The New Movie, Reborn…

Despite the announcement from Cannon Films that Superman V was in Pre-Production as early as 1988, the project’s failure to materialize due to the collapse of the Cannon Group meant their option had reverted back to the Salkinds.

Having received lukewarm reception to their SuperBoy TV series, the Salkinds were keen to return to past glories and finally get the Superman Motion Picture Series back on track.  Though Ilya Salkind had produced an ambitious treatment during the series tenure (which he elaborates on in the DVD documentary ‘You Will Believe, The Cinematic Saga Of Superman’) the script and story were fleshed out by writers Cary Bates and Mark Jones (the former having written numerous episodes for the TV series)

With a first draft provisionally titled ‘Superman The New Movie‘  taking the saga back to its science-fiction roots (incorporating the City of Kandor and Brainiac as the villian) the project was intended to be the Salkinds next once they had completed Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.  With buzz already circulating due to Alexander Salkind turning up to Europex courting investors (see third pic down) and rumours (confirmed by Salkind, Bates and Later Reeve himself) that the star was interested in returning (see second and last pic – translation;  “He is perhaps going to be sent into the air for a 5th time – he is being sought to star in ‘Superman: The New Movie‘) and production slated for Universal Studios in Florida, things were slowly falling into place.

Tragically, however, by 1992 Warner Brothers were seeking to consolidate their ownership of the character and the Salkinds were ousted as WB eventually retained all rights.  This meant that the third and final draft of the script (now entitled Superman Reborn – see top pic for script cover) would be shelved indefinitely while plans were made to have Superman return to the small screen.

Superman Reborn would remain a working title for script submissions & rewrites (most notably by Jonathan Lemkin) and would languish in development hell before its evolution to ‘Superman Lives‘ and the arrival of Tim Burton.  But that’s a whole other story…

Download a PDF of the Jones/Bates script here

Why I Believe In…

Culled from an oversize UK newspaper article in the The Sun entitled ‘Why I Believe in Superman’ circa 1988, after the release of Superman IV. It seems Reeve’s only stipulation for returning to the role at the time was a return to quality. As the possibility of a fifth chapter was closer to fruition than most believe, I intend to post as much evidence from the aborted fifth movie that I can and need your help!! Please get in touch if you have anything Superman V related…!

Exclusive Euro Photostory Pt. VIII – And Poster!!

And the saga continues, with the addition of the ultra-rare poster from Bravo magazine from an unknown artist featuring the Superheroes of the seventies, including Adam West’s incarnation of Batman and Nicholas Hammond’s Amazing Spider-Man, with Reeve’s Superman soaring high above…
My thanks to Superfan Chris King for the poster restoration!!

The British Are Coming…

Though forever American as Apple Pie, Superman’s cinematic seeds were sewn in Europe.  Having secured the rights from DC Comics, infamous producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind had originally planned to shoot the adventures of the Man of Steel in Italy until a series of unfortunate events and shifting economy steered the production toward the UK.

At once occupying large portions of both Pinewood and Shepperton studios, the Superman series was brought to life by the cream of British technical talent and craftsmen whose talent & dedication lives on through the finished picture…

From the top, more vintage full-page ads from Daily Variety and Screen International dedicated to the BFI and UK Box Office takings (The figure seems laughable now but in adjusted dollars is probably trillions) A personal thank you from the producers to the BFI for their support, a promo for Pinewood studios in the form of a daily shooting schedule (notice the other ongoing shoots including Moonraker) and finally a dedication to gifted matte artist Les Bowie, one of a trio of irreplaceable British technicians (Geoffrey Unsworth/John Barry) who sadly passed within months of Superman’s release…

A Guy Hamilton Film, Starring…

The first from a series of oversize ads from Daily Variety starting with the initial artwork presented by the Salkinds when Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger) was in place as Director.  Its interesting to see the film as we know it evolve from these announcements highlighting additions to the cast.  With Hamilton eventually replaced and after a well-publicized and lengthy search it was finally made official that Superman himself would be played by 24 year old ‘newcomer’ Christopher Reeve.  Also of note is Peter Boyle’s casting as Otis in a role eventually filled by Ned Beatty. To date the reason for his replacement remains unknown.  As these prints play an important part in the documentation of the film’s genesis I have removed the yellowing with age in an effort to present them as they were originally intended…