For a movie over 30 years old and generally reviled by fans and critics alike, its amazing how Superman IV: The Quest for Peace still solicits such in-depth analysis to this day.
Indeed, few other motion pictures historically have spawned so such controversy over their shooting locations – mostly attributed to the fact the movie was shot in its entirety in the UK and budget restrictions did little or nothing to disguise the fact. As unlikely now as it was at the time, the majority of exteriors doubling for New York clone Metropolis were found in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
In fairness to Production Designer Graham Easton, there would be very little viable alternative finding a city in England with anything like the kind of architecture required to successfully convey any US city, let alone the Big Apricot. So in 1986, with the assurance anything above six storeys would be adapted into a convincing skyline with the addition of matte paintings (created by either Harrison or Peter Ellenshaw), The city of a thousand roundabouts with its glass & steel frontages must have seemed a safe bet.
With that in mind, please take the time to look at this awesome piece from the guys at Den Of Geek that revisits the locale as it stands today. Besides the fact very little has changed from then to now its remarkable how close in proximity all these filming sites were (The Metropolis Hotel, Museum and Daily Planet lobby are all the same building).
While this most recent pilgrimage is quite exhaustive, it should come as no surprise that SUPERMANIA had also visited more than a decade before (when the buildings were still open to the public) during an enjoyable excursion with the members of Dharmesh Chauhan’s Superman CINEMA message board back in the day, with pre-digital pics above revealing the sites to be in an even more pristine state, (including the infamous train station, top pic).
Further to the Den Of Geek rundown is the fact the Bannatyne gym beneath the Winter Gardens (third pic) was the Metropolis gym where Clark & Lacey’s workout was shot and just outside the Planet lobby doors was the location for the deleted scene of Lacey & Clark’s farewell in the taxi. (bottom pic) It should also be noted the Motorway used for Luthor’s attempted escape was a newly built stretch of the M25, not a Buckinghamshire road…
For even more illustrated history of the filming of Superman IV, (see the WEEKEND article quoted here) click on the post history tab on the right hand column of the page…
2 Replies to “Miltropolis…”
fascinating stuff and ah yes the Superman Cinema message board. a forum that met a fate much like kryptons
Hi there –
Thanks for your comment – I do recommend a visit if you’re in the area as its always so quiet around there you can spend all the time you like and very little has changed from how it appears onscreen. As for the SupermanCinema message board I have some really fond memories of the place as its where we all started – some of the best discoveries about the films were to be found there…