Among fans of the original Christopher Reeve Superman movies, there is one film in the four-part series that is so disappointing in its visual effects that over 30 years after its original release in 1987, people are still talking about what could have been.
That film is Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and on the latest episode of The Industry podcast, host Dan Delgado interviews one man who has spent two years trying to restore it. His name is Aaron Price, and he’s hoping that he can convince Warner Brothers to give him access to all of the effects, plates, and the 30-something extra minutes of footage that were removed from director Sidney J. Furie’s original cut of the movie so that he can do a full restore of the film.
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Price has gathered a fan base of fellow Superman fans on YouTube, where he posts existing clips of the movie that he’s remastered using color correction and other techniques to enhance the visual effects. Here’s a clip of Price’s remaster of the subway scene.
“I’ve done the opening credits, I’ve redone the end credits, I’ve done the subway sequence, I did a visual enhancement of the volcano sequence, I fixed the Great Wall of China sequence, I fixed Lacey Warfield in space, replacing that with now — she’s now in the sky, so it doesn’t take her into space, which a lot of people have had a problem with,” Price tells Delgado.
But in order to finish the remaster, he needs Warner Brothers’ blessing, he says.
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“At the present time I’m actually putting in a kind of a remastered mock-up trailer. So I’m basically trying to integrate some of the deleted scenes from what was released on the DVD Blu-ray a few years back and try to put together kind of a trailer that I can pitch and send to Warner Brothers and say, ‘Hey look, Warner Brothers, look. This is the potential here,'” Price says.
“If we get this 134-minute cut version of the film out there restored, you know, get all the visual effects restored… I think Warner Brothers would make a lot of money because there’s a version of the film here that no one’s actually seen, apart from one screener that was done before the premiere. And the film, as I said, it basically has, like, 30 minutes of footage cut from the final film. And it’s also the legacy of Christopher Reeve, you know? It’s a chance to see more of Chris, you know, in the role of Superman.”
It wouldn’t be the first time that fans have remastered a movie and released a new cut. As Delgado points out, a group of fans remastered the 1993 Super Mario Brothers movie and called it the Morton Jankel cut, which you can watch on the Internet Archive.
So please, Warner Brothers, won’t you let this man restore Superman IV?
Reps for Warner Brothers and DC Comics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Main Image: Aaron Price’s restored version of the subway scene from Superman IV (top), and the original version of the scene. Photo credit: Aaron Price/ APriceProduction on YouTube.