It’s been four years since fans have seen Superman flying across movie screens. It had been thought that Christopher Reeve was finished portraying the Man of Steel after the lukewarm reception Superman III received. Surprisingly, he would be lured back to put on his cape and save the world one final time.
The original producers of the Superman films Alexander Salkind and his son Ilya sold their rights to Cannon Films. Believing there was still money to be made with Superman movies, they managed to lure Reeve back for a fourth film, promising him story input and an agreement to finance an outside film of his choosing. Abandoning the humorous nature of film number three, this time Superman would be faced with the topical issue of nuclear disarmament, along with battling a radiation- charged super enemy.
With series regulars Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Jackie Cooper and Marc McClure returning, Superman IV looked to be a much more promising Superman adventure than the third. However, trouble struck. The story wasn’t as good as it should have been and Cannon was not ready to finance the big-budget spectacle the film needed. Corners were cut and what was originally envisioned as a huge Superman epic turned into an embarrassment that cut corners with the special effects and cheated fans of the glory they remembered from Superman films of the past.
The film would be a financial and critical disaster. Fans were left disappointed and Reeve was angry at the final result. It would be the final time Reeve would suit up in his costume and it would be the last Superman film to be seen on the big-screen for almost twenty years.
I check out Christopher Reeve’s swan song as the Man of Steel in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
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