Ethiopia / L9 Pallasite Meteorite

According to Wikipedia,

“In Superman: The Movie, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman)
and his cronies Eve Teschmacher and Otis (portrayed by Valerie Perrine
and Ned Beatty, respectively) track a large chunk to Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, where they steal it from a museum under the cover of night.

Wikipedia adds:

“In Superman Returns, Lex Luthor (now portrayed by Kevin Spacey) enters
the Metropolis Museum of Natural History and steals the Addis Ababa L9
Pallasite Meteorite, which was discovered at the Kebe Mine in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia. It is described in the exhibit display “sodium lithium boron
silicate hydroxide with fluorine”. According to the exhibit display, the
meteorite was discovered in 1978—the year that Superman: The Movie was
released. Incidentally, in 2007, a white and harmless mineral with the
above chemical formula was discovered by Rio Tinto Group researchers in
a mine in Serbia.”

224 INT.  LUJTHOR’S LAIR – DAY

CAMERA CLOSE on the front of a newspaper held by EVE who
reads it intently, OTIS peering over her shoulder. The
banner headline is clearly visible: I SPENT THE NIGHT
WITH SUPERMAN – an exclusive interview by Lois Lane.
CAMERA PANS to the desk.
LUTHOR sits behind a massive pile of books, notations,
calculators, etc. He works feverishly with a slide rule,
his face aglow with demonic inspiration.

LUTHOR
Now then … given the location of the galaxy he mentions . . .
(more slide rule)
And its proximity to our own solar system ..amazing…
(eyes lighting up)

Too good to be true! …

EVE
(reading)
You said it … six-four, blue eyes, doesn’t drink, tells
the truth …

LUTHOR suddenly slams the slide rule down on the desk in a rage.
It breaks in two, part of it whizzing across the room. EVE looks
up, terrified. LUTHOR manages a patient smile, rises.

LUTHOR
Some people can read War and Peace and come away
thinking it was a simple adventure story. Others can
read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and
unlock the secret of the universe.

EVE
(insulted)
I read the article, Lex.

LUTHOR
Exactly, Miss Teschmacher.

LUTHOR crosses to the massive wall of books behind him, climbs
a large rolling wooden ladder attached to the shelves.
He turns to OTIS .
LUTHOR
Onward to the letter N. Otis. Let’s roll!

OTIS crosses to the ladder.

OTIS
Was that “M,” Mr. . Luthor?

LUTHOR
As in “moron”? No, Otis, N, as in nitwit, nincompoop,
Neanderthal…

OTIS begins to push the rolling ladder along the wall.

LUTHOR
(rolling)
Now then. According to that interview the planet
Krypton blew up on May 23, 1948. ” The rocket
carrying the revolting little freak took three years to
reach Earth. Ergo?

OTIS

He is thirty years old?

The staircase stops.  LUTHOR looks down.

LUTHOR
Do you know why the number 200 is so vitally descriptive
of both of’ us, Otis?  It represents your weight – and my I.Q.
(turns)
Think, people, think! Deductive reasoning, that’s the name
of the game!

LUTHOR turns dramatically, pulls out a specific periodical, starts to leaf through it.

LUTHOR
Since .fragments of Krypton must have been shot
out into space by the explosion, it’s reasonable to
assume some of the debris would have landed here
on Earth.

EVE
You mean meteorites?

LUTHOR
Jawohl.

He finds the page he was looking for, his face lighting up.  EVE and OTIS pick it up eagerly, look.

LUTHOR
Et … voila!

LUTHOR lets the periodical sail down to the floor. EVE and OTIS pick it-up eagerly, looks.

225 INSERT SHOT – PERIODICAL PHOTO

The photo shows an ETHOPIAN FARMER holding a wedge-shaped green rock about a foot long and five inches high. The FARMER grins at the camera. The caption beneath reads: Meteorite Lands near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June, 1951.

226 BACK TO SCENE

EVE and OTIS stare at the picture, mystified.

EVE
I know I’m going to get rapped in the mouth for saying
this, but – so what?

LUTHOR
So -what? You mean to us it’s just a meteorite? Fair
enough. . .
LUTHOR
But because of its high level of specific
radioactivity – to someone from the planet
Krypton – this substance would be lethal!

OTIS
You mean bullets and .fire can’t hurt him, but
this kind of rock

LUTHOR
Will kill him!

LUTHOR steps off the ladder, beams proudly at EVE.

LUTHOR
At times like these you must experience a certain
shudder of ecstasy just being in the same room
with me.

EVE
Not like the kind of shudder you’re going to feel
when you try and lay that rock on him. He can spot
you coming miles away with those super-peepers
of his.

LUTHOR stares up at the ceiling dramatically.

LUTHOR
Lord, you gave them eyes, but
they see not!
(QUICKLY)
And neither can Superman – through lead. Four doors,
Miss Teschmacher, lead doors, and he had to rip them
all down to find that poisoned pellet. This bilious bluebird
has two Achilles’ heels!

EVE
(dawning on her)
You mean lead can hide things from him…
LUTHOR
And the Kryptonite – will destroy him!
(quick smile)
Any more Questions?

EVE
(thoughtful pause)
I wonder what they’re wearing in Addis
Ababa.

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