Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son.
Superman is the first big budget Superhero film. Directed by Richard Donner, the film was released in 1978 starring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor.
Producer Ilya Salkind came up with the idea for the movie in 1973 and after difficult negotiations with DC Comics, the rights for the character were bought in 1974 by him, his father Alexander Salkind and their partner Pierre Spangler. DC then created a list of actors they approved for the role of Superman. Notable names on the list included Muhammad Ali, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, James Caan, and Steve McQueen.
The film begins in Krypton where Jor-El sentences three insurgents; General Zod, Ursa, and Non to 'eternal living death' in the Phantom Zone Prison. Despite his vast knowledge and his reputation he is unable to convince the Council that he has proof that Krypton will explode causing the destruction of their great society. As he and his planet are doomed, Jor-El sends his infant son Kal-El to Earth, a planet in a distant galaxy with technology that is considered primitive to that of Krypton's. Earth's atmosphere will sustain him and due to his dense molecular structure, the yellow Sun in it's solar system will give him abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Shortly after the launch of the crystal spaceship carrying Baby Kal-El, Krpyton explodes. Three years later, the ship crashes in a field in Smallville, Kansas where baby Kal-El is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent who raise him as Clark Kent as if he were their own son. Fifteen years at the age of eighteen, after the death of Jonathan from a heart attack; Clark receives a 'psychic' call coming from his barn. Inside he discovers glowing green crystal; later revealed to be Kryptonite. The crystal guides him to the Arctic where it forms the Fortress of Solitude. Inside he finds a holographic version of his father Jor-El who tells him of his origin and educates him on the history of Krypton, his powers, and his responsibilities. After Twelve years pass by , his powers have fully developed and he leaves the Fortress in a costume. He goes to Metropolis and lands a job as a reporter for the Daily Planet. There he meets the Editor in Chief Perry White, photographer Jimmy Olsen,and reporter Lois Lane whom he develops a romantic attraction for. Though she doesn't feel the same about him.
Later; she becomes involved in a helicopter crash and can't escape forcing Clark to become Superman for the first time. He grabs the falling helicopter and brings it up back to the top of a building and saves Lois. Saving Air Force Once, catching a group of bank robbers, and helping out Metropolis make him a celebrity. He then visits Lois' home for an interview where she names him Superman. Meanwhile Lex Luthor is developing a plan to destroy much of California; making him untold amounts of wealth.