Pinewood Drive In…

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Even on a freezing cold December night, with an almost incomprehensible screen bigger than three football pitches watched between wiper blades in torrential rain, the thrill was still there.

For just beyond the giant wall of the paddock tank onto which Superman: The Movie was being projected, the world-famous 007 Stage was visible, providing the unique experience of watching scenes that were filmed years ago only yards away from where we sat.

The Pinewood Drive-In was a short lived endeavour but a fascinating one. Parked on a backlot that was once the site of Metropolis, Midvale (and indeed Gotham City) an impressive number of cars amassed before the screen and tuned to the exclusive radio station for sound.  A shared experience for hardcore fans making for an incredible night…

From the top, ticket, exclusive map (with handwritten directions to the drive-in site) and visitors leaflet…

Liberty & Justice…

ROLLEIROLLEIROLLEIROLLEIAfter the long term loan of the incredible Superman costume display from the Propstore Of London had expired, the London Film Museum required fresh Superhero items to exhibit.

While nothing could ever compete with the splendid ‘Hall Of Superheroes’, (the Michael Keaton Batman/Returns suit also returning to its owner) the former Movieum nevertheless sourced a new (albeit curious) menagerie of props to fill the gap until its eventual closure of the South Bank site last year.

These extraordinary shots from the flickr album of givingnot@rocketmail.com depict a group of objects pertaining to be from the original Superman series hastily assembled against a somewhat underacheived backdrop (top pic).

The first prop (second pic) hanging from the ceiling is apparently a large flying miniature of Christopher Reeve (although there was no signage to verify this as a production used or made piece) in appropriate condition for its age but sporting a baggy costume and what appears to be short PVC cape.

The second mystery is the giant upper portion of a magnificent rendering of the Statue Of Liberty.  Again, with no signage to which picture this was attributed there is no way to verify its use or authenticity (Superman IV’s torn away cape shot??) although the build quality definitely suggests screen used.

Lastly, there thankfully could be no doubt regarding the provenance of what would be proven as a legitimate prop from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.  In remarkable condition given its age and materials used, the baby Kal-El starship is notable for being the only item on show to feature signage, albeit misleading and inaccurate.

The current whereabouts of these pieces is sadly unknown.  With the London Film Museum becoming a a permanent display of Bond Vehicles over in its Covent Garden site (see the last Superman item to be exhibited there here) its doubtful they will be seen again for some time.  If anybody can update SUPERMANIA as to the fate of these props, feel free to get in touch..!

Going Dutch…

DSC_2841DSC_2842DSC_2839IV_Dutch1This latest vintage addition to the SUPERMANIA collection has the distinction of being preserved for all eternity on a special AKAI videocassette (for high fidelity sound and picture!) released in 1992.

Beneath its fragile cardboard slipcase (with obligatory flipped deleted scene still on the rear) lurks an unmarked VHS tape, the contents of which are the longest available European cut of the film at 89 minutes in fullscreen with Danish subtitles and an AKAI logo in place of the standard Cannon/Warner intro card.

A perfect accompaniment for the tape is the Dutch theatrical release poster from the archive (bottom pic) which text translates; ‘The greatest adventure of all time, soon in theatres – Christopher Reeve is back in Superman IV…

“Selfish..?!”

Blog1Blog5Blog2Blog6“After all I’ve done for them?  Will there ever come a time when I’ve served enough?? At least they have a chance for happiness – I only ask as much…No more…”

SUPERMANIA is proud to present the second movie-accurate custom 1/6th figure based on Hot Toys range of classic Superman figures (the first being Jor-El from Superman Returns).

Modelled specifically after a scene shot by Richard Donner and long thought lost, (after a dispute between Marlon Brando and the producers meant none of the footage featuring him could be used for the sequel) the prints were unearthed by Michael Thau for reinsertion into the 2006 Richard Donner cut on DVD.  The original sequence (reshot with Susannah York in place of Brando for Richard Lester’s Superman II) featured a petulant Kal-El ready to sacrifice his earthly powers for the love of Lois Lane.  Dressed in a relaxed version of his Clark Kent formals (allowing Lois to wear the top half of his Superman costume) but still sporting the Superman hairstyle, the tension between father & son as he pleads for him to reconsider his sacrifice is a standout moment in the movie.

Hot Toys MMS 152 features the perfect base model for this custom ‘Depowering’ figure – with a heavily modified torso (permitting the arms to be posed much closer to the body) and subtly altered hairline/kiss curl to more accurately reflect Christopher Reeve’s hair from the scene.  The screen-accurate costume is a bespoke shirt and pants with identical details such as the button down collar, side pockets and even correct shirt pocket pattern made by 1/6 tailor extraordinaire Tinela Ayers.  Finishing touches came from other Hot Toys stock figures including Agent Coulson MMS 189 (belt) and Wolverine MMS220 (shoes).  The figure was then photographed with the Hot Toys Fortress base and Crystal control panel from the Mattel 1/6th Collectors series.

Click here for a full gallery on the Capedwonder.com ‘Figures’ page and Coming soon – an all-new custom with screen accurate Superman movie costume…