Downtown Disney…

Hollywood2Hollywood1Hollywood3Hollywood4As Superman producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind based the production of the SuperBoy TV Series at Universal Studios in Florida it was inevitable some items from the production would wind up in exhibition there.  In fact, the Christopher Reeve Superman costume on display in the Downtown Disney Planet Hollywood restaurant was used for John Haymes Newton’s screentest (as shown on the SuperBoy: Season 1 Boxset) and appearing, bizarrely, as fancy dress in a two-part story in Season 2 worn by IIan Mitchell-Smith as And McCallister.

Suspended on a black velvet mannequin in ‘flight mode’ from the ceiling, the prop was hung in open space unguarded from the elements and showing signs of wear (note the hole in the bodysuit above the belt, (third pic) prompting its relocation/salvage years later to the entrance (see its upgrade here). Conversely, Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor robe (preserved in pristine condition in a wall-mounted glass case, bottom pic) can be found in the stairwell to this day…

Truth & Justice In MK…

Its a little-known fact that the last of the classic Superman Movie series was shot entirely in the UK.  A great proportion of exterior scenes were shot in MIlton Keynes as the new town with its modernist architecture was considered to be a reasonable representation of a US city of the era.  Naturally the prospect of Hollywood coming to town was a considerable coup and the local press were out in force to cover the filming.  From the top, a never-before published shot of Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent outside Milton Keynes train station shot on 17/11/1986 by Ian Blackmore, an article from the Financial Times discussing the location and headline from the MIlton Keynes citizen declaring Superman was in town.  These archive clippings were unearthed by me in the archive on Milton Keynes public library on a trip to visit filming locations years later…

“Planet ‘Copter One…”

Another SUPERMANIA exclusive – From a bulk lot of production ephemera to be premiered here – unpublished stills taken from negatives of the full-size Daily Planet helicopter (photographer unknown) at rest outside the world-famous 007 stage in Pinewood Studios, England 1977.  This 1:1 JetRanger shell was one of a series of props and models used to achieve the famous ‘Double Jeopardy’ sequence.  Made lighter to accommodate being suspended on wires to maintain the illusion of Superman holding it, this chopper was also used in the shots where the tail tears through the Planet control room and for when the engine explodes on the ledge.  Like many iconic pieces of Movie history, the fate of the above prop is unknown but the fully-functioning version apparently went on to appear in the opening sequence of ‘For Your Eyes Only’ a few years later…