ALEXANDER AND ILYA SALKIND PRESENT
‘SUPERMAN – THE NEW MOVIE’
SCREENPLAY BY CARY BATES & MARK JONES
PRODUCED BY ROBERT SIMMONDS
DIRECTED BY PHILIP NOYCE
RELEASED BY WARNER BROS.
Sound too good to be true? Ultimately it would prove to be just that but judging from the evidence presented above it would appear the Salkind’s last Super-Hurrah would either be the perfect send-off for one series, or indeed, the initiation of another.
In the twenty years it would take to get the Man of Tomorrow back on the silver screen, this second attempt (following Cannon’s doomed Superman V) has arguably been overlooked in favour of subsequent treatments and the controversy surrounding Tim Burton’s ultimately aborted Superman Lives.
Given the calibre of creative talent namechecked in the documentation accompanying the first draft of the script, (dated 1990, second pic) among them tenured Super-Producer Bob Simmonds, Star Wars effects guru Richard Edlund (accompanied by Boss Films) along with a $40 Million budget and Alex Salkind’s typical flair for marketing, (selling the movie to numerous parties overseas before a director or even star was attached) its apparent the quality of the first three pictures was going to be at least maintained, maybe even surpassed.
Despite the ambiguity concerning Reeve’s return (third pic), only a year later the man himself affirmed his commitment to the project (click here) after his reservations to return were nullified by the involvement of the Salkinds. The choices of director were also intriguing – Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games) and Steve Herek (BiIl & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) filming a script by an experienced television writer with a great affinity and familiarity with the character (Cary Bates).
So with the considerable momentum building just how and why did the project stall? to date there is no one clear answer. Any concerns that the series may have had its day were certainly not reflected in the obvious worldwide interest and WB’s full backing to initiate a vast merchandising campaign. Those seeking a more exhaustive account should go here and check out this great article by Rennie Cowan but in the final analysis only Ilya Salkind himself presumably knows the absolute truth of it. Its a question SUPERMANIA would someday love to put to him…
Many thanks to SUPERMANIA’s latest contributor for his valued submission of both articles (top one from the October 1992 issue of Hollywood Reporter)