By Tara Fowler
Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” hits theaters this weekend with jacked-up Brit Henry Cavill stepping into the role of the last son of Krypton. As excited as we are for Cavill (any Tudors fans out there?), we thought we’d pay tribute to another great Superman: Christopher Reeve. Here are five things you may not have known about 1978’s “Superman: The Movie.”
1) Superman could have been played by Arnold Schwarzenegger: Though Reeve seemed tailor-made for the role (and certainly owned it, at least for the first two Superman movies — let’s not think about the rest), he by no means had the role in the bag. In fact, Schwarzenegger was considered a frontrunner along with Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, and Nick Nolte before the filmmakers decided to cast the relatively unknown Reeve. Rumor has it that Nolte was offered the part, but the actor refused to take it unless Clark Kent was made a schizophrenic.
2) Marlon Brando refused to memorize his lines: And instead read them off whatever prop was handy, such as baby Kal-El’s diaper. He was paid $3.7 million for his trouble (plus a percentage of the profits, for a grand total of $14 million). Bonus Fun Fact: Brando reportedly suggested his image not be used on screen at all and that it instead be replaced with a glowing, levitating green bagel. The producers could never figure out whether this suggestion was in jest or not, and so they formally rejected it.
3) The “S” didn’t stand for “Superman” then either: We all know that the stylized “S” on the “Man of Steel” suit means hope in Snyder’s revised version of the comic book hero; however, in the 1978 movie the “S” was described as the family seal for the House of El. It was actually Brando’s idea that he wear the “S” on his Kryptonian costume as well, thus denoting the glyph’s origin.
4) The credits sequence cost more than most movies did: For the time anyways. Watch the opening below:
5) Gene Hackman was tricked into shaving off his mustache: At first, the actor refused to part with his facial hair. But then director Richard Donner made a deal with him: If Hackman cut off his mustache, Donner would get rid of his. Little beknownst to Hackman, Donner had no mustache. Moral of the story: Meet your director face-to-face before making any sort of bargain with him.
Will you be seeing Man of Steel this weekend?