What can be said about Christopher Reeve’s casting in Richard Donner’s Superman which hasn’t been said before? The man is the epitome of Superman and Clark Kent. Reeve is strong, direct and full of the honest character that you would expect from the man who fights for truth, justice and the American way.
However, it’s as Clark Kent that Reeve really shines. It has long been said that the Superman mythos turns the superhero convention on its head – Clark Kent is the creation and Superman is his true character is. Reeve understands this and his body language is and demeanour change when he’s playing Kent. Watch again how his posture changes when he transforms from Kent to Superman.
This behind-the-scenes image shows Richard Donner directing Christoper Reeve during his Superman screen test – note the rough and ready costume. A portion of this screen test was used in 2006’S Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.
Budgeted at $55 million, Superman grossed $134 million at the US box office and more than $300 million globally when it was released in 1978.