15 April 2021; Christopher Reeve’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Today is the 24th anniversary of Christopher Reeve’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star ceremony and party in Hollywood, California. I was so thrilled for Christopher Reeve and his family because he was getting a star! It was such an honor and privilege to be able to attend and photograph the ceremony! Afterwards, there was a private party held for Chris. I presented him with a custom-made Plexiglas Superman shield autographed by many Superman stars who knew and loved Chris. He asked me to read their messages aloud to the party attendees. I was all too happy to oblige…
Click here to read all about that day and see some great imagery!
09 April 2021; Superman-The Movie Awards!
42 Years Ago Today: April 9, 1979, the fifty-first Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Music Center of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Hollywood, California, and broadcast on ABC-TV. Steve Martin presented the Oscar for Special Achievement in Visual Effects to their film, Superman-The Movie, which had been unanimously selected by the Academy Board of Governors.
A number of clips were shown; Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings, and Zoran Perisic went up to accept the award (Les Bowie had already passed away); and the accolade had been rightfully deserved. In the eyes of the Academy Award board, what they achieved in Superman-The Movie had never been before achieved in both the history of the character and the history of the Oscars. They had pulled it off in such convincing manner and believability.
Richard Donner’s insistence upon working to achieve that sense of verisimilitude, that state of grounded reality within the framework of fiction, had paid off.
03 April 2021; Let’s Get Nuclear!
Where would Superman IV: The Quest For Peace be without Nuclear Man? In Episode 34 Jay Towers & Jim Bowers join forces with Martin Lakin & Alexei Lambley-Steel to talk with actor Mark Pillow. The guys get right into some of those famous scenes, Nuclear Man I and II, working with Christopher Reeve, and announce the ‘Nuclear Codes’ for CapedWonderAutographs.com. Now fans can hear the stories from Mark Pillow and get personalized autographs from Mark. Destroy Superman? This Podcast Destroys everything you thought you knew about Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.
We’ve Joined Forces with Actor Mark Pillow! In a first of its kind special event, we’re celebrating our love of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace with an exclusive fan opportunity. Mark Pillow “Nuclear Man” has partnered with The Caped Wonder Superman Podcast to offer fans the opportunity to obtain authentic personalized autographed photos on CapedWonderAutographs.com!
28 March 2021; CapedWonder & Superman: The Movie Anniversaries!
CapedWonder.com Celebrates its 19th Anniversary Today! Super Thanks to all of *YOU* for many years of WONDER-ful Friendship and Support! Let’s Keep Going Forward and Having Fun!
44 years ago today, March 28, 1977, filming on Superman officially began. Despite a nagging head cold, Marlon Brando arrived on C Stage at Shepperton Studios at 8:30 that morning to begin filming his first scenes as Jor-El for the two Superman films. Brando was draped in black velvet – as seen in this photo – and filmed teaching Kal-El via an education crystal. Christopher Reeve was on set to watch Brando at work. Brando, Richard Donner, and Tom Mankiewicz reviewed the footage in between takes. Brando later informed Mankiewicz that day that he has just read the complete script and called it a “valentine”. As a side note, this is a scan from set photographer Bob Penn’s ORIGINAL 35mm camera slide, now in the CapedWonder Collection.
25 March 2021; Special Edition Trailer is 20!
Here’s the Superman: The Movie Special Edition trailer that is 20 years old this month. Enjoy!
23 March 2021; 2006 Tin Box Set!
The Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD Box Set won the 2006 Satellite Award for Best Overall DVD and the 2006 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards for DVD Packaging, Design and Content.
The interior contents of the box set include a lenticular slipcase showing Superman flying up and shattering an “updated” silver/chrome movie shield. The flying Superman figure was created by Ramon Casares and Jim Bowers, and licensed to Warner Bros. for this release. It has also been used on the cover of Blu-ray box sets officially released by Warner Bros. around the world.
This post is dedicated to Ronnee Sass, former Warner Bros. Vice President of Publicity and Promotion. She recently passed away at age 72. She was a great lady who included me in in the entire Superman movie home video effort between 2001 and 2011. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family and friends.
Here are two photos I shot at the Superman Movie DVD event at Dave’s Video in Los Angeles on May 1, 2001. Ronnee Sass has the curly blond hair and glasses. Read more here.
16 March 2021; Podcast BONUS EPISODE!
In this BONUS EPISODE Jay & Jim check out incredible “Behind The Scenes” photos from Superman III courtesy of Ken Oliver. Ken worked at the Turbo Oil Refinery outside of Calgary back in 1982 during the filming of Superman III and he has the photos to prove it! Ken met Christopher Reeve and took some very rare photos. Safety was the #1 priority in making this memorable scene and Ken tells all. That man is a miracle!
15 March 2021; Superman: The Movie Comparison!
Yes! There *is* a difference between the Superman: The Movie Restored International Cut (RIC) and the Superman: The Movie Extended Cut Blu-ray! Here it is. Why the difference? Warner Archive doesn’t know, despite my phone inquiries. The RIC is a fan edit where all of the content broadcast on TV around the world was assembled together. Both edits have a 188-minute running time.
02 March 2021; Superman II Comparison!
Superman II: Restored International Cut (RIC), released for free in October 2004, is a fan project that compiled footage from four different versions of the film that were broadcast on television around the world. There is much extended footage in the RIC, as you will see in these RIC/Theatrical Cut comparison video clips. Here’s one of those clips. Stay tuned for more clips!
(The speed of the movie on the original RIC DVD is a bit inconsistent, making a perfect sync between the two video sources rather challenging at times.)
23 February 2021; Revealed to the World!
44 Years Ago Today: Christopher Reeve was announced as the new Superman and Clark Kent at a press conference at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York City on February 23, 1977. Notice the red circle…that is the first instance I’d ever seen where Superman was referred to as “Caped Wonder”. Read all of the copy carefully because there are some interesting nuggets.
20 February 2021; Superman II on TV!
20 February 1984: An extended version of Superman II is broadcast on network television at a running length of 142 minutes. Approximately 15 minutes of scenes mainly shot by Richard Donner are included in the broadcast. Among them are the Concorde sequence from the first film, a borrowed shot from the flying sequence, and the film’s original climax at the Fortress of Solitude, among others. Edits are made to the film to remove brief content and language and for time considerations. Additional production credits appear at the end of the film mentioning numerous additional contributors, including Michael Clifford as the music editor for the extended version.
19 February 2021; Podcast Episode #33!
Jay Towers & Jim Bowers talk exclusively with Michael Thau on how he worked with Richard Donner to bring Superman: The Movie to DVD in May 2001. The six tons of film that arrived at Warner Bros. The amazing behind the scenes footage and screen tests. Making the “The Richard Donner Cut” of Superman II and the mysterious longer version with more Lester footage on VUDU, Prime Video, and other streaming services. Jay & Jim also discuss DC Comics Superman ’78 and the passing of Lynn Stalmaster. The Winter Thau has arrived and we can’t wait for you to hear Episode #33!
Read Bill Williams’ excellent article, TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD: A LOOK AT THE ALTERNATE VERSION OF SUPERMAN II: THE RICHARD DONNER CUT.
Presenting one example of the differences between the “official” Donner Cut (released on DVD and Blu-ray) and the “VUDU” extended cut of the Donner Cut (ONLY available on VUDU, Prime Video, and other streaming platforms). See more videos in Bill Williams’ article (click on the link above).
16 February 2021; Superman ’78 is Coming in July!
DC Comics has announced two new digital first series inspired by 1989’s Batman and 1978’s Superman movies, respectively.
Batman ’89 is written by Sam Hamm and illustrated by Joe Quinones while Superman ’78 is written by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Wilfredo Torres. Both titles will debut six digital chapters on July 27, with six additional chapters arriving weekly after that. Once all 12 chapters of each story have been released, they’ll be collected in six traditional comics released between August and October and then as hardcover collected editions in October for Batman ’89 and November for Superman ’78.
13 February 2021; ABC-TV Intro Restored!
Our Caped Wonder Superman Podcast co-host, Jay Towers, restored the Superman: The Movie ABC-TV broadcast introduction from February 1982, and made it widescreen. The vintage ABC-TV animation was re-created in widescreen by Aaron Price. Enjoy!
04 February 2021; “First Time on Free TV!”
February 7-8, 1982: The extended version of Superman: The Movie is first broadcast on ABC-TV over two nights at a running length of 182 minutes. Approximately 33 minutes of new scenes are included in the broadcast, including extended looks at Krypton, Smallville, the Fortress of Solitude, Metropolis, Superman running the gauntlet, and the film’s climactic super feats, among others. Another 16 minutes of footage is included in the broadcast to recap the film and recycle the film’s main and end title credits for the two-part broadcast. Edits are made to the film to remove brief content and language and for time considerations.
01 February 2021; Christopher Reeve Auditions 44 Years Ago!
Christopher Reeve films his screen tests for Superman, with Holly Palance (who had previously worked with director Richard Donner on The Omen ) reading for Lois Lane, with Geoffrey Unsworth filming the screen tests and Tom Mankiewicz in attendance. Reeve wears a hastily prepared costume, and his brown hair is dyed black with hair polish. Screen tests involve the balcony interview scene that will eventually appear in Superman: The Movie and the scene of Lois tricking Clark into becoming Superman in Superman II. When Reeve delivers his first lines straight, Unsworth is startled by Reeve’s straightforward and honest delivery and shares his delight and surprise with Mankiewicz. Tom Mankiewicz expresses his excitement for Reeve’s potential in the role, and the Warner Bros. executives give their blessing to take a chance with Reeve.
Christopher Reeve’s Superman audition costume is on the left (February 1, 1977), and his Superman costume worn during Deborah Raffin’s Lois Lane audition is on the right (April 16, 1977).
30 January 2021; Same Costume Tunic!
The line drawing depicts the “tunic” portion of a Christopher Reeve Superman costume. The trio of Christopher Reeve images show the SAME TUNIC being worn in all three instances. How do we know? The uniqueness of the chest \S/ shield. Learn more about these amazing artifacts by reading “TAKE THE GENTLEMAN’S CAPE…Tailoring Superman For Cinema” by Martin Lakin.
27 January 2021; Super Wigs!
Super Fan Martin Lakin, Editor & Creator of Supermania78.com, has created yet another very enlightening and informative video…this time about Christopher Reeve and his stunt person’s Superman/Clark Kent wigs. Thanks so much, Martin, for reviving my Superman and Clark Kent wigs. I’ll be sure to shoot proper photos of them in my studio this year and share them with all of you.
19 January 2021; Podcast Episode #32!
In 1997, Superfans needed a place to find out everything they could about the Christopher Reeve Superman films. They needed a place to gather and explore. 24 years later we get the behind-the-scenes story of Superman CINEMA from the founder himself Dharmesh Chauhan. The interviews, the research, the flame that ignited Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut fuse. Jay Towers & Jim Bowers are back to kick off season three and 2021 with a Caped Wonder style bang!
Today is director Richard Lester’s 89th birthday. Please enjoy Dharmesh Chauhan’s feature story about Mr. Lester on Superman CINEMA Archives.
14 January 2021; International Poster!
I “re-created” one of the vintage Superman-The Movie international one-sheet movie posters. I started out with a scan of the original poster and then replaced the people – Chris Reeve (and the city below), Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman – and the ‘Superman-The Movie’ logo with individual scans from my collection. The Chris Reeve/city image was scanned from an 8×10 transparency. The Marlon Brando photo was scanned from the original 35mm slide shot by Bob Penn. The Gene Hackman photo was scanned from a vintage lobby card. And finally, the ‘Superman-The Movie’ logo was scanned from an 8×10 transparency. Once I had everything in place, I interjected some color halftone effects to make the new images look like they were printed on a poster. I left the slogan at the top and credits at the bottom as-is. By the way, “The Man of Steel is Real” almost became the final slogan for the movie until “You’ll Believe A Man Can Fly” was decided upon about a month before the U.S. theatrical release of the film. Enjoy!
12 January 2021; Soundtrack Update!
This La-La Land Records release – the definitive version of Superman: The Movie‘s soundtrack – is temporarily out of stock. It will be available again in March 2021 according to the company’s President, MV Gerhard. Please DO NOT buy it from eBay at a ridiculously high price. Click here to buy the release starting again in March.
Super Thanks to La-La Land Records for asking me to once again be your Creative Consultant on this release, and for utilizing some of my photographs into your designs. Below is one example.
11 January 2021; Marlon Brando Autograph!
Superman items autographed by Marlon Brando are apparently few and far between. I’ve only seen two items that I believe are the real deal, and this is one of them. This photo was shot by Superman set photographer Bob Penn at Shepperton Studios in March/April 1977. Marlon signed it to Superman: The Movie publicity assistant June Broom.
10 January 2021; He Makes Us Believe A Man Can Fly!
Inventor Zoran Perisic won an Academy Award and BAFTA in 1979 for his flying effects invention called ZOPTIC for Superman: The Movie.
Zoran reached out to me and had this to say: “I have checked out your website and want to congratulate you on the fine endeavor in spreading the “myth and magic” of Superman!”
Learn more about ZOPTIC in the June 1979 issue of Film Making magazine.
08 January 2021; “Who…Are You?”
07 January 2021; Margot Kidder Tribute!
Please make time to read this article posted in The New York Times on-line and in print on December 27, 2018. It is truly moving.
My last dinner with Margot in 2017 was like no other experience…it’s hard to describe. She asked me about my military career, and she told me all of her living with Indians, and so much more.
It was a blessing to be with Margot and honor her in the best way I knew how. I will continue to honor Margot with your help and support.
I just loved her.
Thanks very much to Maggie McGuane (Margot’s duaghter) for contacting me and to The New York Times for asking me to contribute the photo featured in the article.
Please enjoy many Margot photos in the Behind-the-scenes Gallery here.
06 January 2021; Bob Peak’s Alternate Art!
I love discovering alternate versions of Bob Peak’s beautiful movie poster art for Superman: The Movie. Take a look at the full-page ad from Music Video Week, dated September 21, 1981 (left). Compare it to the final art (right). Bob signed each one.
03 January 2021; R/Greenberg Associates!
42 years ago today, this Variety ad appeared recognizing R/Greenberg Associates for their creation of Superman-The Movie‘s amazing Feature Titles, Trailer Campaign, and Television Campaign, along with videos of the company’s Superman streaking titles. Please visit Art of the Title to read a fascinating interview with Richard Greenberg who sadly passed away on June 16, 2018.
01 January 2021; Happy New Year!
Hi Super Friends!
Happy New Year and Thank you!
The CapedWonder website is now in its 20th Year, thanks to your Support and Enthusiasm!
–Jim Bowers, Editor
Here’s my favorite Christopher Reeve Superman magazine cover, dated January 1, 1979. Click here to read the entire Superman article with great images!
25 December 2020; Have a Wonderous Day!
CapedWonder Photographer & Graphic Designer, Ramon Casares, was inspired by the first Wonder Woman movie’s advertising campaign when he made this image for us. The first Wonder Woman movie was great; the second, not so much.
22 December 2020; Vintage Newspaper Ads!
Presenting three vintage Superman: The Movie newspaper ads dated December 22, 1978 from Buffalo, The New York Daily News, and The Los Angeles Times.
The whole darned movie flies, up up and away, taking us right along on a fantastic and exhilarating movie adventure. They called the movie ‘SUPERMAN’ but they might as well have called it – ‘supermovie’ – it’s that big, that good and that cheering. There is a …keen sense of fun, that is totally disarming. For all its commitment to visualizing places, persons and events that to us, on earth, are still wildly futuristic, it shows unswerving respect and affection for the specific era in American history that gave birth to the handsome, wholesome blue-eyed wonder of a folk hero. SUSAN STARK – DETROIT FREE PRESS
20 December 2020; Podcast Episode #4 Revisit!
Episode #4 of the Caped Wonder Superman Podcast features our very special guest…film score producer Mike Matessino! We are thrilled that he joined us for this special episode about the Superman-The Movie soundtrack!
Listen to all of the episodes here!
20 December 2020; Superman-The Movie Soundtrack Turns 42!
42 years ago today, John Williams’ iconic Superman-The Movie soundtrack was released on record (2-LP set), cassette tape, and 8-track tape, as well as on 45 RPM records. The marketing campaign behind the release was tremendous! Please visit the Caped Wonder soundtrack page created in 2018 for the soundtrack’s 40th anniversary.
20 December 2020; Superman: The Movie Ads!
Please enjoy these vintage advertisements published 42 years ago today.
15 December 2020; Believing A Man Can Fly for over Four Decades!!
December 15, 1978 was a defining day in my life when, as a 17-year-old, I experienced the cinematic masterpiece, Superman-The Movie, for the first time on the silver screen, followed by 13 more viewings in the weeks that followed.
This Magical film filled with Wonder and Heart absolutely blew my mind and completely altered my view of film-making and the Man of Steel. I truly believed that Christopher Reeve was Clark Kent and Superman. Superman-The Movie will always be my favorite movie.
On this 42nd anniversary, I hope you will make some time to reflect on your experience of seeing Superman-The Movie in the theater; for those of you who didn’t have that luxury, think back to that first TV, VHS or Beta tape, laserdisc, or CED viewing and how it made you feel. Hopeful, Entranced, Exhilarated.
Please enjoy this poster, vintage ad proof, and videos. Click here to see more videos and 40th/41st Anniversary tribute letters.
15 December 2020; Superman-The Movie Anniversary Article!
Presenting a phenomenal 2018 article – VERISIMILITUDE: REMEMBERING “SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE” ON ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY – by Film Historian and Super Friend Michael Coate! Thanks so much Michael for asking me to help you celebrate this Cinematic Masterpiece! Please enjoy his article on Digital Bits.
15 December 2020; Superman-The Movie Press Kit
Here’s a vintage Superman-The Movie press kit with the original mailing envelope. Look at the postmark date – December 15, 1978! The 8×10 stills inside are printed on lovely, high-quality matte paper not often seen in movie press kits. The white cover of the main booklet displays an impressive embossed movie style \S/ shield. The marketing team spared no expense.
14 December 2020; Superman-The Movie West Coast Premiere!
Today is the 42nd Anniversary of the Hollywood Premiere of Superman-The Movie!
Here an excerpt from a vintage Warner Bros. inter-office memo detailing the Hollywood Premiere:
Wednesday, December 14 at the Mann’s Chinese Theatre (a 1492 seat house) benefited the American Diabetes Association.
Print was presented in 70mm with Dolby Sound.
$130 – premiere plus post-premiere supper at the Beverly Wilshire.
$100 – premiere tickets only.
13 December 2020; Superman Royal Charity Premiere!
Today is the 42nd Anniversary of the European Royal Charity Premiere of Superman-The Movie! On Wednesday, December 13, 1978, the European Royal Charity Premiere was held in London at the Empire Leicester Square Theatre for the benefit of Variety Clubs of Great Britain and The National Association of Maternal and Child Welfare.
Shown below is the official Royal Charity Premiere booklet, two tickets to the screening, select pages from the booklet, and promotional photography.
11 December 2020; Superman-The Movie New York Premiere!
Today is the 42st Anniversary of the New York Premiere of Superman-The Movie!
Here an excerpt from a vintage Warner Bros. inter-office memo detailing the New York Premiere:
Monday, December 11 at Loew’s Astor Plaza (a 1546 seat house) benefited the Special Olympics.
Print was presented in 70mm with Dolby Sound.
$125 – including a post-premiere supper buffet at the Xenon disco
$50 – best Orchestra seats.
$25 – tickets to the premiere only.
10 December 2020; Superman-The Movie Presidential Premiere!
Today is the 42st Anniversary of the Presidential Premiere of Superman-The Movie!
Here an excerpt from a vintage Warner Bros. inter-office memo detailing the Presidential Premiere in Washington, DC:
Sunday, December 10 at the Eisenhower Theatre (a 1200 seat house) to benefit the Special Olympics.
Print will be in 35mm stereo optical.
Top price $1,000 for each box seat, which includes a dinner party at the Japanese Embassy on December 9, another party held at Mr. and Mrs Shriver’s home on December 8, and a reception at the Kennedy Center preceding the film.
$500 – The best Orchestra seats, plus the party at the Shrivers’ home and the pre-premiere reception at the Kennedy Center.
$125 – Orchestra seats and the pre-premiere reception at the Kennedy Center.
$50 – The best balcony seats for the premiere.
$35 – Balcony seats for the premiere.
08 December 2020; Superman II World Tour!
Sarah Douglas was kind enough to send me two pages out of her amazing Superman II scrapbook. I reconstructed them into their original two-page spread as they appeared in the December 17, 1980 issue of the Australian Variety magazine. Notice that the letter in the ad is dated 40 years ago today…December 8, 1980. [Superman II was released in Australian theaters on December 4, 1980.]
Also notice what is circled in red…that’s right, Sarah promoted the film on the “Superman II World Tour”. Here’s what Sarah had to say about the experience: “The Tour lasted over a period of 9 months and started in Australia in November  and then slowly worked its way around including New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Canada and all over Europe, finally opening in the U.S. the following summer. It was a different way of opening a film. A different country every month and the US was LAST!!” See one of her Japan photos below.
Thank you, Sarah, for making Superman II so fantastic and fun, and for sharing all of your precious memories with us!
04 December 2020; Superman II‘s 40th Birthday!
Today is the 40th Anniversary of Superman II in theaters…Australia was graced with that honor! Enjoy this “remastered” trailer and anniversary poster featuring art by Dan Goozee. My favorite two moments in the movie are the alley transformation and Superman flying with the American Flag, both filmed under the direction of Richard Lester. Stay tuned for Australian advertising on 8 December.
29 November 2020; Podcast Episode #31!
For years we’ve been told the filming location for Lois Lane’s iconic penthouse apartment in Superman: The Movie and Superman II was located at 240 Central Park South. Todd Phillips knew something wasn’t right. In Episode #31, Jay Towers & Jim Bowers get the real story on that famous location. The inside scoop! Plus how to find that tree Frisky was stuck in, and some new updates on some of your favorite Superman filming locations. We also learn the very special connection between Todd and Christopher and Dana Reeve. We’re headed back to New York City to make some Metropolis Discoveries on the Caped Wonder Superman Podcast.
Click here to watch the video on Facebook, or watch it below.
25 November 2020; Lois’ 100th Birthday!
Our Wonderful Friend, Ms. Noel Neill, the Original Lois Lane, was born 100 years ago today…November 25, 1920. What an incredibly awesome gal! It was an absolute honor and pleasure to be her friend for nearly 30 years. She is missed in this household every day. The camera loved her, and so did her adoring fans.
19 November 2020; Behind-the-Scenes!
12 November 2020; 45 Years Ago Today!
12 November 1975: Variety publishes a five-page advertisement taken out by Alexander Salkind announcing that Guy Hamilton will direct Superman. At this point the film is announced with a budget of $20 million.
11 November 2020; Superman II Rescue!
Please enjoy this video clip of Superman rescuing Lois Lane and the release of the villains in Superman II. Can you tell what was changed?
06 November 2020; Earthquake Extended & Theatrical!
Watch this video and compare the same earthquake segment from both the Superman: The Movie Extended Cut and Superman: The Movie Theatrical Cut. More footage! More John Williams music!
03 November 2020; Superman In Concert Update!
I received an email this morning from the Royal Albert Hall notifying me that Superman In Concert has been rescheduled for Saturday, 27 March 2021. My wife and I will not be attending. For those of you who will be attending, we hope you have a fabulous time!
01 November 2020; Superman on the Manhattan Bridge!
Superman set photographer Bob Penn and Christopher Reeve went to the Manhattan Bridge in New York City in July 1977 to shoot some of the most iconic Superman movie promotional stills ever created. Our Super Friend, Todd Phillips, recently walked the bridge and found the spot where the photo session took place. Thanks, Todd, for scouting this amazing location in New York City for us!