Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) Poster


Christopher Reeve publicly regretted his involvement in the film. He stated, "Superman IV was a catastrophe from start to finish. That failure was a huge blow to my career."
According to Margot Kidder, she and Christopher Reeve did not get along during filming. Kidder states that Reeve's ego was inflated because he co-wrote the story.
Wes Craven was set to direct, but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve.
Richard Donner, who'd been fired from Superman II (1980), was offered the director's chair; he declined. Donner, at the time who was originally directing the first two Superman movies, was planning to make and produce at least four Superman films.
The failure of this film at the box office prompted The Cannon Group Inc., to cancel a planned production of "Spider-Man".
The movie's original budget was 36 million dollars. Just before filming was to begin, The Cannon Group, Inc., which was experiencing financial problems, slashed the budget to seventeen million dollars. As a result, the filmmakers cut corners, by doing things like re-using special effects.
Stuntman John Lees suffered career ending injuries when working on the moon scenes, leading to a subsequent court case.
When Nuclear Man was being developed, Christopher Reeve was approached to play that part as Superman's polar opposite, or a darker version of Bizarro.
Christopher Reeve's flying harness was concealed under a larger version of the red shorts he wore for the costume, making his waist look bigger. In previous Superman movies, the bigger waist was hidden by the cape, quick cuts, or creative camera angles. In this movie, the bigger waist is clearly visible, leading some reviewers to speculate that the thicker waist was Reeve's actual waistline.
When the film was cut from 134 minutes to 90 minutes, the producers considered using the deleted footage as the groundwork for a fifth film.
The vast majority of the external scenes were filmed in and around Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus couldn't afford to shoot in New York City.
Christopher Reeve agreed to play Superman for the fourth time if the studio financed his project, Street Smart (1987).
This is Mark Pillow's only film appearance.
Originally, the film had two Nuclear Men. The first, dubbed Nuclear Man 1, wore a black costume. His scenes were filmed, but eventually cut, allegedly because previews revealed several serious visual effects errors. The deleted footage was considered for a fifth Superman film.
According to his biography, Richard Lester was offered the chance to direct the movie, but declined. It is unknown whether he or Richard Donner was asked first.
According to Margot Kidder, Christopher Reeve and director Sidney J. Furie did not get along at all.
Nuclear Man has only eleven lines.
The Cannon Group, Inc., thinking that they had a potential blockbuster on their hands, cut the two-hour-plus film down to a lean ninety minutes, so that theater owners could have more screenings per day, and potentially make more money that would eventually filter back to the studio.
This is the only Superman film from the Christopher Reeve era where Clark Kent changes to Superman in a phone booth. The Superman films made since this film have not featured this signature scene yet.
A scene cut out of the U.S. theatrical version featured Superman saving a group of Soviet Generals from a nuclear missile in Moscow. The scene appears on the video release, but not on the DVD.
The film was both a critical and commercial failure, with many reviewers criticizing the cheap visual effects, inconsistencies, lack of originality, and plot holes.
Much of the special effects crew that worked on the first three films and Supergirl (1984) were hired during pre-production, but eventually left following salary disputes.
In the original script, Superman was supposed to rebuild the Great Wall of China at super speed, but when money problems emerged, they had Superman use his "magical rebuilding power" (which had been completely made up for the film). It required only that Director Sidney J. Furie run the camera in reverse, rather than a complicated super-speed scene.
In the original screenplay, by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, Nuclear Man was able to change shape, and expand in size.
Marc McClure, having appeared as Jimmy Olsen in the past three Superman films (Superman (1978), Superman II (1980), and Superman III (1983)) and Supergirl (1984) is the first actor to have played the same comic book character in five films. Although this record would be tied many times (Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X: First Class (2011), Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in The Avengers (2012), and Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man in Iron Man Three (2013)), it would not be surpassed until Jackman played Wolverine for a sixth time in The Wolverine (2013), released nearly 26 years after this film.
Supergirl (1984) is not mentioned anywhere during the film. The spin-off film was released between Superman III (1983) and this film. Christopher Reeve was originally going to make a cameo in the film, but passed.
Before Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) was released, The Cannon Group, Inc. began planning a fifth film, directed by Albert Pyun. When Cannon went bankrupt, Superman's film rights reverted to Ilya Salkind and Alexander Salkind. Ilya wrote a story for a fifth film with Cary Bates and Mark Jones, in which Superman died, and was resurrected in the bottled city Kandor. It was not an adaptation of the famous "Death and Return of Superman" storyline, which it predated by about two years.
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The shots of Superman using his "wall rebuilding vision" to repair the Great Wall of China, are just re-purposed footage of him waving at the people, in fact it's the same shot used twice, with it being mirrored the second time to hide the fact that it's repeated (this is apparent from the parting in Superman's hair switching sides between shots).
The Cannon Group, Inc. was in severe financial trouble by the mid 80s. They bought the rights to Superman, hoping the film would save them. The finished picture ended up being another costly failure.
When Superman makes his speech at the end of the film, he paraphrases Dwight D. Eisenhower when he says, "there will be peace when the people of the world want it so much that their leaders will have no choice but to give it to them."
At the end of the film, Superman says to Lex Luthor as he's dropping him back off in the prison quarry, "See you in twenty". Superman and Lex wouldn't appear in a feature film together until Superman Returns (2006).
Tom Mankiewicz, creative consultant for the first two Superman films, was approached by Christopher Reeve to pen the screenplay for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), but declined the offer. He did however, made the suggestion for this film, that Superman must deal with a human conflict that even his superpowers can't control, which formed the basis of Superman challenging the nuclear arms race.
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Nuclear Man was an updated version of Atom Man, a villain that first appeared on the Superman radio show, and was adapted for the serial "Atom Man Vs Superman".
This film would be the last film in the series and the last "Superman" movie for 19 years. An unofficial 5th film Superman Returns (2006), which ignores "Superman III" and "Superman IV", was released in 2006, 2-years after the death of Christopher Reeve. Brandon Routh replaced Christopher Reeve as Superman/Clark Kent, Kate Bosworth took over the role of Lois Lane from Margot Kidder and Kevin Spacey succeeded Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor.
Christopher Reeve (Superman / Clark Kent), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), Jackie Cooper (Perry White) and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen) are the only actors to appear in all four "Superman" films. Of these, McClure was the only one to appear in Supergirl (1984).
Trevor Howard and Harry Andrews were asked to reprise their roles as the Elders from Superman (1978), but were not free.
An enlarged Daily Planet front page hanging in the Daily Planet building's lobby reads "Superman Saves Chemical Plant from Fire." Superman did save a chemical plant from a fire in Superman III (1983).
No soundtrack release to this film was released for over twenty years until Film Score Monthly issued an 8-CD box set called "Superman: The Music (1978-1988)", which presents the complete score to this movie.
This was Robert Beatty's final film before his death on March 3, 1992 at the age of 82.
The theatrical version of the film only runs for ninety minutes. Consequently, it is the second shortest "Superman" film, after Superman and the Mole-Men (1951), which ran for 58 minutes.
This was Esmond Knight's final film before his death on February 23, 1987 at the age of eighty. He died five months prior to the film's release.
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The music track used in the deleted scenes featuring Clive Mantle as the Nuclear Man prototype, is actually the theme tune for the British children's television show Bric-A-Brac (1980).
Robert Beatty (U.S. President) previously played the Tanker Commander in Superman III (1983).
DC Comics' release of "Superman IV" includes the first Nuclear Man, as well as more scenes of Jeremy.
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This is the only one of the four Christopher Reeve "Superman" films in which Shane Rimmer does not appear.
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