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Superman Movie List




  • Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
  • This article features Superman’s movie list in order.
  • There are at least 10 major Superman feature films released in theaters, starting with “Superman and the Mole Men” (1951) and including the recent “The Flash” (2022) with Henry Cavill’s cameo.

Superman Movie ListThis comprehensive Superman movie list will guide you through his cinematic journey. Superman has been adapted more than well over 50 times. This makes him one of the most adapted superheroes in history, a testament to his enduring popularity across generations. This list of Superman movies includes the first feature film to the latest Superman movie. This article features a list of Superman films in order of their release date.

Superman Movie List By Year

All Superman Movies List

Superman and the Mole Men (1951)

  • Director: Lee Sholem
  • Writers: Robert Maxwell, Whitney Ellsworth
  • Main Lead: George Reeves as Superman (Clark Kent)
  • Box Office Collection: Not readily available (independent film with limited release)
  • IMDb Rating: 5.0/10

This film is considered the first theatrical feature film based on a DC Comics character. And it predates the more well-known Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve. “Superman and the Mole Men” is a black-and-white film with a lower budget compared to later Superman movies. This story revolves around Superman encountering a race of subterranean humanoids while investigating the world’s deepest oil well drilling project.

The true landmark Superman film arrived three decades later:

Superman (1978)

  • Director: Richard Donner
  • Writers: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Mario Puzo
  • Main Lead: Christopher Reeve
  • Box office collection: $300 million
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

This film can be called a game-changer for superhero movies. Before this, superhero movies weren’t taken very seriously because of some half-hearted attempts at adaptations. But Superman (1978) had crazy special effects for that time. Christopher Reeve brought Superman to life perfectly. It showed everyone how cool superhero movies could be and paved the way for all the superhero blockbusters we see today. It is the first of four installments in the Superman film series starring Reeve as Superman.

Superman II (1980)

  • Director: Richard Lester
  • Writers: Leslie Newman, Richard Lester, David Newman (uncredited)
  • Main Lead: Christopher Reeve
  • Box Office Collection: $190.4 million
  • IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

It is the second of four installments in the Superman film series starring Reeve as Superman. This movie was filmed at the same time as the first one. This movie maintained the dark tone of the first movie though due to cost cuttings, this movie was not as good as the first one. Even though this movie had some incredible scenes of Superman flying through the sky. And it featured a new villain, General Zod who was one of Superman’s arch nemesis. This movie was a success but not so much compared to its predecessor.

Superman III (1983)

  • Director: Richard Lester
  • Writers: David Newman, Leslie Newman
  • Main Lead: Christopher Reeve
  • Box Office Collection: $80.2 million
  • IMDb Rating: 5.0/10

It is the third of four installments in the Superman film series starring Reeve as Superman. This movie takes a more comedic approach which was completely opposite to the dark tone the first two movies maintained. Instead of a serious villain, it had a goofy one played by the hilarious Richard Pryor. This movie proved less successful than the first two Superman films, both financially and critically. Many people disliked this version of Superman.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

  • Director: Sidney J. Furie
  • Writers: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
  • Main Lead: Christopher Reeve
  • Box Office Collection: $36.7 million
  • IMDb Rating: 3.7/10

It is the fourth of four installments in the Superman film. There is one movie that takes place in these Superman film installments named Supergirl and it was released before this movie. Unfortunately, this movie wasn’t very good. It had a much lower budget than the previous films, and the plot wasn’t very interesting. This movie was a low point for this Superman franchise and it also marked the final appearance of Reeve as Superman, who agreed to return in exchange for a large salary and some creative control, where he contributed to a script dealing with nuclear weapons. Lex Luther and his creation Nuclear Man were featured as a villain in this film.

Superman Returns (2006)

  • Director: Bryan Singer
  • Writers: Brandon Boyce, Bryan Singer
  • Main Lead: Brandon Routh
  • Box Office Collection: $391.1 million
  • IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

After all the unsuccessful attempts to revive Superman on the big screen following the critical and financial failure of The Quest for Peace. This movie tried to recapture the magic of the original Superman films from the late 70s. It introduced a new actor, Brandon Routh, as Superman and had a story that focused on hope and what it means to be a hero. This movie can be called the final installment in the Superman films starting in 1978 as it tells the story of when Superman returns to Earth after his absence for 5 years. Despite box office success (9th highest-grossing of 2006), Warner Bros. canceled the sequel due to unmet expectations. Thus ending this Superman series (1978-2006).

Man of Steel (2013)

  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Writers: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
  • Main Lead: Henry Cavill
  • Box Office Collection: $670.2 million
  • IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

This film was a reboot of the Superman film series with a non-linear story (flashbacks). And this movie was the first movie in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). This movie took Superman in a whole new direction as compared to previous adaptations this movie was much more dark and it was part of a combined superhero universe. It was a much more serious and realistic take on his origin story. Directed by Zack Snyder, it had intense action sequences. In this movie, Clark Kent(Superman) discovers his powers and becomes Superman to defend humanity from General Zod.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Writers: Chris Terrio, David S. Goyer
  • Main Lead: Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman)
  • Box Office Collection: $874.4 million
  • IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

This movie was a follow-up of Man of Steel (2013). This movie was a big event for DC Comics fans. It was the first crossover between Superman and Batman in a live-action film, but the movie also had a complex plot and a darker tone that left some viewers feeling confused. There was an appearance of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Batman after the events of Man Of Steel sees Superman as a threat to humanity. Later in the film, the villain Lex Luthor tricks Batman into fighting Superman because Luthor wants to destroy Superman. An extended version called the “Ultimate Edition,” with 31 extra minutes, was released on home media in 2016.

Justice League (2017)

  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Writers: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon (2017 version only),
  • Main Leads: Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
  • Box Office Collection: $661.3 million
  • IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

This movie takes place after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Batman and Wonder Woman recruit The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg to fill the gap left after the death of Earth’s protector Superman. And save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. Later on in the movie Superman returns like a savior to save the day. Due to some personal reasons, the original director who has been directing the previous two films had to step down, a new director took over directing additional scenes and re-shooted much of the film, which changed many aspects. Snyder retained sole credit as director. Lots of changes in this movie made some viewers dislike it and It didn’t do well at the box office, so future DC movies focused on single characters instead of a big connected universe.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Writers: Zack Snyder (additional writing credit for 2021)
  • Main Leads: Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
  • Box Office Collection: This movie was released on HBO Max hence no data.
  • IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

This movie is a director-cut version of Justice League by Zack Snyder. Due to him stepping down as a director of Justice League, a new director was hired who changed many things. He added a brighter tone and humor along with many cuts which made this movie stand out differently compared to its predecessor movies which maintained the dark tone. Many fans have demanded Snyder’s original version since the Justice League release. This movie was a success for critics and It became the fourth-most-streamed film on the platform that year. 

Additional cameos :

  • Black Adam (2022): Henry Cavill’s last appearance as Superman was in the post-credits scene of “Black Adam”, released in October 2022.
  • The Flash (2022): This movie featured multiple Superman cameos, including Henry Cavill’s live-action appearance and CGI recreations/archive footage of:
  • George Reeves (1950s TV series)
  • Christopher Reeve (classic Superman films)
  • Nicolas Cage (unfinished “Superman Lives” project)


“This comprehensive Superman movie list dc has explored his journey on the big screen, from the early days of serials to the latest DC Universe entries. Whether it’s the classic tales of hope and heroism or the modern explorations of complex themes, Superman films continue to resonate with audiences worldwide. Superman will be back in 2025.

Also read: Upcoming DC Movies 2024


What’s the earliest live-action Superman adaptation? 

Superman (1948): is the earliest adaptation of Superman in live action. This wasn’t a feature film in the traditional sense, but rather a serial. Serials were episodic theatrical releases, typically broken down into 12-15 chapters, each ending in a cliffhanger to keep audiences coming back for the next installment

  • Director: Thomas Carr, Spencer Gordon Bennet
  • Writers: George H. Plympton, Joseph F. Poland, Arthur Hoerl
  • Main Lead: Kirk Alyn (uncredited as Superman, billed on screen only by his character’s name)
  • Box office collection:  It was the most profitable movie serial in movie history.
  • IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

A sequel serial, Atom Man vs Superman, was released in 1950. For flying scenes, Superman was hand-drawn in animated form, and composited into live-action footage.

What are the main Superman movie franchises?

There are several main Superman movie franchises:

  • Serials (1940s): These were short episodic films released in theaters, most notably the ones starring Kirk Alyn.
  • Salkind/Cannon Films (1970s-80s): This series, starting with the iconic 1978 film “Superman,” is credited with revitalizing the superhero genre.
  • DC Extended Universe (DCEU) (2010s-present): This cinematic universe features Superman alongside other DC superheroes, starting with “Man of Steel” in 2013.
  • DC Universe (2025-present): This upcoming franchise will introduce a new Superman film in 2025.

What is the order of the Superman movies?

The order depends on the franchise you’re interested in. Here’s a general breakdown:

  • Serials (1940s): These are not interconnected films and can be watched in any order.
  • Salkind/Cannon Films (1970s-80s): 1. Superman (1978), 2. Superman II (1980), 3. Superman III (1983), 4. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
  • DC Extended Universe (DCEU): 1. Man of Steel (2013), 2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) (Superman is a major character), 3. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) (director’s cut)
  • DC Universe (2025-present): The order will be revealed as more films are released. The first movie is Superman (2025).

There’s also “Superman Returns” (2006), which isn’t part of any specific franchise and can be watched on its own.

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