|Portrayed by:|| Brandon Routh|
Stephan Bender (Young)
Superman has been missing for five years after astronomers discovered the remains of Krypton. He returns to Earth with his spacecraft crashing back into his adoptive mother's crop field, and awakes the next morning reminiscing of his childhood. He returns to work as Clark Kent at The Daily Planet in Metropolis, where he learns Lois Lane is now a mother and has won the Pulitzer Prize for her article Why the World Doesn't Need Superman. During Superman's absence, Lex Luthor has been released from prison, conned a rich widow into a sham wedding to get his hands on her money, and stolen Kryptonian crystals from the Fortress of Solitude. Luthor returns to Metropolis and experiments with a tiny fragment in a pool which grows to immense size. The growing crystal causes a blackout, affecting the take off of a space shuttle-like vehicle tethered to a Boeing 777, which Lois Lane is aboard, covering the story. Clark flies into action as Superman and stops the plane from crashing into a baseball field.
The world rejoices in Superman's return, but Lois is more concerned with the blackout. Clark meets her fiancé Richard White, nephew of Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White, and their son Jason. Superman is hurt when he overhears a conversation between Lois and Richard in which she says she never loved Superman. He buries himself in his work, including halting a bank heist and saving Kitty, Luthor's co-conspirator. While Kitty distracts Superman, Luthor steals Kryptonite from a museum. Perry assigns Lois to interview Superman whilst Clark investigates the blackout. At night, Lois goes out for a smoke on top of the The Daily Planet and Superman takes her for a flight, during which he apologizes for leaving her.
After her latest Superman interview, Lois focuses her attention on the blackout again and learns where it started. Lois and Jason sneak onto Luthor's ship, not realizing who owns it, and are captured. Luthor reveals his grand scheme: using one of the stolen Kryptonian crystals to grow a new landmass, even though he is aware it will destroy already existing continents and kill billions. He also inquires as to who is the father of Jason after noticing Lois' reaction to the kryptonite being near her son. Luthor launches the crystal (now encased in kryptonite) into the sea, causing a chain reaction resulting in its massive growth. Lois faxes their co-ordinates to The Daily Planet and is attacked by a henchman. Jason throws a piano at him in an apparent display of super strength, and after hearing news of the incident, Luthor imprisons them in a galley as he escapes in a helicopter. The landmass' growth causes destruction in Metropolis which Superman attends to, and Richard arrives in a sea plane to rescue Lois and Jason from the ship, which splits in half and sinks with them trapped inside. Superman rescues them and he flies off to find Luthor, who has returned to the landmass.
Meeting Luthor, Superman discovers the landmass is filled with kryptonite, which allows Luthor and his henchmen to beat and torture him. Luthor stabs Superman with a shard of kryptonite, after which he falls into the ocean. Lois makes Richard turn back to rescue Superman, and she removes the kryptonite shard from his back. Superman regains consciousness, gathers more energy from the Sun, and lifts the landmass into the atmosphere. Luthor and Kitty escape in their helicopter, but not before Kitty tosses the crystals; she and Luthor are stranded on a desert island some time later. Superman throws the landmass into space, but weakened by the kryptonite, crash lands back to Metropolis. The doctors cannot penetrate his body with their medical equipment, but manage to remove the rest of the kryptonite from his wound. While Superman remains in a coma, Lois and Jason visit Superman at the hospital, where, careful not to let Jason overhear, Lois whispers a secret in Superman's ear. Superman later awakens and flies to see Jason, reciting his father's last speech to him as he sleeps. Lois also starts writing Why the World Needs Superman.
Powers and Abilites
- Super Strength: Clark often uses his super strength to take care of the farm. He lifts farm equipment, plunges fence posts into the ground, and drives nails with his thumb. When Clark is directly exposed to sunlight his strength levels are greatly increased. Currently Clark Kent can't fly but he can jump very high.
- Invulnerability: Clark's invulnerability has also increased with his age. He is immune to human illnesses and bullets bounce off him. Clark is also highly resistant to energy-based attacks. He is currently durable enough to survive a distant nuclear blast and survive re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere and fall to the Earth's surface without damage.
- Healing Factor: When Clark is wounded, he heals quickly if not instantaneously.
- Super Speed: Clark can run at speeds faster than the speed of sound. He uses this speed to run between distant cities (Smallville to Metropolis). He emits an aura when using his superspeed.
- Super Stamina: Clark can run for long periods of time without getting tired.
- X-Ray Vision: Clark can see through any solid object except for lead. It may appear as a skeletal image similar to the ones seen on hospital x-rays, or it may be a full color image. Clark appears to have mastered the skeletal images over full colour.
- Heat Vision: Clark can also project force with his heat vision.
- Super Hearing: Clark can hear indirect whispers and both sides of telephone conversations.
- Super Breath: His breath is powerful enough to freeze an entire lake.
- Flight: He is capable of self-propelled flight.
- Longevity: Clark is capable of living for extremely long periods of time.
- Microscopic and telescopic vision Clark has the ability to see things miles away.
Clark Kent believes strongly in non-lethal combat and has never directly killed anyone using his powers. As a result, he has adopted a fighting style that depends largely on knocking opponents unconscious using his super-strength.
Clark is vulnerable to Kryptonite, radioactive remnants of his home planet, Krypton. The known variations of kryptonite affect him in different ways. Clark can protect himself from kryptonite radiation using lead. Removal of the substance reverses the effects.
- Green Kryptonite renders Clark physically weak and painfully ill.
Most of Clark's personality traits are the direct result of his modest farm upbringing. Being very close to both of his parents, Clark was respectful, obedient and highly valued their approval. Raised with a strong moral background, he does not like invasions of privacy, thinks the bad guys should be punished and wants things to be fair. Clark is also hard-working and usually does not place much value in material possessions. Superman is a noble and honest hero with a strong sense of justice and morality. As a symbol of hope for the world, Superman strives to do the right thing even if things look bad. He is willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the world, such as he decided to let Lois Lane, the only woman he truly loved, to be with Richard White. However, Superman retains feelings for her, and it is heavily implied that Lois still retains feelings for Superman as well.
- A young Clark Kent was played by Stephan Bender.
- Before Brandon Routh was cast as Superman, James Caviezel expressed interest in the role. the project was under Brett Ratner's supervision, actors Josh Hartnett, Paul Walker, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Ashton Kutcher, David Boreanaz, Ian Somerhalder, Henry Cavill, Jerry O’Connell and Hayden Christensen were considered for the part of Superman, Cavill would landed the role for the Superman reboot Man of Steel. Actors McG was screening before his departure include Jason Behr and Jared Padalecki for the role of Superman.
- Brandon Routh signed on without having read the script.
- When Bryan Singer became interested in possibly hiring Brandon Routh, he arranged for them to meet in a coffee shop. When they met at their table, Routh stumbled and spilled hot coffee all over the table. Although he panicked, thinking he had just lost the part, Singer laughed and said it actually helped him get the part. The incident convinced Singer that Routh could pull off the clumsy, bumbling Clark Kent.
- Brandon Routh put on 20 pounds of muscle for the movie.
- During Brandon Routh's screen test, people would come up to him between takes and tell him how much fun filming in Australia would be and what a great opportunity playing Superman would be. Routh was confused as he was under the impression that he hadn't officially got the part yet, and he was starting to get a little nervous that people might be jinxing him. It turns out Bryan Singer pretty much made up his mind at that point on who he was going to cast.
- Brandon Routh auditioned for the role of Superman when McG was attached to direct.
- Brandon Routh, who plays Superman, is two years younger than Tom Welling, who plays the teenage version of the same character on the TV series Smallville.
- The Superman suit used in the final season of Smallville will bare a close resemblance to the one used in Superman Returns.