BLACK. As we fade in, we see the INNUMERABLE STARS of space. The camera pans down, revealing the EARTH: a brilliant sapphire blue, its atmosphere giving it an ethereal glow against the black backdrop.
STATIC fills the air.
REPORTER 1 (V.O.)
The alien invasion has been thwarted, but Metropolis lies in ruin...
REPORTER 2 (V.O.)
Saved at the last minute...
General Swanwick issued a press statement earlier today...
CUT TO a TELEVISED PRESS CONFERENCE:
GEN. BYRON SWANWICK stands at a podium, squinting through the barrage of flashes from the cameras. On his left are DR. EMIL HAMILTON, LOIS LANE, and COLONEL NESTOR HARDY. Standing alone on his right is SUPERMAN, hands folded behind his back. He isn’t smiling, but he stands as a soldier would, proud and confident.
Had it not been for the man the world has come to know as “Superman,” Kal-El, our greatest city would have fallen to the man known as Zod, self-proclaimed “general” of the planet Krypton. While I still hold some skepticism on behalf of my country and my loved ones, I extend, on behalf of the United States government, a formal apology to Kal-El, and we thank him for his efforts, defending us as he would have his own world, I am sure. For his selfless acts and unmatched valor, we would like to extend to him, if he so chooses, full diplomatic immunity and citizenship of the United States of America.
The throng of press ERUPTS in loud cheers and applause, with a smattering of “BOO’s” from detractors. Swanwick turns to Superman, extending a hand.
Superman finally smiles, and takes the General’s hand, stepping up to the podium. The room falls DEAD QUIET.
POV NEWS CAMERA: Superman looks NERVOUS.
I was raised here. I knew nothing of my heritage until I was a young man. But the parents who raised me instilled in me values that I will uphold until the day I die: Truth. Justice. Honor. These are classic American values, these were once the American way. But we now live in a global society.
CUT TO EXT. METROPOLIS - Rebuilding.
SUPERMAN (CONT’D; V.O.)
And in this society we all have a responsibility. To our fellow man. To our fellow woman. Fear divides us, but perseverance unites us.
A RANDOM CITIZEN helps a FIREFIGHTER lift a wall of fallen concrete. Others rush to join them.
SUPERMAN (CONT’D; V.O.)
People say I’m strong enough to move mountains. To change the course of rivers. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. I haven’t tried yet. But humanity has shown me that I am not as “all powerful” as some might claim.
The group of people LIFTS the concrete, and the Firefighter reaches down and pulls a LITTLE GIRL out of the rubble.
Humanity has the strength to move souls. I did what I had to do to defend my home, and countless others have done the same time and time again. I am not one of you, I know that. But I hope that, one day...
EXT. METROPOLIS – DAY
A crane hoists a GLOBE atop the DAILY PLANET BUILDING. PERRY WHITE stands smiling on the sidewalk, head skyward, before walking through the GLASS DOORS.
INT. DAILY PLANET – CONTINUOUS
CLARK KENT stumbles through a crowd of coworkers, his hair a mess, glasses askew. He never makes eye contact with anyone as he makes his way to his desk.
Still getting used to the common people?
Clark SMILES sheepishly and glances up.
Or are you still playacting?
I still never thanked you for the job.
We return to the Press Conference. The rabble of reporters hangs on Superman’s every word.
I hope that one day, you can accept me as one of your own. An adopted son.
The camera ZOOMS OUT and the image FLICKERS, taking on the quality of a 75-INCH HI-DEF LCD FLATSCREEN. We continue to zoom out, and find ourselves in a LUXURIOUS TECHNOMODERN OFFICE SUITE. Taking center stage is an extravagantly large DESK.
A BALD MAN sits in a high-backed leather chair, watching the broadcast.
(screen freezes on Superman’s face)
A HISS, and a COMPARTMENT opens on the desk. A GLASS CONTAINMENT TUBE rises and now sits in front of the Man, face still obscured. Within the tube is a small sliver of JADE METEOROID.
Jade doesn’t fall from the sky... Computer.
Calculate rough point of origin of the meteoroid sample.
Estimated point of origin: Corvus constellation, 27.1 light-years from Sol System.
Superman’s image DISAPPEARS, and is replaced by a HIGH-RESOLUTION STAR MAP. In the bottom corner, we see the label “LexCorp Specialized Telemetric Astronomic Reconnaissance Labs”...
CLOSE ON: The only ornamentation on the massive desk is a gold nameplate: LUTHOR, ALEXANDER JOSEPH – CEO.
Highlight all red dwarf stars.
(red circles highlight suspect stars throughout the constellation)
Scan for recent thermo-planetary exertion events. Estimate time lapse, thirty-three years.
One by one, the red circles drop from the screen as ALGORITHIMS scroll across the star map. Finally, ONLY ONE remains. Luthor stands and walks up close to the screen.
CLOSE ON: Luthor’s eyes are WIDE with fascination.
Does it match the radiation signature of the meteoroid?
Radiation signature a positive match, within 98.69 percent assurance.
Luthor removes the glass containing the fragment, and takes it into his hand.
How do you measure “truth” and “justice”...?