13 August 2018; Grateful
Marc McClure is one of my favorite people; and we are so GRATEFUL that he was given the opportunity to portray the perfect Jimmy Olsen. Thanks to Marc’s character, I still shoot with Nikon camera equipment 40 years later. Here’s Marc at last month’s San Diego ComIc Con promoting the Warner Archive Collection’s new Supergirl (1984) Blu-ray.
11 August 2018; The Smallville Stills Montage
In 1976, Superman Richard Donner released his movie, The Omen, to great reception. In it was a stills montage showing photos of Damien growing up with his family; see it here. This stills montage concept was also to be included in Superman-The Movie, showing Clark Kent growing up at the Smallville farm, spending time with his Earth parents and performing a variety of Superfeats, but it was ultimately scrapped.
Fortunately, 41 years ago this month, set photographer Bob Penn – and Aaron Smolinski‘s parents – shot a wide variety of photos of young Clark Kents, between ages 3 and 9, for the montage, and those photos are featured in our Smallville gallery here; a sampling is also featured below.
Late last year, Toronto-based film editor Julian Francis Adderley created his vision of what the stills montage may have been in Superman-The Movie. The video was created exclusively for this website, and we present it to you below. Enjoy!
08 August 2018; A Wonderful Fan Message
SuperFan James Walker sent me this absolutely lovely message yesterday and I just had to share it with all of you:
“The impact of Christopher Reeve’s life, and his portrayal of Superman, is immeasurable. While it is hard to put into succinct description, all of us here feel the reality of that impact every day. He transcended the boundaries of page and screen to become a true and utterly real Superman, embodying and exemplifying the qualities that make us believe in the Man of Steel. There is a reason that we always think of Chris when we imagine Superman. It isn’t that he was the first to portray him; it isn’t just the groundbreaking story-telling and spectacle of Superman The Movie. Rather, it is Chris himself. The man who took on the role of the Last Son of Krypton with pride and glee; who viewed his involvement with the character as a noble responsibility, and an opportunity to inspire humanity; the man whose kindness was matched by his initiative and courage. A man like Chris coming into the role of Superman may have seemed serendipitous at the time; but I believe it was fate; fate, that we should have a fictional character and real person merge so flawlessly into the inspiring phenomenon that was, and is, Christopher Reeve.”
Thank you so much, James! I couldn’t possibly have said it better myself!
31 July 2018; Superman 4K & Extended Cut Streaming
Is November 8, 2018 the magic date for the upcoming Superman-The Movie (theatrical cut) 4K release? This is NOT an official release date yet, just what the rumor mill has coughed up so far, so take it with a grain of salt at this point in time. I will post an update as soon as I’ve received official information from Warner Bros.
Both Amazon Prime Video and VUDU are offering streaming versions of Superman-The Movie Extended Cut. These versions – and possibly other streaming versions – have mono sound throughout and most closely reflect what was heard in the original TV broadcasts back in the day. Check out Amazon’s page here.
30 July 2018; Canadian Rockies Continuity Poloroids
Presenting three continuity Polaroids from the bridge missile hijack scene in Superman-The Movie, shot 41 years ago today in Kananaskis Country at the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Valerie Perrine and Ned Beatty looked as though they were having a great time in this beautiful country. The bridge, seen with blue truss construction in the movie, has been completely redone without a truss design.
See many more images in the Superman-The Movie Diversionary Tactics gallery here.
29 July 2018; Vintage Movie Review
Vintage movie reviews of the Superman movies are typically interesting reads. Here’s one dated July 3, 1981 by well-known syndicated Hollywood columnist Marilyn Beck. Terence Stamp is quoted in this newspaper scan:
“The role was not a simple one, since Zod’s powers were not actual, physical qualities that I could summon,” the actor reasons. “I thought about all the vain, glorious men of history, from Alexander the Great onward. I’ve also seen documentaries about Hitler. It seemed to me that Zod was so powerful that he never had to show his power. He was passive, not entirely engaged in the events surrounding him, but able to act swiftly and mercilessly when he felt it was necessary.”
To easily read the copy, please be sure to open the newspaper file by clicking on the image below and save it to your computer or mobile device; from there it will be easy to open and zoom in.
See many more reviews and other newspaper clippings here on SAM (Superman in Advertising & Media).
27 July 2018; The Smallville Cemetery
Filming of the cemetery scene began on this day 41 years ago, July 27, 1977, in Drumheller (a town northeast of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada). The cemetery, complete with miniature church and flag pole, was built for the movie. There is no evidence of the cemetery at this location today.
See many more images in the Smallville gallery here.
24 July 2018; Bluescreen Superman to Hoover Dam and Superman IV is 31!
40 years ago today, July 24, 1978: Richard Donner films Christopher Reeve against a blue screen for a flying shot to be used in the sequence of Superman rescuing Jimmy Olsen from Hoover Dam in Superman-The Movie.
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace premiered in theaters in the United States, Ireland, and England on this day in 1987.
19 July 2018; Superman III and Supergirl in the UK
Supergirl had its royal premiere on this day in 1984 in the United Kingdom.
Superman III was released in theaters on this day in 1983 across the United Kingdom.
See many more images in the Superman III gallery here.
17 July 2018; Yvonne Blake, Costume Designer
Presenting vintage photos and drawings, original photography by Ramon Casares and yours truly, on-line photos, a documentary screenshot, and one of my Christopher Reeve photos autographed by Yvonne Blake, Richard Donner, and Elaine Schreyeck.
Please visit our exclusive costume page here to learn more about Yvonne’s creation of the definitive silver screen Superman costume and the diversity of both alien and Earthbound costumes seen in Superman-The Movie.
16 July 2018; Note to Self: Will Reeve
Read more here about Christopher and Dana Reeve’s incredible son, Will Reeve.
15 July 2018; Supergirl (1984) Blu-ray!
My friends at the Warner Archive Collection sent me an advance copy of the Supergirl (1984) Blu-ray and it looks fabulous! Below are two screenshots; click here to see more. Check back, as I’ll be posting even more screenshots throughout the next couple of weeks (and beyond!). The Blu-ray is being released on July 24th. Pre-order your copy today at the WB Shop or Amazon. Enjoy!
13 July 2018; Clark Kent and the Daily Planet
41 years ago today, 7/13/77: Richard Donner shoots location coverage at the New York Daily News on 42nd Street of Christopher Reeve exiting the Daily Planet and retrieving Lois’ hat for the helicopter rescue sequence. At the urging of the film’s gaffer, cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth plugs a generator into a lamp post in order to achieve proper lighting for the scene. A short occurs, causing part of the location set to black out. Unbeknownst to Geoffrey Unsworth and the film crew, at 9:38 p.m. a lightning storm strikes the city, causing all of New York City to black out. Thankfully, with the generators, shooting on Superman-The Movie is able to continue. Richard Donner later assures Geoffrey Unsworth that he was not responsible for the blackout to New York City. Mayor Abe Beame declares a state of emergency for the entire city.
11 July 2018; The Fruit Cart and The Superman-The Movie Score!
41 years ago today, 7/11/77: In New York City in front of the Daily News Building, Richard Donner shoots the exterior portion of Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent blowing upward to save Lois from falling, in a sequence for the opening of Superman II. Actress and stuntwoman Ellen Bry (doubling for Margot Kidder as Lois Lane) shoots her scene of jumping into a fruit cart outside the Daily Planet. Margot Kidder then films her scenes atop the fruit cart. Later that day New York City Mayor Abe Beame greets Christoper Reeve and Margot Kidder, welcoming Superman to Metropolis. Documentary footage of the stunt is filmed, which is included in Taking Flight: The Development of Superman in 2001, for which I was research consultant.
40 years ago today, 7/11/78: John Williams conducts his first take of the Superman Theme with the London Symphony Orchestra. Recording continues on the track on July 13th. The track is called Prelude and Main Title (alternate), and can be heard on Superman-The Music. John Williams also records the first version of the Fortress of Solitude music on July 11th, which will not be used in the final film.
10 July 2018; Superman-The Movie 4K UHD Is Coming, and A New Joe Shuster Book!
The 40th anniversary is looking up! I have seen the stack of cans containing the original camera negatives for Superman-The Movie at Warner Bros., and can now confirm that a new 4K scan (achieved with a new scanner) and remaster of the theatrical cut of Superman-The Movie is underway. HDR may likely be involved in this release.
The box art featured below is a mock-up that I created and sent to Warner Bros. in March 2016 in a complete package (see below) when I contacted them about doing a proper 4K UHD release.
I have no confirmed release date as of this writing. More details to follow. Stay Tuned!
Joe Shuster was born on this day in 1914. Thank you, Joe, for bringing Superman into our hearts so long ago.
08 July 2018; More Filming in New York City
41 years ago today, 7/8/77: Richard Donner shoots Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder’s exterior portion of the mugger scene in New York City in the Manhattan district at the corner of Pike and East Broadway. Richard Donner also shoots the end portion involving Ned Beatty’s introduction to the film as Otis. The end tag will not appear in the theatrical version of the film, but will be restored for the extended TV broadcast in February 1982; you can also see it in widescreen in the October 2017 Blu-ray release. July 8, 1977’s edition of the New York Daily News publishes several photographs from the previous day’s location shooting featuring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, and Richard Donner.
07 July 2018; First Day of Filming in New York City
41 years ago today, 7/7/77: Richard Donner films his first shots in New York City of Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder in the lobby and the exterior of the New York Daily News, of Clark Kent and Lois Lane leaving the Daily Planet for scenes in Superman-The Movie.
Real-life entertainment reporter Rex Reed shoots his cameo appearance for the film. His cameo is filmed at least three times. Reed is also interviewed for The Making of Superman-The Movie documentary.
In between takes, reporters interview Christopher Reeve about his preparation for portraying Clark Kent, while fake newspapers of the Daily Planet are hawked to onlookers. Documentary footage is shot on location for The Making of Superman-The Movie, which is broadcast in 1980. Footage will also appear in Making Superman: Filming the Legend in 2001 (for which I was Research Consultant), and Look! Up in the Sky – The Amazing Story of Superman and You Will Believe: The Cinematic Saga of Superman in 2006.
04 July 2018; Happy Independence Day!
Truth, Justice and The American Way!
02 July 2018; Supergirl (1984) Arrives on Blu-ray! [UPDATE July 14, 2018]
I watched this new Blu-ray of the International Cut today (7/14/18). It has great color, clarity and grain structure, with enjoyable audio. You can see lots of detail…and so much more! 😉 I won’t spoil anything for you, so be sure to buy it when it’s released on July 24th. I’m sure other fans will eventually write in-depth reviews.
Here’s the two discs inside the case.
SUPERGIRL (1984) NEW 2018 1080p HD MASTER
International Cut Run Time 125:00
Subtitles English SDH
DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 – English
ORIGINAL ASPECT RATIO – 2.4:1, 16 X 9 WIDESCREEN
Special Features: The Making of Supergirl Vintage Documentary; Commentary by Director Jeannot Szwarc and Special Project Consultant Michael Bosco; Theatrical Trailer (HD); Extended Cut in Standard Definition on bonus DVD
Ilya and Alexander Salkind continue to bring the lore and legend behind the World’s Greatest Super Hero to the big screen in this follow up to the beloved Christopher Reeve series of Superman films, starring Helen Slater (in her screen debut) as the sensational Supergirl! While Superman grew up believing himself “The Last Son of Krypton” another part of his home planet survived, Argo City, home of his uncle Zor-El (Simon Ward) and his wife Alura (Mia Farrow). Saved by the wizardry of Zaltar (Peter O’Toole) and the Omegahedron, Kara comes of age as a Kryptonian when a disaster whisks the Omegahedron to her cousin’s planet, Earth. Dispatched to rescue it from the clutches of the evil sorceress Selena (Faye Dunaway), Kara must tackle a steep learning curve so that she can pass the test as both mild-mannered school girl Linda Lee and the Maid of Might, Supergirl!
This special edition of Supergirl presents the film’s International Cut, remastered in High Definition for Blu-ray along with the rare Extended Cut in Standard Definition on a bonus DVD.
26 June 2018; Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman Sign On
Beginning Mid-June 1976: Via agent Kurt Frings, Alexander and Ilya Salkind contact Marlon Brando, who is in the Philippines at work on Apocalypse Now, to play Jor-El. After two weeks of negotiations, Marlon Brando signs on to play Jor-El for $3.7 million. A clause in Brando’s contract specifically states that no press is to be allowed on the set. Within two days of the Brando closure, Gene Hackman signs on the project to play Lex Luthor for $2 million.
Despite the ad below stating that shooting begins in the Fall of 1976, it ultimately began on March 28, 1977, and with Richard Donner replacing Guy Hamilton as director.
25 June 2018; The Jaws/Superman Connections
June 25, 1975: Jaws is released to approximately 900 theaters in the United States, earning over $123.1 million in its domestic release. As a result of the success of Jaws, Alexander Salkind asks his son Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler to contact Steven Spielberg and express renewed interest in directing Superman-The Movie. By this time Spielberg has secured a multi-picture deal with Columbia Pictures, including writing and directing Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Presenting the June 23, 1975 TIME magazine cover, Super Shark, painted by Bob Peak. He would paint the Superman-The Movie poster art three years later.
24 June 2018; Instagram
I’ve been posting lots of imagery on Instagram as of late. Visit our Instagram page here!
18 June 2018; Superman-The Movie Surprises!
Yes, indeed, there are some Superman-The Movie Surprises to look forward to later this year! Stay Tuned!
17 June 2018; Superman III Turns 35!
Today is the 35th Anniversary of the release of Superman III in U.S. theaters! I was there opening day and thoroughly enjoyed the movie, in particular, Christopher Reeve’s amazing portrayal as the menacing evil Superman and the wonderful chemistry between Christopher and Annette O’Toole. Click here to enjoy the full Superman III image gallery!
15 May 2018; Margot Kidder Tributes
Margot Kidder has been on my mind constantly since her passing was announced to the world yesterday. She will be so incredibly missed in this household.
Jay Towers and I will most certainly be honoring Margot at the Motor City Comic Con in Detroit this weekend and at the Superman Celebration in Illinois next month.
CapedWonder.com will honor Margot indefinitely…
Featured here is celebrity photographer Ulvis Alberts’ 1978 portrait of Margot. I scanned and restored the original camera negative for Ulvis.
14 May 2018; Margot Kidder has Passed Away
I am so, so sad that our dear friend and gifted actress, Margot Kidder, passed away peacefully in her sleep last night in Montana. My heart goes out to her friends and family.
I will share more thoughts later. I am stunned. What a cool gal she was…
08 May 2018; SUPERMAN IV – THE QUEST FOR PEACE: LIMITED EDITION (2-CD SET)
Music by John Williams
Adapted and Conducted by Alexander Courage
Limited Edition of 3000 Units
RETAIL PRICE: $24.98
STARTS SHIPPING MAY 10
Available to order from lalalandrecords.com starting today!
La-La Land Records, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Water Tower Music and DC present the first solo CD release of the original motion picture score to the 1987 feature film, SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE, starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman and Jackie Cooper, and directed by Sidney J. Furie. SUPERMAN maestro John Williams’ spellbinding music, adapted and conducted by Alexander Courage, sends the Man of Steel soaring high, with a stupendous orchestral score that proves to be a wondrous way to celebrate Superman’s 80th Anniversary! Previously only available as part of a now out-of-print 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly, this release makes this notable work available once again for a new generation of comic book and superhero movie fans. Produced by Mike Matessino and Lukas Kendall, mixed and edited by Matessino, and mastered by Doug Schwartz, this release features the epic film score (which was recorded for a much longer version of the film) spread across two CDs, with alternate cues following. Disc 2 concludes with all of the songs and source material that were recorded for the project by Paul Fishman. The in-depth liner notes by Mike Matessino, Lukas Kendall and Jeff Eldridge have been sourced from the box set release and pay tribute to the great talent of Alexander Courage, best known as the composer of the theme to Star Trek. The heroic art design is by Jim Titus. This is a limited edition of 3000 units.
1 Fanfare / Space Saver 1:51
2 Main Title / Back in Time 5:43
3 Pow! / Good Morning 2:48
4 Smoke the Yokes / Nefarious 1:06
5 To Work / Train Stopper 2:09
6 Someone Like You (Lacy’s Theme) 3:21
7 Jeremy’s Theme 2:18
8 For Real / The Class 1:47
9 Hair Raisers 1:01
10 Lacy / The Visit 2:30
11 First Nuclear Man 5:26
12 Nuke 1 Fight / Ashes 3:47
13 Headline 2:51
14 Fresh Air 4:35
15 United Nations / Net Man 4:45
16 Sunstroke / Enter Nuclear Man 2 5:27
17 Flight to Earth / Introducing Nuclear Man 2 3:27
18 Lacy (disco version) 2:15
19 Lacy’s Place 5:25
20 Ear Ache / Confrontation / Tornado 8:11
21 Volcano 2:21
22 Statue of Liberty Fight 3:46
Disc 1 – Total Time: 76:50
1 Nuclear Man Theme 2:50
2 Down With Flu 3:15
3 Two-Faced Lex / Missile Buildup 1:41
4 Persuader / Awakened 3:16
5 Abducted / Mutual Distrust 4:47
6 Metropolis Fight / Lift to the Moon 3:38
7 Moon Fight / Goodbye Nuke 5:08
8 Come Uppance / Lifted / Quarried / Flying With Jeremy / End Credits 9:39
Total Score Time: 1:51:00
ALTERNATES AND SOURCE MUSIC
9 Fresh Air [album version] 4:41
10 Someone Like You (Lacy’s Theme) [slow version] 3:36
11 Red Square Band :57
Total Time: 9:11
SOURCE MUSIC AND SONGS BY PAUL FISHMAN
12 Superfly Guy 4:17
13 Headphone Heaven 3:25
14 Revolution Now 4:28
15 Saxy Sadie 4:48
16 Krypton Nights 4:46
17 Life’s Too Dangerous 3:16
18 Workout 2:29
19 Lois Love 4:58
Total Time: 32:27
Disc 2 – Total Time: 75:53
Total Two-Disc Time: 2:32:43
John Williams: A Life in Music Released Today!
World-Renowned Film Composer John Williams to Release New Recordings of his Most Iconic Film Scores with John Williams: A Life In Music
Performed by The London Symphony Orchestra and Featuring Scores from Star Wars and Harry Potter to Jurassic Park and the World Premiere Version of Schindler’s List for Cello
01 March 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Today sees the announcement of John Williams: A Life In Music – a brand new album of iconic movie scores by the world’s most successful film composer including Star Wars, Jurassic Park, E.T. and many more. Featuring brand new recordings by the London Symphony Orchestra, including the world premiere recording of Schindler’s List for cello, the album will be released on May the 4th (International Star Wars Day) via Decca Records/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Watch the album trailer HERE.
The LSO’s close connection with Williams dates back nearly 40 years with the orchestra performing many of the original versions. The epic collection of John Williams: A Life In Music was recorded by the 86-piece orchestra led by Gavin Greenaway at London’s Air Studios. In addition to the first recording of Schindler’s List for cello, the 10-track album as features the LSO’s first ever performance of “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter. From writing the world’s best-loved soundtracks – including Jaws, E.T. and the Home Alone films – to conducting some of the world’s most accomplished orchestras, John Williams truly is one of the greatest living composers of our generation.
Following this year’s Oscar nominations, Williams broke his own record with more Oscar nominations than any other living person – a title he first earned in 2016. Williams has also won five Academy Awards, seven BAFTAs, 24 Grammy’s, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous Gold and Platinum records.
This year, the Hollywood legend celebrates 60 years in movies. Alongside the release of this once-in-a-lifetime album, Williams will also conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in an extremely rare performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, making it the 86-year-old composer’s first performance in the UK in 22 years.
Over the span of his extraordinary career, Williams has graced the big screens and touched the hearts of people across the world with his music and this new album promises to do the same.
John Williams – John Williams: A Life in Music
1.“Main Title” – Star Wars
2.“Theme” – Jurassic Park
3.“Hedwig’s Theme” – Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone
4.“The Raiders March” – Raiders Of The Lost Ark
5.“Flying Theme” – E.T.
6.“Theme” – Schindler’s List
7.“The Flight To Neverland” – Hook
8.“Hymn To The Fallen” – Saving Private Ryan
9.“Shark Theme” – Jaws
10.“Superman March” – Superman (NEW RECORDING!)
03 May 2018; Letter from “A Friend”
I received this letter from an old and loyal friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) just the other day in response to my April 30th social media post.
Thanks my friend for your amazing support and understanding; we ARE all part of the Same Team!
In looking at your website yesterday, I can only express my happiness for your choice to continue your CapedWonder website for the purpose it was intended to serve from Day One…to pay tribute to the legacy of our long departed Man of Steel and the original six (if you count Supergirl and Superman Returns) films in the series through pictures and rare promotional materials in an archival web format.
You have been an essential part of the preservation of the Superman legacy (especially the first film way back in 1978), and you have helped me in my own personal endeavors in the past. Of course, with so many Superman websites out there covering the Man of Steel, I too feel it is time to get back to the purpose at hand. You have my full support in the continuation of your website, and if and when a proper special edition [4k remaster] of Superman-The Movie is announced, I look forward to the surprises you might have in store.
We will, of course, keep in touch occasionally. Until then, keep on flying!”
02 May 2018; Christopher Reeve on the Fortress Set
Presenting screenshots from film footage, as well as two unreleased photos (shot by set photographer Bob Penn), of Christopher Reeve shooting a costume and makeup test on the Fortress of Solitude set, 41 years ago today on May 2, 1977. Look carefully and you will see that his look had yet to be refined. 😉
Steve Barron is the man pictured holding the clapperboard in the first screenshot. Steve went on to becoming a huge music video director of A-ha’s Take On Me and so many other MTV-style videos. More about Steve’s career is here.
01 May 2018; In Celebration of Superman-The Movie‘s Release on DVD
On May 1, 2001, I had the great fortune of attending the Superman movie reunion at the Warner Bros. Museum in Burbank, California to celebrate the release of the Superman-The Movie Special Edition DVD (I was Research Consultant on the DVD’s three documentaries). Warner Bros. also presented a $10,000.00 check to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (today known as the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation).
Read more here.
01 May 2018; Motor City Comic Con and the Metropolis Superman Celebration
Jay Towers and I are very excited about being part of the festivities at the Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, May 18-20, and the annual Metropolis Superman Celebration, June 7-10, where many Superman-The Movie celebrities will be appearing. We hope to see you there to celebrate the 40th Anniversaries of Superman-The Movie & the annual Metropolis Superman Celebration, as well as the 80th Birthday of Superman!
Jay Towers and I first worked together at a Superman reunion at WonderCon 2015; check out the videos and photos here.
30 April 2018; A Social Media Update
Over the past decade, it has been enormous fun to engage with you on Facebook, and more recently on Instagram and Twitter. Many wonderful collaborations and friendships have been forged, which endure in the real world.
However, I have decided to re-prioritize CapedWonder’s primary mission, to restore and curate the photographic world of Christopher Reeve’s Superman. It has always been a source of dismay that the compression of images on Facebook has not allowed the true vibrancy of Superman’s colors to shine through.
Here on CapedWonder.com the images are, and will continue to be, added in their full undiluted glory.
I thank all of you who have made CapedWonder social media such a success over the years and hope that you will continue to contact me here. The website also has a place at the bottom of nearly every page called “Leave A Reply” to be able to quickly post messages that everyone can enjoy.
I hope to see many of you at Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, May 18-20, and the Metropolis Superman Celebration, June 7-10.
With very best wishes to you all – Go Forward!
18 April 2018; Happy 80th Birthday Superman!
We are so excited about Superman’s 80th Birthday! Presenting a CapedWonder exclusive poster to celebrate the Man of Steel’s Big Day! Layout by Jim Bowers. Superman by Ramon Casares. Bob Peak art re-creation by Mark Gutierrez. Enjoy!
09 April 2018; The 1979 Oscars & Other Awards
39 Years Ago Today, April 9, 1979: Superman-The Movie wins at the Oscars! Click here for the whole story, plus other awards the movie received.
28 March 2018: Superman Production 41th & CapedWonder.com 16th
First Day of filming during the Richard Donner Superman Years (1977-1978): Despite a nagging head cold, Marlon Brando arrives at Shepperton Studios that morning to begin filming his first scenes as Jor-El for the two ‘Superman’ films under the direction of Richard Donner. Brando is draped in black velvet and filmed teaching Kal-El via an education crystal. Christopher Reeve is on set to watch Brando at work. Brando later informs Creative Consultant Tom Mankiewicz that day that he has just read the complete script and calls it a “valentine”. Featuring an unreleased head-shot of Marlon Brando. Source photo from Jay Towers. Restoration by Jim Bowers.
CapedWonder.com is 16 Years Young! Thanks to the Incredible Superman Cast & Crew and Super Fans like You!
24 March 2018: Krypton Gallery Updates
I’ve updated the Krypton gallery with lots of new photos. Below are a few. Check them all out here!
23 February 2018: Christopher Reeve Revealed to the World
“He’ll portray the caped wonder from Krypton…” Christopher Reeve was announced 41 years ago today as the new Superman and Clark Kent at a press conference at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York City.
17 February 2018: Pa Teaches Clark at the Farm
Richard Donner and his Superman team planned to include in ‘Superman-The Movie’ a photo stills montage showing Clark Kent’s time growing up on the Kent farm, much like was done for Donner’s, The Omen, in 1976. See the photo stills montage from The Omen here. As a side note, you can see Holly Palance in the scene after the stills montage in The Omen; she was Lois Lane during Christopher Reeve’s Superman screen test on February 1, 1977.
Ultimately, Superman set photographer Bob Penn *did* shoot photos for a montage (using five little Clark Kent actors, including Aaron Smolinski and his older brother, Travis), but those photos were never included in any edit of the movie that I am aware of (work print, etc.), or used in publicity.
Below is one of Bob Penn’s photos for the stills montage, featuring Travis Smolinski and Glenn Ford at a chalkboard in the backyard of the Kent farm house, filmed in Canada in August 1977.
Here’s an excerpt from David Michael Petrou’s amazing book, The Making of Superman-The Movie:
“[Publicist] Gordon Arnell and [set photographer] Bob Penn, along with special-effects man John Richardson, were on the Kent farm set most of that first week, coordinating an elaborate still-shot sequence which might possibly be incorporated into the film, detailing the growth and displaying the super powers of young Clark. Using the young boys selected at the earlier casting session in Calgary, Richardson had to create effects which included milking a cow at super-speed, chopping a cord of wood in a single blow, and lifting a tractor. Since these fantastic actions had to be depicted in still shots rather than in motion, the sequence provided Bob Penn with some unique problems.”
16 February 2018: Pa Meets Clark at the Farm
Please enjoy this unreleased photo of Glenn Ford and Jeff East as Jonathan and Clark Kent on the farm, filmed in Canada in 1977. I’m updating the Smallville gallery, as well as many other Superman-The Movie galleries. Please check back often.
06 February 2018: Queen Elizabeth II Cup
Queen Elizabeth II commemorated her 65th anniversary as queen today. Take a look at Richard Donner’s cup in the photo below; it’s from Queen Elizabeth II’s 25th anniversary (1977). You can buy one of these vintage cups on Etsy (I own one).
01 February 2018: Superman’s Screen Test
Christopher Reeve’s Superman screen test took place 41 years ago on February 1, 1977. Holly Palance, daughter of actor Jack Palance, played Lois Lane. She starred in Richard Donner’s 1976 film, The Omen. She retired from acting in 1989.
This is a photo of Chris during his Superman screen test shot by an unknown photographer using a “Pocket Instamatic” 110 camera. “Pocket Instamatic” 110 cameras were very popular as a low-cost film option for general consumers, starting in 1972. A 110 film cartridge contains negative film that is a mere 0.51″ × 0.67″ in size, and, thus, produces so-so quality prints as compared to 35mm. I own many other 110 negatives from the production of Richard Donner’s Superman movies; here’s a scan of one (shot by an unknown photographer from the kitchen of the Kent farm in Canada).
24 January 2018: The Dreams Poster
We made a few updates to one of Ramon Casares’ fabulous 2004 “Dreams” inspirational posters.
19 January 2018: The Kent Farm
The farm used for the Smallville scenes in Superman-The Movie is a real farm that turns 101 years old this year.
According to Bill Brodie’s scouting records (now part of the CapedWonder Collection), the farm owner intended to tear down the house and barn after production wrapped in August 1977, but, for unknown reasons it never happened, and the structures stand to this day.
The farm has a different owner today. Over the past seven years, I’ve had many enlightening phone calls and e-mail correspondence with the owner’s spokesperson; they seem to be decent people who are very private.
The owner does not permit anyone on the property. There has apparently been much vandalism, and at least one break-in, which has greatly upset the owner.
I strongly recommend staying away from the farm. The owner’s spokesperson has already issued multiple cease-and-desists to people who have entered the property, and has threatened to get the police involved, with the intention of charging offenders with possible unlawful entry/breaking & entering, trespassing, and/or theft. They are very serious about this matter.
The owner and their spokesperson are well aware that I have photographed the property, but we have a written agreement that I will not post my photos anywhere on the World Wide Web and not divulge the farm’s location.
If you have been to the farm and have posted your photos on-line, I urge you to take them down. If you do happen to drive by the farm and take photos from the public road sitting in your car, do yourself a favor and don’t post those photos on-line. You’ll be glad you made that decision.
18 January 2018: Gallery Updates Continue
I am still updating the Superman-The Movie galleries, so check them out here!
13 January 2018: Superman-The Movie Gallery Updates
The majority of the Superman-The Movie galleries have been updated with new and improved photos; check them out here.
Below is a scan of an original storyboard from the CapedWonder Collection; see more storyboards here.
12 January 2018: The Super Train
Featured below is a photo of Clark Kent jumping in front of the Kansas Star train in Superman-The Movie (top) and an original photograph shot by me at the exact same level crossing – an intersection where a railway line crosses a road or path at the same level – in Canada in 2011 (bottom). I was fortunate to have a train go by while I was there, as it was a very quiet track that day.
11 January 2018: Lynn Stalmaster Believes in Christopher Reeve
41 years ago this month – January 1977: Casting director Lynn Stalmaster strategically places a casting photo of a young stage actor on the top of Richard Donner’s inbox, only to discover later that the photo is placed at the bottom of the pile. Undeterred by his thoughts on the young actor, Stalmaster again places the photo at the top of the inbox, and again, three times in total. Donner takes a shot and contacts the actor, who is in the middle of production on the play, My Life, as an understudy for William Hurt, via his agent, to come in for a reading. The agent informs the actor that the chances of getting the part are remote at best because no one had seen a script. Christopher Reeve agrees to meet with Richard Donner to discuss the Superman project.
Read about Lynn Stalmaster’s amazing career here. And see his acceptance speech below for his Honorary Oscar at the 2016 Governor’s Awards in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, on November 12, 2016.
These photos of Christopher Reeve below, shot to promote his character on the TV soap opera, ‘Love of Life’, were taken within a couple of years of Christopher Reeve first meeting Richard Donner about Superman. The headshot – with the white background – was scanned and retouched by me, and can be seen all over the internet on various websites, blogs and social media outlets.
09 January 2018: Superman II Alley Transformation
Please enjoy this panoramic of Clark Kent’s transformation into Superman in the back alley from Superman II using numerous Blu-ray screenshots. Click on the image and it will open in its own box. Then save the PNG file to your computer and open it with your favorite viewer to enjoy the full-size version (3447 x 400 pixels).
07 January 2018: Superman-The Movie Screenshots
Many Superman-The Movie screenshots have been uploaded to our satellite website on SmugMug. Please enjoy them here. There even more screenshots at the top of this page; see the far right dropdown.
01 January 2018
Here we are! 2018! The year Superman-The Movie was released in U.S. theaters 40 years ago! What an Incredible Journey so far! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your Amazing Enthusiasm, Passion, Knowledge and Support! Go Forward! Soar! And Live your Dreams! Happy New Year from all of us at CapedWonder.com!
18 September 2017 [UPDATED 25 SEPTEMBER 2017]
At last! It’s official! The TV edit of Superman-The Movie is being officially released by the Warner Archive Collection!
I’ve known about this upcoming release for a few months now (thanks to two insiders pals), and am so pleased it is being released on October 3, 2017.
This extended 3-hour US Blu-ray release of Superman-The Movie is region-free (plays in any Blu-ray machine worldwide), and is the debut for this cut of the movie in the original theatrical widescreen on any home format!
The more successful this release is for the Warner Archive Collection division of Warner Bros., the more likely it is that we will see similar high-definition releases for the other Christopher Reeve Superman movies.
There are no guarantees, but if our enthusiasm is clear to Warner Bros. in the sales figures, we make seeing the other movies released more likely than ever, but Superman-The Movie: Extended Cut needs to do well immediately upon release – not slow burning over months as people get around to it.
So please consider ordering an extra copy for someone you know who might appreciate it as a gift this festive season from the following webpages:
A MESSAGE TO THE SUPERMAN MOVIE COMMUNITY:
by CapedWonder Writer Bill Williams
Next month sees the long-awaited release of the complete extended version of Superman: The Movie on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection!
It’s been a week since we first received the news, and like many of you I, too, am excited about this new Blu-ray release, which will give the fans nearly 40 minutes of additional footage not included in the original theatrical release, and much of which we have seen in various TV broadcasts, and at that in fullscreen format only. But now it will be presented on disc in its original widescreen format, which we have long waited for!
As you know, next year marks the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of Superman: The Movie and I can think of no better way for all of us in the CapedWonder community to celebrate the film by supporting this new Blu-ray release. The potential is endless. This year alone we have seen new anniversary screenings of film classics such as Smokey and the Bandit, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, to name a few.
Supporting the new Superman-The Movie: Extended Cut Blu-ray can send a message to Warner Bros. that a new anniversary screening of the film can happen back on the big screen.
For the past few years our team leader Jim Bowers has worked tirelessly to bring to life his coffee table book on the development of the Superman films, which has received outstanding support from those fans, the cast members, and Richard Donner. Getting the new Blu-ray release will further support Jim’s book and bring his dream project to life.
And with the increase in Ultra 4K HD, what better way to watch Superman: The Movie than in this new format? Supporting the new Blu-ray will let Warner Home Video know that Superman: The Movie should be brought to life in this new format.
But none of this can happen without your help. The demand for this new release of a beloved classic film can be high, and such response can only support the film for its 40th anniversary.
And who knows what the response might mean for the sequels?
Tell your friends and fellow film buffs to get this new Blu-ray release of Superman-The Movie: Extended Cut, and let’s let Warner Bros. know that we still believe a man can fly!
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE – EXTENDED CUT & SPECIAL EDITION 2-FILM COLLECTION (1978,2000)
Run Time 188 Minutes-EXTENDED CUT (NEW 2017 1080p HD MASTER)
151 Minutes-SPECIAL EDITION
Subtitles Spanish, French, English SDH
DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 – English (EXTENDED CUT)
DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 – English, DOLBY DIGITAL SURROUND 5.1 – French, DOLBY DIGITAL SURROUND 5.1 – Spanish
ORIGINAL ASPECT RATIO – 2.40:1, 16 X 9 LETTERBOX
Special Features (on Superman The Special Edition Disc): Commentary by Director Richard Donner and Creative Consultant Tom Mankiewicz; 3 Documentaries Taking Flight: The Development of Superman, Making Superman: Filming the Legend and The Magic Behind the Cape; Screen Tests; Restored Scenes; Additional Scenes; Additional Music Cues; Music-Only Track
Decades before blockbuster Extended Cuts were common, Superman proved a true “Man of Tomorrow.” Superman: The Movie received an ahead-of-its-time makeover for its television premiere – nearly 40 more minutes of story, creating a two-night television event. Audiences had already been swept off their feet by Christopher Reeve’s Last Son of Krypton, and now there was more to enjoy. Unseen in decades, this version is paired here with Richard Donner’s definitive vision of his film, the Special Edition Director’s Cut (2000), to create a supersized celebration of Metropolis’ favorite son that preserves the director’s intent while feeding superfan demands.