Director Richard Donner's classic 1978 Superman film, starring Christopher Reeve, is flying back into theaters for its 40th anniversary. While comic book movies dominate the box office today, that wasn't always the case. Once upon a time, movies starring comic book superheroes and villains were considered risky bets, and projects based on Marvel or DC properties were not at all easy to get made by a Hollywood studio. The first film to prove that long-held wisdom wrong was Donner's original Superman.
Released in December 1978 by Warner Bros., Superman - also known as Superman: The Movie - starred the then mostly unknown Reeve as the titular hero, and his reporter alter ego Clark Kent. Reeve succeeded similarly named actor George Reeves in the role, who had played the character on the long-running 1950s TV series Adventures of Superman. To call Reeve's work as Kal-El iconic would be a massive understatement, and despite actors such as Henry Cavill, Dean Cain, and Brandon Routh trying their hand at the character since, many would argue that Reeve's interpretation remains the most enduring.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of Superman: The Movie's release, which earned over $300 million on a budget of about $55 million. While that success wouldn't immediately lead to superhero movies escaping the Hollywood B-list - that process wouldn't really begin until the early 2000s, when the X-Men and Spider-Man series became guaranteed profit machines - it was an important first shot in the struggle to do so. Now, Fandango has added an event listing for a Superman 40th anniversary theatrical re-release, beginning on November 25.
The listing appears to have been added a bit early, as the ability to buy tickets or see exactly which theaters will be showing the movie isn't yet available. The Superman anniversary screenings also aren't yet reflected on Fathom Events' official website. Still, as the largest movie ticket broker on the internet, it's highly doubtful that Fandango made the listing in error, and further details on the event will presumably arrive soon.
In addition to Reeve's iconic performance being a huge reason to see Superman in the theater either again or for the first time, one shouldn't forget to mention Margot Kidder's beloved turn as dogged reporter and Superman's classical love interest Lois Lane. Sadly, as of 2018, both actors are now deceased, but that's all the more reason to want to check out their greatest work in the best possible quality available. Kidder would return along with Reeve for three sequels, and their chemistry helped make even the worst of those efforts tolerable. As for the future of Superman on the big screen, that's still up in the air, especially after Cavill's casting on Netflix's The Witcher TV series.