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Top 10 Superman Movie Trivia

VO: Rebecca
He's DC's fastest and most powerful superhero. A long time staple of the silver screen, his purity of spirit and heroic identity has separated him from the rest. With such a rich comic heritage and iconic film history, we thought we'd showcase all the things you probably didn't know about this Kryptonian and his on-screen romps. Join as we count down ten pieces of Superman movie trivia.

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Top 10 Superman Movie Trivia

There’s a lot you don’t know about the Man of Steel on the big screen. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down ten pieces of Superman movie trivia.

#10 – Casting Christopher Reeve

Beginning our list is a factoid about the quest to select an actor for this iconic role: despite the fact that he was perfect in the role, Christopher Reeve wasn’t a shoe-in for the part and numerous other actors were considered – including Arnold Schwarzenegger. The unknown Reeve was finally cast after Robert Redford demanded too much money, Clint Eastwood became unavailable, and James Caan refused to wear the skintight spandex outfit. All we can say is that we’re relieved things happened the way they did…

#9 – Superman Flight

When the original “Superman” began pre-production, no one knew
how to make Superman fly convincingly. The team tried everything, from catapulting a dummy into the air, to piloting a remote-control model, and even making animated sequences. Ultimately, they settled on forward projection while using zoom lenses to create the illusion of movement, while the actor remained stationary.

#8 – Lex Luthor

Following the original film’s release, Gene Hackman became famous for his portrayal of the villain. However, he’d initially resisted the job for two reasons: he was worried it’d damage his rep as a serious actor, and he didn’t want to shave his moustache! He flat-out refused to shave his head, though, so his natural hair was styled differently between scenes to suggest he was wearing wigs.

#7 – The ‘S’ Symbol

Audiences have always accepted that the “S” on Superman’s chest stands for, well, Superman. But Marlon Brando suggested that his character, Supe’s father Jor-El, wear the same symbol on Krypton. Because of this addition, the “S” symbol became accepted as Superman’s Kryptonian family crest, depicting the House of El. In 2013’s “Man of Steel,” the symbol was redefined again to represent hope.

#6 – Marlon Brando

Speaking of Brando, the legendary actor was paid $3.7 million and a percentage of the profits to play Jor-El over just twelve shooting days. But, he refused to memorize his lines and instead read them off of things like the infant Kal-El’s diaper. When several of his scenes were reused in the sequels, Brando happily sued producers for his share, and brought his total compensation up to $14 million – for ten minutes of footage.

#5 – Glowing Kryptonian Clothing

Another major contribution to Superman lore was the film’s alien depiction of Krypton, with the defining element being the glowing, otherworldly look of the costumes. To achieve this effect, the wardrobe department painstakingly sewed tiny glass balls to the fabric, made from the same reflective material used to produce movie screens. However this was a fragile effect, because simply the oily touch from actors’ hands was enough to ruin it.

#4 – Superman’s Costume

That wasn’t the only costume complication: Superman’s spandex outfit was originally supposed to be a much darker blue. However, that blue matched the color of the special effects screens, so the costume basically disappeared. Because of the limitations of 1978 technology, the costume also appeared turquoise during many flying sequences. Eventually, the suit was darkened, and in 2013 it was dramatically revised for “Man of Steel.”

#3 – Superman IV’s Slashed Budget

This movie’s original budget was $36 million, but that was soon dropped to $17 million. As a result, the filmmakers were forced to cut corners by reusing special effects. One cheap effect they used was to conceal Christopher Reeve’s flying harness under a larger version of his shorts. However, this made his waist look bigger, leading to the lasting impression that he’d gained weight.

#2 – The Fresh Prince Of Steel

We mentioned that numerous actors were pursued to play the Man of Steel back in the ‘70s. Producers of “Superman Returns” aimed to re-invent the hero by casting Will Smith, among others. However, Smith declined, explaining he was worried that tampering with the hero’s depiction would damage his career. Two years later, Hollywood did make him fly in “Hancock.”

#1 – The New Man of Steel

Rounding out our list is another piece of trivia about 2013’s “Man Of Steel.” Brandon Routh expressed interest in reprising his role from “Superman Returns;” but Warner Bros. decided on a fresh reboot and cast Henry Cavill instead. Incredibly, Cavill had to beef up from scratch; since he’d intentionally lost the eight-pack he’d gained before “Immortals” for the 2012 project “The Cold Light of Day.”

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