Though audience and critical response to Superman IV: The Quest For Peace had been derisory, The Cannon Group, Inc. forged ahead regardless by announcing a fifth picture only three months after release with an apparent plan to use culled footage from the subplot of Part IV as the basis for a new feature. (See the deleted scenes here).
This was confirmed by a full-page ad appearing in Daily Variety (Top) declaring Superman V was in ‘Pre-Production’ as of October, 1988. Cinefantastique magazine (second pic) soon after published an article stating that Superman V was in fact one of a trifecta of upcoming genre features all to be directed by Albert Pyun (The Sword And The Sorcerer).
Subject to availability (see: whatever conditions/salary demanded) Christopher Reeve would potentially reprise his role in this ‘richer vision’ but the producers were obviously open to the idea of recasting the lead. Indeed, the entire cast of Masters of the Universe had already been dropped for Part 2, (Third pic) with Laird Hamilton replacing Dolph Lundgren.
Ultimately, like a glut of other pre-announced projects, none would come to fruition due to Cannon Films collapse in 1989, whereupon the rights to the Superman character reverted back to the Salkinds, who would proceed with their own ill-fated attempt to bring the Man Of Steel back to the big screen.
It seems production of Superman V came closer to reality than previously thought – (although a script has yet to surface) some years ago a fan named Paul got in touch with the following info about the same Superman V promo but in colour –
This is a mini poster for the cancelled, never made film Superman V. To quickly explain where I got this, I grew up in Borehamwood – home of Elstree Film Studios where Star Wars (and Superman IV) were made. In the late 80’s The Cannon Group owned the studios before much of it was demolished. In late 1987 or early 1988 (I can’t remember when but I do remember it was cold winter day) I was working with my father gutting the valuable stuff from the soundstages that were being demolished. Being a curious teenager I was raiding the trash looking for stuff. I found a collection of framed mini posters most in smashed glass frames. I later found out these were hung along the corridors coming from the main reception area. I took a few of these that interested me (Masters of The Universe, Superman, Spider-man) and I’ve kept them all these years. Superman V was never made but Cannon had started work on it…
My sincere thanks also go to SuperFan William S. Wilson (see his amazing Movie blog here) for securing an original copy of the ad taken from the pages of Daily Variety (bottom pic – on the rear: Delta Force II) and adding this grail item to the SUPERMANIA collection after a exhaustive search…