Superman V - Part 1
Written by Fred Walker, Edited
by Fred Walker and Marvelite
SUPERMAN V DOOMSDAY
A screenplay by Fred Walker
Based on a novel by Roger Stern
"You'll Believe a Man has Died!"
(Author's note: The basic concept here is to do a "Death and Life" storyline within the continuity of the previous Superman movies. The title is a Latin pun. It can be read either as "Superman 5: Doomsday!" or "Superman versus Doomsday.")
INT. METROPOLIS, 1992 -- DAY.
SUPERMAN THEME MUSIC plays as credits roll over a MONTAGE of his exploits from 1st 4 movies. Credits and music END.
PULL BACK to reveal a TV MONITOR in a Metropolis TV studio, where CAT GRANT is broadcasting her show before a live AUDIENCE. She interviews SUPERMAN; his origin story is summarized in dialogue. Cat is a bombshell who spends the entire interview shamelessly flirting with the Man of Steel -- we want the viewers to think she may develop into competition for Lois Lane. Superman is the traditional comic book hero. Contrary to all the internet rumors, his costume does not "incorporate corduroy!" It's the same old underwear-outside-the-pants outfit he's worn for years. Since this is the movie Superman, his black hair is short, not long, and he has the famous forelock. He is tall and handsome, but surprisingly soft-spoken. He projects quiet dignity and gallant charm, not an intimidating machismo. The casting template should be "leading man" not "muscle man." Superman is strong because he's from the planet Krypton, not because he's built like Hulk Hogan. His super-feats are even more impressive if the actor playing him is fit and trim, but not athletic-looking. In the novel the talk show was live remote from a school. It's simpler if it's just a talk show set, with the "Cat Grant Show" SIGN prominently displayed, and cat-like decor throughout, i.e. cat face coffee mugs, tigerskin rug etc.
Faster than a speeding bullet!
More powerful than a locomotive!
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Yes, folks, we're back with the world's
most famous hero, Metropolis' own Man of Steel,
Actually, I hate the nickname Man of Steel.
It sounds like I'm trying to ripoff Doc Savage.
How about Supe?
It'll do, till the next one comes along.
Well, Supe, I understand you're here with
a big announcement. Lay it on us!
He turns to the wrong camera.
For some time now ...
Cat clears her throat, nudges him for the proper "turn."
CLOSE-UP on Superman.
For some time now, rumors have been circulating
that I'm past my prime or "losing it."
I seem to take a little longer to defeat
villains than I once did, my adventures
don't seem to be as spectacular, and so forth.
One particularly vociferous critic,
Clark Kent of The Daily Planet, has gone so far
as to speculate in print that I may soon retire
from crimefighting. In fact, I invited Clark
to join me on today's program, to clear the air.
So where is he?
He couldn't make it. He had pressing business
at the newspaper office.
Clark, you and I have been friends a long time.
Audience laughter. He doesn't seem to realize he's just answered to "Clark."
Don't you ever get tired of posing as a mild-
mannered reporter? Superman and Clark Kent
look exactly alike. He's never around when you
do something heroic. You have all the same friends,
and all the same enemies. You even date the same girl!
But Cat, I'm not Superman. I mean, I'm not Clark Kent!
He smiles broadly, and she knows he's been "playing" with her.
Folks, I can see I'm not getting any place.
What about that rumor, Superman? You don't
seem to be as powerful as you were even
a few years ago. Would you care to comment?
Sad to say, it's perfectly true.
So Father Time catches up with all of us --
Not quite. You see, there's this particular
villain known as The Parasite. He has no powers
of his own, except for the power to leech
the powers of others. For the last few years,
we've battled off and on. I always defeat him,
but every time we fight he drains me
a little more. I'm still a superhero,
but I'm a little more limited. I can no longer
vibrate between dimensions, for example.
I can't breathe in space any more --
when I fly on space missions I have to hold
my breath for a couple of hours.
And my days of spinning like a top to
"break through the time barrier" are long
behind me! It's just as well. Time travel
is a distraction. At one point, I spent
so much time in the 30th Century that I was
even a member of their Legion of Super-Heroes!
But Kent's rumor-mongering has to stop.
I'm not hanging up the cape any time soon!
BIG CROWD POP.
The women in our audience probably want to know
-- do you think you'll ever marry?
I'm sure of it! There's a Superman in the
30th Century, and he claims to be a direct
descendant of me! So I must get married!
Hmm. Did he ever tell you who the lucky girl is?
I could never get a name out of him.
But he did tell me her initials will be L.L.
Snickers in audience. The hint has a double meaning!
We've just seen some of your famous exploits --
Luthor's land fraud deal, the French terrorists,
General Zod's attempted coup against our government.
All this is well known. Tell us something
we don't know. Tell us about your childhood.
The problem with having a secret identity --
okay, one of the problems -- is that there's
not much I can tell you without
"giving things away." As everybody knows,
my real name is Kal-El, which means Star Child
in Kryptonese. When my planet exploded
I was sent to Earth in one of two
experimental rockets. I was raised on Earth
as a baby to adulthood. I can't say where,
although I'm often accused of having a
Kansas drawl! And that's all you get!
One thing I've always wondered -- in all your
adventures, have you ever feared for your life?
Not even once? What about General Zod?
What about The Eradicator?
Zod hit me with everything he had -- I'm still here.
The Eradicator was a powerful enemy,
but I've beaten him twice. He's an invulnerable
robot from Krypton. He can fly and has super-
strength, but his most impressive power is his
abilty to absorb knowledge from me,
so I have no secrets from him. But he didn't
scare me. I'm invulnerable. Nothing can hurt me
except kryptonite. Well, that, and one other thing.
Which would be?
Which would be something I think I'll
keep to myself, since we're on national TV!
Let's open the floor to questions. Audience?
PULL BACK to show audience, who put up their hands with queries.
The new JLA sucks! I mean, ya gotta guy dressed
like a beetle, for God's sake!
He wanted to be a spider, but the gimmick was taken.
Who's the toughest villain you ever faced?
Lex Luthor. Nobody else is even in 2nd place.
(a teenage boy)
Who's the hottest babe in crimefighting?
Lana ... I mean Lois Lane. Um, can we edit this later?
Do you miss Kara much?
The day does not go by, the hour does not
go by, the minute does not go by that I don't
think about my beautiful cousin from Krypton.
Does that answer your question?
(a young girl)
Why does The Matrix call herself Supergirl?
And why do you let her get away with it?
To sell comic books. If she had an M on her chest,
would you buy her mags? I can't sue, because I
would have to reveal my secret identity in voir dire.
Besides, taking care of The Matrix is Supergirl's job.
When she gets back from wherever she's gone to,
she'll be really mad at me for fighting her battles
for her! Gosh, you don't know what she's like when
He chuckles lovingly and gets misty-eyed. Audience is shocked.
EXT. ESTABLISHING SHOT OF DAILY PLANET BUILDING WITH GLOBE -- DAY.
INT. LOIS LANE'S OFFICE -- DAY.
LOIS LANE is watching this on an office TV. Many actresses have played Lois over the years. Oddly, few have been great beauties. Our Lois should not be "a babe." The point of this story is to emphasize her brains, guts and talent. Superman is not in love with Lois Lane because she's beautiful. He is in love with her because she is the most formidable woman he has ever met. Notice that nobody introduces her in this screenplay. She must have "presence." From the moment the camera sets eyes on her, we have to realize, This must be Lois Lane! She sheds a tear and clicks off the TV.
I'm sorry, I know you wanted to watch this show,
but I just can't stand to see him like this.
Two years later, he still thinks she's coming back
to him. It breaks my heart, Clark -- it breaks my heart.
2 SHOT as CLARK KENT puts his arm around her and comforts her.
ENTER JIMMY OLSEN with a news flash.
You probably won't believe this, but --
a monster is attacking Ohio!
I believed in the Mole Men. Why not a monster?
To the Planetcopter!
Lois and Jimmy EXIT, racing for the heliport to cover the story.
This looks like a job for ... SUPERGIRL!
He morphs into THE MATRIX, in her Supergirl form. (i.e. the Supergirl of the recent comics -- red skirt, not blue.)
Then she flies out the window and EXITS.
EXT. METROPOLIS SKYLINE -- DAY.
MATRIXCAM for POV as she flies over the city. A blue dot resolves itself into Superman in flight.
AERIAL 2 SHOT as The Matrix hooks up with Superman.
One meets the strangest people in mid-air.
Did we fool her again?
Like she just fell off the turnip truck from Smallville.
They share a laugh at Lois' expense.
Actually, it's wheat.
The truck from Smallville. They don't grow
turnips there, they grow wheat. Clark Kent
told me that, putative farmer that he was.
So, what's all this about a monster?
I take it you've heard.
Wanna team up?
They fly in silence for a moment. Finally ...
The joy is gone, Mae. Superheroes never smile
any more. They scowl, or pout, or grimace.
This used to be fun. But not any more.
The joy is gone. Kara took it with her when she left.
Um, Superman, I am a shape-changer.
If it bothers you for me to use this one,
I could look like something else ...
Oh no, please don't change! I love this form.
Flying off with you to fight crime together,
well, it's almost as if, well you know ...
What really happened to Supergirl?
With FLASHBACKS, Superman narrates his version of The Crisis.
It was during The Crisis of Infinite Earths.
I was down when Kara fought the Anti-
Monitor, and I don't really know the details.
By the time I got there, she was gone,
and he was claiming he disintegrated her.
For the first time in my life I used my powers
to kill. I've always regretted it.
I'm sure now he was lying. He didn't really
kill her. He couldn't have. I don't know
where she's gone, but she'll be back someday,
I know. If I didn't believe that,
I don't think I could go on.
I don't want to live in a world without Kara.
BACK TO SCENE. Flying at super-speed, they are now over FARMLAND.
(frightened by his last comment)
Uh, Superman, when we fight this monster together,
you're not going to do anything stupid, are you?
No, not at all. What are you getting at?
(a little too quickly)
Nothing. Nothing at all. Forget I said anything.
By the way, I heard that you've been bought
and paid for by The Luthor Gang.
That rumor is false.
But Clark Kent's sources say ...
I don't care what "Clark Kent's sources say."
Supergirl is not in bed with Lex Luthor.
INT. LUTHOR'S HIDEOUT UNDER METROPOLIS STATION -- DAY.
As seen in Superman I. The bedroom.
Supergirl is in bed with Lex Luthor. His WIG hangs from a bedpost. He is not Lex Luthor II, the young villain from the Stern novel. This is the mature Luthor once played by Gene Hackman. "Supergirl" is a blond in her early 20s.
Admit it, Sexy Lexy! I'm a big improvement on
Well, you're a big improvement on Otis, anyway!
Slap and tickle. Just as things are getting interesting, the TV clicks on.
Hey, what's the big idea? I thought I hid the remote.
I have it set up to come on whenever there's
a news flash of Superman in action.
Sometimes I wonder which of us you're really in love with.
Darling, my sweet ... you're in the way. Move over.
He shoulders her aside to watch the fun.
EXT. AN OHIO FARMHOUSE -- DAY.
CAMERA CREWS assemble and start shooting, as DOOMSDAY, a large humanoid monster, battles THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, consisting of many heroes of the DC universe, such as THE BLUE BEETLE, THE FLASH, THE GREEN LANTERN, WONDER WOMAN and STEEL. The latter 2 are cameos for Lynda Carter and Shaq. All wear their famous costumes, except Steel, who wears the plainer costume from his own movie.
360 PAN as THE REPORTERS babble into various MICROPHONES.
Doomsday's origin is unknown...
... he broke out of a subterranean vault where
unknown interests had him imprisoned ...
... his powers are super-strength and leaping ability.
Ever since escaping earlier this day, he's been
trashing property in senseless, random fashion ...
... endangering the lives of innocent people,
and making his way steadily to the east
for some unknown purpose in the general direction ...
... of Metropolis.
BACK TO the fight, which the JLA are losing. Action dialogue:
I wish Superman was with us.
Hey, we don't need that Boy Scout!
You'll see. We don't need Superman to put that
lousy monster in his place.
I don't care what you say. I still wish that
Superman was here.
Fight continues. Doomsday knocks out The Flash.
No more games, Ugly! Not after what you did to my buddy!
But he too is defeated -- easily. ENTER SUPERMAN, flying.
Superman! Where'd you come from?
I heard the Justice League was having some trouble.
Trouble isn't the word for it!
It's more like Doomsday has arrived.
Monster roars, defiant!
(pointing out the monster)
That's the guy, Superman. He's the one who took
the Justice League apart at the seams.
(to Wonder Woman)
What was it you called him? Doomsday?
That's what the press calls him.
We've been fighting him all morning.
This looks like a job for Superman.
The Matrix catches up and ENTERS, flying.
You won't have to do it alone, Supe!
The Cavalry is on the scene.
Doomsday roars again. Superman hesitates, rubbing his chin.
'Smatter, Boy Scout? Is that guy too tough even for you?
That monster might be too tough for all of us.
No way, Babe! I say we hit him with everything we got!
All our powers in a combined, concerted effort. Agreed?
Let's do it!
Give it everything you've got! We'll show this dude
what kind of trouble he buys when he takes on the
360 PAN JLA heroes nodding agreement. POLICE get FARMERS to safety. Wonder Woman lassoes Doomsday and holds on for dear life. Even for her mighty Amazon muscles controlling Doomsday is clearly a strain. All other heroes blast Doomsday with TK burst, heat-ray vision etc. for 10-15 seconds. When the smoke clears, Doomsday is unharmed!
EXT. AIRBORNE CAMERA -- DAY.
Lois and Jimmy watch this from the copter.
Doomsday is invulnerable! Only Kryptonians
are invulnerable. Good God! Somebody cloned
that creature from Kryptonian DNA!
Copter POV as Jimmy steadies the camera. Doomsday defeats the JLA plus The Matrix, then LONG SHOT as he EXITS, leaping off into the far distance, an eighth of a mile at a time. Superman follows.
EXT. VARIOUS U.S. LOCATIONS -- DAY.
MONTAGE of a running battle between Superman and Doomsday that crosses half the country, as reporters and public officials scramble to keep up. As in the Stern novel, Superman and Doomsday fight on land and sea and even in the air, as Doomsday can "leap tall buildings in a single bound."
INT. THE PLANETCOPTER -- DAY.
2 SHOT as Lois, at the controls, careens madly. Jimmy almost falls out.
(scrambling back in)
Lois, I know you believe a man can fly,
but can you keep this thing level before
I plummet to my death?
Sissy! Want a barf bag?
If I report you, you could lose your license.
Um, you do have a license, right?
Well, sort of a learner's permit. I got tired
of almost getting killed every time someone else
is at the controls. If you want something
done right -- do it yourself!
More mad careening. Jimmy screams like a little girl.
MONTAGE of ANCHORMEN covering the disaster in VARIOUS TV STUDIOS.
... Superman's punches are having no effect.
Doomsday's punches send Superman flying!
... Doomsday is laughing at the Man of Steel!
... this could be the end of Superman.
INT. THE PLANETCOPTER -- DAY.
I don't get this. He should be winning.
Superman is invulnerable, but he acts like
Doomsday's punches hurt. They don't hurt.
Doomsday can hit Superman as hard as he likes;
he doesn't even feel it. Why does he act hurt?
Lois -- maybe Superman has finally met his match.
Nonsense, James Olsen.
No, really. What if Superman just can't beat
Doomsday? What if, for once, the bad guy is
just too tough? Doomsday is so big, so strong!
(oblivious to the possibility)
And where is the clever ruse? Superman always
employs some clever ruse. You know, to exploit
the villain's weaknesses and flaws.
Maybe there are no weaknesses. Maybe there
are no flaws. Lois, what if Doomsday is perfect?
What if he doesn't even have a single weakness?
Lois consults her maps.
(handing him the joystick)
Here, hold on to this for me while I read the map.
SPLIT SCREEN as the army, police and Luthor do the same.
ALL shout out:
Midvale! He's going to Midvale!
PAN DOWN TO:
Superman on the ground. He comes to from his latest beating, and, with super-hearing, catches this and flies off after Doomsday. Copter follows.
INT. THE PLANETCOPTER -- DAY.
Gosh, Lois, Superman is quite a guy!
He's going to save Midvale.
No, Jimmy. He's going to save Doomsday.
EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF MIDVALE -- DAY.
CLOSE-UP on a ROADSIGN. "Welcome to Midvale, City of Angels!"
PULL BACK to reveal Doomsday reading the sign. Superman lands in front, blocking the way.
As the Teen Titans say, don't go there
boyfriend -- just don't go there!
Doomsday KOs him and goes there.
INT. VIDEO STORE AT THE MIDVALE MALL -- DAY.
CLOSE-UP of TV screen, playing a promo for a professional wrestling event "now available on video."
PULL BACK to reveal Doomsday, who seems almost childlike and fascinated by the action. Door CREAKS open. ENTER LOIS and JIMMY with MIKES and CAMERAS.
Lois, are you sure interviewing Doomsday is a good idea?
Relax Jimmy. Doomsday won't hurt us.
He was obviously cloned by Lex Luthor,
and ol' Lex always had a soft spot for me.
I'm sure hurting you and me is against his programming.
INT. LUTHOR'S HIDEOUT -- DAY.
What a cool monster! His muscles have muscles!
Who do you suppose cloned him, Sexy Lexy?
I haven't the slightest idea. Don't look at me,
my sweet. I haven't cloned a monster since Nuclear Man.
She rises and heads for the door with determination on her face.
Where are you going?
Midvale. To help him.
Why? This is what I've always dreamed of!
Is it, Lex? You've dreamed of somebody else
killing Superman, while you watch it on TV?
Hmm, you're right. He probably won't need
our help, but you'd better go just the same.
He tosses her KEYS from the NIGHTSTAND.
Take the Lexmobile. Oh, and Mercy?
Change before you go. The staid burghers of
Midvale will be shocked at our role playing.
Will do, Lex. Oh, next time, can I be Harley Quinn?
Continued in Superman V Doomsday Part 2
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