the name, and begins breaking things in the lab again. Schott calms him down and explains to him that Lex will give them millions of dollars in exchange for eliminating a certain target: Superman. Corben asks what Lex has against Superman, but Schott tells him he has no idea and really doesn't care. All he cares about is the money that they will both make as a result of this job. Corben thinks to himself for a little while, and then finally agrees to work with Schott and kill Superman.
Metropolis soon falls victim to the rampage of Corben, who begins killing innocent civilians to get Superman's attention. He soon becomes known to the public as the Metallo killer, due to his robotic-like bodily functions. Superman soon catches on to him, and is stunned when he sees that he has kryptonite implanted into his chest. Metallo beats Superman to a pulp, and nearly kills him, but Superman manages to get away.
Superman goes to ARGUS to see Dr. Hamilton. Hamilton aids Superman's wounds to the best of his ability, but tells him that he may have to retreat to the sun to become fully healed. Superman asks Dr. Hamilton if while studying kryptonite, he ever came across something that could possibly overpower it. Dr. Hamilton says no, but that he is sure that he could find something. Superman thanks him, and then tells him that he needs to see a friend about a favor.
He then goes, as Clark Kent, to see Diana Prince, who is now working at ARGUS due to being General Lane's secretary. Clark asks her if she could find a way into ARGUS's databases and find out whatever she can about Metallo. She tells him that she'd be committing a felony by doing so, but reluctantly agrees. He thanks her, and then goes back to Metropolis.
Corben and Schott then meet with Lex, who is furious at Corben for not being able to finish off Superman. Corben becomes annoyed at Lex's bickering and shoves him against a wall, but Schott is able to calm him down. Schott then tells both of them that he has designed a weapon that John could use against Superman that would surely kill him and leave him unable to escape.
Metallo soon begins causing rampage in the streets of Metropolis again, drawing out Superman. Superman fights him to the best of his ability while trying to avoid the kryptonite. However, he uses the weapon that Schott provided for him and shoots Superman. Superman collapses to the ground in pain, unable to get up. The people of Metropolis watch in horror as Superman is seemingly dying right in front of them. Lois, who is also present, steals a car and runs over Metallo. She then pulls Superman into the car and drives off.
Lois drives Superman with her to meet with Dr. Hamilton, and she begs him to save Superman. He is unsure if he will be able to do anything, but she continues to beg him, so he decides to attempt. After a while, Dr. Hamilton is able to get rid of the kryptonite radiation inside Superman's body, but he still goes into cardiac arrest due to the long amount of time the kryptonite was inside of him. Lois stands at his side in tears and repeatedly asks Superman to fight it. He is unable to, but then she kisses him and calls him Clark, and he all of a sudden begins healing slowly. Dr. Hamilton is amazed at his sudden resurgence, and then leaves Lois alone with him.
Lex commends Corben on his apparent defeat of Superman, and then tells him and Schott that he has another assignment for them. Corben is furious, and demands that Lex pay them the money he promised them. Lex says that he will, but only after they complete one more job. They grudgingly ask what it is, and Lex tells them that now that Superman is out of the way, he can move forward with something that he had been planning for years: a run for the presidency. However, due to the current president's high approval ratings, a challenge against him in the election would be next to impossible. He asks Corben to assassinate the president.
A little while later, Clark wakes up with Lois at his side. She asks him how much he remembers, and he tells her everything. He then asks her how she found out who he was, and she explains that after the incident in Washington DC, she had begun to wonder how it got past her that Clark and Superman looked identical except for a pair of glasses, and how Clark was out of town at the same time that Superman was in Washington DC defending the White House, and all of the other little things. Clark tells Lois that he should have known that she was too good a reporter to fool. She then tells him that she should have figured out a while back, but there was something in the way. He asks her what it was, and she tells him that it was love, because she had fallen in love with both Clark and with Superman, and thought it would be easier if the two of them were the same person, so she wasn't sure if her theories were intuition or just her feelings. He embraces Lois and then kisses her passionately. However, they are interrupted by Dr. Hamilton, who tells Superman that he has found a way to overpower kryptonite. He points out to Superman that his x-ray vision can see through anything with the exception of lead, so he tried out some experiments with lead and with kryptonite, and figured out that lead is capable of removing the radioactivity from kryptonite, which was how he was able to remove the kryptonite from inside of him earlier. Superman then flies off.
Lex sits in his office and watches the president make a speech on TV. Superman soon breaks in and pins Lex against a wall. Lex, who is stunned to see him alive, tells him that if anyone saw this, then he'd just be proven right about his doubts of the Superman Act. Superman tells Lex that he knows that he is responsible for Metallo, because he is the only one with the technology to create him and also has a grudge against Superman. Lex tells him that even if he could find a way to prove it, it'd be too late. Superman asks him why that is, and then sees the president get attacked on TV. He then hurriedly flies to Washington DC.
Metallo walks onto the podium and grabs the president. As he prepares to kill him, Superman suddenly arrives and tackles Metallo to the ground. The two of them fight savagely, while Schott manages to approach the president and his secret service armed with a gun. Superman notices Schott, speeds over and catches the bullet meant for the president. Secret service then arrests Schott, and Superman goes back to fighting Metallo.
While the two of them fight evenly matched for most of the fight, Metallo soon gains the upper hand due to the kryptonite. Just after he knocks Superman to the ground and prepares to deal a fatal blow to him, Superman notices a sign made of lead. He runs over, rips it out of the ground, and puts it onto Metallo's chest before melting it on with his heat vision, making it permanently attached to the kryptonite. Superman then aggressively beats Metallo until he is unconcious.
The next day, Lois reports a story about how both John Corben and Winslow Schott were placed under arrest and how the Metallo madness is now over. She and Clark then talk about how one of them are bound to admit that they were working for Lex, and how his time is coming. Clark voices his doubt at it, and points out that Lex is the smartest person he has ever met and seems to always find ways to cover his tracks. Lois then asks Clark what happens now, and he tells her that he will continue to watch over Lex and find a way to bring him to justice. However, Lois says that she was talking about the two of them, not Lex. Clark tells her that he is not sure he'd be able to handle the risk of putting Lois in harm's way, but she remarks that she saved his life the other day, and that he needs her just as much as she needs him, jokingly. He laughs and tells her that she is right, because he is in love with her. He then flies her across the Metropolis skyline, before kissing her while in the sky.
During the end credits, Lex walks into his office, and sees that someone is in his chair. He angrily asks who it is and threatens to call security. The man tells him not to bother, as they are on the same side. Lex asks what he means, and the man says that he knows that Lex aims to be president, but that Superman will never allow that to happen. Lex, though confused, admits defeat and says that even when using the one thing on Earth that could kill Superman, he couldn't defeat him. The man finally reveals himself as Vandal Savage (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and tells Lex that when you are trying to kill someone who isn't from Earth, you would need to find something, or someone, who isn't from Earth.
The film was met with mixed reviews, with many critics praising the acting and visual effects, but criticizing the weak storyline and seemingly rushed plot. The film is currently rated at 54% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Despite a mixed critical reaction, the film was a box offfice success, grossing $544,736,922 in the U.S. and $1,132,143,544 in the world.