Ilya’s Big Idea…

HR1HR2HR3HR4Enjoy this scarce piece from vintage magazine The Hollywood Reporter Interviewing Superman Producer Ilya Salkind.  Candid but guarded (as if his career/future depended on it) The young producer represented here is laconic and thoughtful in marked contrast to the maniacally entertaining older man seen in the many interviews shot for DVD.

With four years already invested in the project and a budget spiralling out of control, Salkind still manages to remain confident his movie will be a colossal hit whilst acknowledging the talents and contribution of director Richard Donner…

“Giant Leap For Mankind…”

Moon2Moon3Moon1Christopher Reeve in 'Superman'Another SUPERMANIA behind the scenes exclusive, this time from the Moon set at London’s Elstree Studios during the shooting of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace in 1986.

Second-unit director Christopher Reeve presides over the setup for Superman’s visit to the site of the lunar landing having just disposed of his foe Nuclear Man. In what was originally conceived and written as an epic, climactic battle between titans, this sequence, like so many more before it, would be compromised by budgetary restrictions. Though the action was well-staged the spectacle would be hindered by the obvious black drapes in the background masking the stage wall.

Many of these hideous oversights (such as wire removal) would be fixed by Warner Brothers for the Deluxe Edition Blu-ray release in 2011 but even back in 1987 audiences were shocked by the quality of the effects compared with previous entries.

Click here for a fascinating insight into the shooting of the scene from a recently restored Entertainment Tonight segment where Reeve speaks candidly about his aspirations for the finished film between clips of him directing in costume. However noble and sincere the intentions were to put the series back on track, reallocation of the budget to the plethora of other films on Cannon’s greenlight list would kill off the Superman saga and ultimately, the company itself just a few years later…

“Many Lives, Many Worlds…”

Smithsonian1Smithsonian2Smithsonian3Smithsonian4July 6, 1987 By J.J. SMITH, United Press International…

The Smithsonian Institution has launched a new exhibit that does not leap tall buildings at a single bound but does take up more room than a telephone booth — a celebration of Superman, “America`s most famous alien.”

“Superman: Many Lives, Many Worlds” opened to the public June 24 at the National Museum of American History.

“Superman is like other people that came to this nation,” said museum curator Carl Scheele. “He`s the essence of the great immigrant tradition.”

The collection, which is part of the Nation of Nations entertainment exhibit and runs until June 1988, showcases Superman memorabilia spanning 50 years, including:

*A Superman costume worn by George Reeves in the 1950s TV series, and one worn by Christopher Reeve in the soon to be released Superman IV.

*Original copies of Action Comics #1, and Superman# 1, which sold in 1938 for 10 cents each. The comics, in mint condition, are now valued at $25,000 and $18,000 respectively, according to Overstreet Comics Price Guide.

*An original screenplay by Mario Puzo for the 1978 film Superman: The Movie.

*An original radio script and recordings of the 1940’s radio broadcasts.

*A storyboard from one of 17 Superman cartoons published in the 1940’s.

*A special edition of Superman comics that was published during World War II and was used as a teaching device for enlisted men who could not read.

*A short film that traces the history of Superman, including clips from the TV series, the movie serials, the cartoons and the latest motion pictures.

Mingling among the stars of Superman IV (Jon Cryer, Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve) above was Uber-artist John Byrne, riding high on the current Superman run having secured his place in comics history with ‘Man Of Steel’. He recounts;

“I met Christopher Reeve twice, that was fun. I met him at DC and we talked about the fourth movie. And then for the 50th Anniversary there was a big show down at the Smithsonian. I went down for that because they invited me. He came over and introduced himself to me ‘Hi – I’m Christopher Reeve, we met at the DC Offices’ – and I chatted with Margot Kidder for a while because we were bonding on being Canadians…”

Were you fortunate enough to attend this event?  Please share your memories here.  SUPERMANIA extends its thanks to  SuperFans Lynn Arave for sharing the outstanding photos above from his Blog Of Steel and Sammy Gomez for his great contributions to this post..!