Lot 774/983…

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Eubanks Entertainment & Memorabilia (Movie, Music, Sporting & Toys), 12th May 2016, 12:00pm

Lot 774
Description

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987) Christopher Reeve leotard in pale blue stretch fabric with Superman logo to front, zip to back & four stud fasteners on shoulders to attach cape, label to inside, ‘ Bermans & Nathans, 40 Camden St, London NW1, Christopher Reeve 4913 Flying Superman IV ‘.

Provenance: A friend of the vendor worked on the set of the film.

Lot 983
Description

Superman – Acrylic crystal production used movie prop in the Fortress of Solitude scenes with Gene Hackman as he learns about his arch-nemesis Superman, and later in the film as Superman’s powers are taken away from him. approx 11 inches long.

Provenance: The vendors family have a long history of working on film sets in Elstree, Pinewood & Shepperton Studios. Her granddad was Bill Lowen (Rigger) & her father was Dave Lowen (Carpenter). This was given to the vendor as a gift from her father who worked at the Studios.

These two superior upcoming lots from the famed Surrey auction house represent the first original pieces of genuine Superman movie memorabilia on offer this year –

The ‘flying’ tunic (top three pics) is a great example of what distinguishes the Superman IV costume from the preceding films with its narrow bottom curve of the \S/ on the chest shield.  The lack of shorts also suggests (or harness vents) also indicate this tunic may have been used for bluescreen effects and its soiling indicates potential use for the climatic Moon battle…

“My Attachment…”

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAimageCostume month on SUPERMANIA gains momentum with this fascinating and unique variation of the iconic outfit made especially for Margot Kidder in Richard Donner’s Superman II.

As originally scripted, the scenes between Lois Lane and Kal-El in the Fortress Of Solitude conclude with the very controversial (at the time) consummation of their relationship before the sacrifice his of powers for love.  Later, as Clark/Superman confides in his father that all he craves is the chance to live a ‘normal’ life, Lois appears wearing the Superman tunic as a nightshirt.

This particular tunic (one of three made) was specifically tailored to appear oversized for Margot from the same Bridal weight Spandex as the full costumes and was used to photograph wig tests prior to the filming (top pic).  Asked about the footage only days ago – Margot herself recalls –

“I don’t remember wearing that at all but there was a love scene and Lois wore that the next morning. I don’t think the scene made it into the movie but I’m not sure. my hair was never like that in the Donner version. I had my own hair, not those hideous wigs. Harry (Dick) would never have allowed me to wear such an ill fitting piece of crap on my head..”

This entire sequence would be ultimately be excised and rewritten after both Richard Donner’s departure and Marlon Brando’s salary demands forced the Producers (and replacement director Richard Lester) to reshoot all of Jor-El’s scenes with Susannah York.  In this theatrical version, Superman would first be de-structured before spending the night with Lois as a mortal man.

It would be almost thirty years before the sequence as originally shot would be discovered in UK vaults and restored for inclusion in Superman II; The Richard Donner Cut, where Margot does indeed appear wearing the tunic (without said hairpiece.)

Amazingly, one of the tunics would survive in pristine condition to this day and form part of the significant collection of the UK office of Propstore, where it was mounted in an acrylic case with its label still attached (second pic). The accompanying sign (third pic) eloquently highlights the differences between the structure of this shirt versus the bodysuits (where its appearance suggests Superman’s costume in the movie framework is a top and tights as opposed to leotard) and its provenance from Warner Bros (Read Jason DeBord’s assessment on The Original Prop Blog here).

Propstore would later offer the tunic on the market (read the listing here) and in the hands of a private collector in the UK it was recently photographed being signed by Margot Kidder at a con (bottom pic).

While an owner has the right to do what he pleases with his property, SUPERMANIA nonetheless urges fellow collectors never to interfere with any original costume in such a fashion as it dramatically affects the value of the piece…

Coming soon, the Super-auction to end all auctions…

The Big Palooka…

15674412844_507e143127_o16110687069_5d4b9c165a_o (1)16270889756_e9166034a3_o16295037591_92f498d16f_oAt the dawn of DC Comics properties conquest of the silver screen, modern day successors Marvel would gamely go along for the ride in early 1979 with both this fun publication above and its more highbrow twin Starburst (to be featured in an upcoming post).

While Pizzazz may well have been ‘humour in the Marvel manner’, the articles featured about ‘The Big Palooka’ were very well-written and offered some great insights into the upcoming movie and probably best of all, a preview of Richard Donner’s Superman II, where actress/stuntwoman Ellen Bry (fresh from her appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man TV pilot, or feature if you lived in the UK) speaks out regarding a scene that wouldn’t surface publicly for another thirty years…

Astronautics…

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Though the cinematic conception of Planet Krypton as a world founded on crystal technology may be credited to Star Wars designer John Barry, it may come as a surprise that the final designs for Superman’s alien mechanizations were rendered by the man most famous for the iconic look of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Despite their infamy, producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind insisted on hiring the best of the best across the industry for their productions and the late Harry Lange, now known as ‘the man who saw the future’ was no exception.

Credited as an ‘Astronautics Consultant’ for Richard Lester’s Superman II, German born Hans Kurt Lange (bottom pic, holding the astronaut helmet he designed for 2001) was solely responsible for the interior/exterior work on the Artemis II space capsule set (third pic) realised with such authenticity it could’ve passed as a real spacecraft –  

“I’d seen real hardware at Cape Canaveral and in NASA’s research laboratories and hangars, so I knew what the equipment had to look like. A piece of board with blue squares stuck on it may do for TV, but not when you want to do something on a Cinerama screen. It had to be absolutely perfect. I kept that idea in my following films: Star Wars, Superman, James Bond…”

While comparisons between the earth-based hardware in II, Kubrick’s classic and Moonraker evidently bear Lange distinctive style, it is the Kryptonian computers/memory banks (first & second pic) that are standout examples of fantasy art elegantly realised.  While the console (second pic) could easily be the basis of Superman’s computer in the Fortress Of Solitude revised for Superman II, one wonders if he was involved uncredited as early as Donner’s original movie as this lot of illustrations from his estate (in auction this month by Propstore) clearly show a bank of computers mounted in the arch of Lex Luthor’s underground hideaway…

Read Harry’s obituary from the UK Independent here

“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…