In Pre-Production..?



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…


6 Replies to “In Pre-Production..?”

  1. Cannon shouldve dropped MOTU, given SIV its full $35m budget and had Dolph play Nuclear Man!

    i bet wed have seen a superman V AND VI in the 1990s then

  2. Cannon mustve been crazy to think they could use the deleted IV footage for a fifth film. A) it was flat out TERRIBLE and b) it was the same plot as IV!!

    sometimes i think it may have been best if there had never been a Superman IV (not from Cannon anyway) – there would just be the big budget high quality 'Superman Trilogy'

    its a shame the salkinds didnt look to 1988 (supermans 50th anniversary & STM 10th) as an oppertunity to do a big budget IV.

    i think they figured the whole 'Super' franchise had dried up after the relative failure of SIII (which was still a big hit) and Supergirl…but all they had to do was get a great script for IV and the audience wouldve been there…

  3. I actually think MOTU is easily Cannon's best picture – it has incredible production design/costumes. It remains a guilty pleasure.

    As for Superman's 50th anniversary I read in more than one place IV was supposed to coincide with the anniversary as one big celebration. After it bombed this was dropped in favour of the insufferable 50th birthday 'special' hosted by Dana Carvey. Its in the Ultimate Edition box set…

  4. yeah i actually dig MOTU a little too. thought it was amazing when i saw it at a Cannon cinema in '87 (but i also thought SIV was amazing and saw it four times at the same cinema!)

    i believe the MOTU sequel was going ahead and sets, costumes etc were built but when it was sheleved they got incorperated into the JCVD movie Cyborg. Also another interesting bit of info re MOTU – apparently there was to be a Planet of the Apes style twist at the end where its revealed Eternia was either earth of the far future or another planet that had been populated by a crashed Nasa spacecraft…i think it ended up in the comic adaptation…shame it wasnt included in the movie as that wouldve been pretty cool

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