If You Build It Pt.2…





With street-level and two to three storeys in height complete, the set of Metropolis Tower and surrounding buildings are shown above at various stages during filming for key sequences in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace at Elstree Studios in 1986.

As the entire film was to be made on location in the UK, The illusion of The Big Apricot would be achieved by a combination of live action and background plates shot by the second unit of New York City with matte paintings to extend the sets above into an appropriate skyline.

Due to budget cuts, however, few paintings would be completed and make the final cut resulting in much of the undressed studio exteriors being exposed in some scenes, most notably in the Nuclearman I confrontation, which, with the exception of a neon sign, was shot against an unaltered studio wall opposite the set shown above.

Littering the road in front of the set are the remains of the car shunt between Nuclearman and Superman, where the hydraulic cable device (second pic) is clearly visible having pulled and compacted a number of vehicles into a pile (third pic) for a scene that famously ended upon the cutting room floor.

As previewed in the last post, the large awning is the marker for the entrance to Metropolis Tower, where Superman confronts the second Nuclear Man (bottom pic) after he creates a series of explosions and levitates a group of pedestrians to intimidate the Man Of Steel. This is the most infamous of the unfinished FX shots as the studio roof is visible in the background rather than the intended skyscrapers…

Thanks again to Superfan Alexei Lambley-Steel for use of his incredible set pics..!


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