Ultimate 1:1 Progress…

A long-overdue update for this project but worth the wait as an amazing discovery has surfaced in the interim. Courtesy of Jim Bowers at CapedWonder.com is a special photograph showing a comparison between the handcrafted bust used for the project (far right) next to a recently unearthed genuine lifecast of Christopher Reeve! (centre). Of particular note is that the headsculpt was commissioned long before this discovery and completed with the aid of photographs alone yet the parallels are striking. Due to the ‘flattening out’ of the face during the procedure of lifecasting softer tissue can be compressed and expressions are usually grim or non-evident – the addition of the B&W photo by Chris King highlighting the sculpt with wider nostrils is a clear example of this.
The posts to follow will detail paint, assembly and finish but nothing could continue without the addition of the correct glass eyes. This became a problem as the original sculpt was completed without a set (apparently standard practice) for size/placement reference which meant ‘standard’ models would not fill the gaps. When John May made contact with specialists Cantor & Nissel (who have experience specifically replicating Reeve’s eyes) they unfortunately could not match the size required. This meant the project was stalled until another maker could be found. An extensive search on the
Replica Prop Forum linked me to Tech-Optics.com, a US-based company specialising in every conceivable form of false eyes handmade to your specifications. Though there have been many full-size interpretations of Reeve’s Superman, few have been so specific to attempt to not only get the right colour but include the specific patterns and ‘flaws’ present in the screencapture above (sent as reference) with the finished set below. This presented a unique opportunity so my thanks go out to James Alser of Tech-Optics whose patience and professionalism furnished us with what I consider to be an astonishing work of art.
In anticipation of the arrival of the eyes John May has also sent me two new pictures of early skin-tone airbrush paint tests (bottom two) and promises it will be something special when complete. Stay tuned…

Bubba, Vera, And The Psychic Nutritionist…

Excised from the Dovemead vaults and aquired by the Propstore Of London, this one-of-a-kind set of continuity Polaroids and costume design sketch from Superman III were used by the wardrobe dept. to keep track of an actors’ appearance scene to scene.  Above; Robert Vaughn, Annie Ross and Pamela Stephenson model their uniquely tasteless 80’s supervillain garb…

Adventure Running In The Family…

Love it or loathe it, The Maid Of Might‘s 1984 feature is nothing if not a product of its time. Originally conceived as as the first Movie Superhero team-up, the script was hastily re-written when Christopher Reeve declined last minute to participate and it shows. What remains is a curious and somewhat humorless fairytale resplendent with pantomime villainy. Helen Slater’s sensitive and vulnerable performance earned greater material while Peter O’ Toole and Faye Dunaway managed to chew up the scenery regardless.
Though their choice of Director (Jeannot Szwarc) was ill-advised, the Salkind’s were prudent enough to retain their effects team from the Superman series and the wirework (especially the ‘Flying Ballet’ sequence) has yet to be surpassed. Beleaguered by poor reviews and a bemused audience expecting another Superman Supergirl has nonetheless gained a steady cult following over the years thanks in no small part to Jerry Goldsmith’s stirring score.
Shown above is the definitive collectable from the movie in the form of the Anchor Bay limited Edition DVD release from 2000. Years ahead of its time in terms of content, transfer and presentation, this rare 2-disc set contained the never-before-seen directors cut of the film with all-new commentary and the vintage ‘Making Of’ special.
Given the existence of such excellent material and its genuine place in the Superman cinematic canon, its omission from the upcoming Blu-Ray set is mystifying but like everything else associated with this picture, it deserved better…