Miltropolis…

MK1MK4MK2MK3For a movie over 30 years old and generally reviled by fans and critics alike, its amazing how Superman IV: The Quest for Peace still solicits such in-depth analysis to this day.

Indeed, few other motion pictures historically have spawned so such controversy over their shooting locations – mostly attributed to the fact the movie was shot in its entirety in the UK and budget restrictions did little or nothing to disguise the fact.  As unlikely now as it was at the time, the majority of exteriors doubling for New York clone Metropolis were found in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

In fairness to Production Designer Graham Easton, there would be very little viable alternative finding a city in England with anything like the kind of architecture required to successfully convey any US city, let alone the Big Apricot.  So in 1986, with the assurance anything above six storeys would be adapted into a convincing skyline with the addition of matte paintings (created by either Harrison or Peter Ellenshaw), The city of a thousand roundabouts with its glass & steel frontages must have seemed a safe bet.

With that in mind, please take the time to look at this awesome piece from the guys at Den Of Geek that revisits the locale as it stands today.  Besides the fact very little has changed from then to now its remarkable how close in proximity all these filming sites were (The Metropolis Hotel, Museum and Daily Planet lobby are all the same building).

While this most recent pilgrimage is quite exhaustive, it should come as no surprise that SUPERMANIA had also visited more than a decade before (when the buildings were still open to the public) during an enjoyable excursion with the members of Dharmesh Chauhan’s Superman CINEMA message board back in the day, with pre-digital pics above revealing the sites to be in an even more pristine state, (including the infamous train station, top pic).

Further to the Den Of Geek rundown is the fact the Bannatyne gym beneath the Winter Gardens (third pic) was the Metropolis gym where Clark & Lacey’s workout was shot and just outside the Planet lobby doors was the location for the deleted scene of Lacey & Clark’s farewell in the taxi. (bottom pic)  It should also be noted the Motorway used for Luthor’s attempted escape was a newly built stretch of the M25, not a Buckinghamshire road…

For even more illustrated history of the filming of Superman IV, (see the WEEKEND article quoted here) click on the post history tab on the right hand column of the page…

50 Years On…

Midweek1-001Midweek2Midweek3Midweek4Presented as a companion to reccommended comic reading for fans of the classic Superman features, enjoy this vintage piece on Superman’s 50th anniversary from the pages of UK Midweek magazine.  Beneath the splendidly colourful cover illustrated by John Byrne is Rob Ryan’s informative but somewhat cynical piece, managing to condense the highlights of an American icon over almost two pages.  While the Superman Movie series gets a very brief mention (including still from Superman IV) the biggest revelation to SUPERMANIA is that Superman’s birthday is February 29th..every four years…

x4…

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SUPERMANIA is proud once again to showcase the superlative works of SuperFan Jayce76 with all-new retro style ads for Superman IV: The Quest For Peace from his outstanding site Cinemazone Wallpapers.

For those of you with a fondness/guilty pleasure for output of the Cannon Group way back when, more fantastic pieces from Masters Of The Universe and the abandoned Spider-Man movie in similarly authentic style await…

A Fair Trial…

6515248353_a5ea5b5811_o6515786487_b9890730ee_o6515605601_0d6eba379b_o6515242763_944af1b5fd_oSUPERMANIA had reserved this post for the reveal of the long-awaited custom Hot Toys Superman figure featuring movie-accurate modifications.  Alas, due to experimentation, timewasters and inevitable delays the project is further delayed but will continue until the desired result is achieved (as first conceived here).

In the meantime, we celebrate the enduring legacy of the MMS152 with these amazing shots captured by figure photographer extrordinaire Ronnie Del Puerto (view his photostream here). Besides the dramatic shots highlighting the best aspects of the figure, Ronnie blurs fiction and reality in considerable style with the somewhat controversial portrait (second pic) of Reeve’s Superman apprehending Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden.

While reminiscent of the final scenes of Superman: The Movie where Superman drops Lex and Otis into the Prison grounds, this portrait may be done just for fun but does seem to hearken back to the days where the Superman character was used in comic books to motivate troops by taking on real-world oppressive regimes.  If nothing else, it serves as a contemporary reminder of what is meant by ‘Truth, Justice and the American way’…