This meant that kid’s imagination was taken on by more traditional methods. Movies took about 5 years to hit the TV screen after cinema release so comics were the usual route of fantasy.
In this article we will be looking into the Superman actor curse that has plagued the franchise for as long as I can remember ( I was born in the 70’s! ). It’s a strange list of occurrences that seems to effect anyone that has been involved with bringing the Man of Steel to the big screen…
The Man of Steel
When the awesome DC Comics first started out life it was under the name of Detective Comics. Two friends named Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster were working for Detective Comics in 1933 when they decided to create their own character.
This character became a Superhero that single-handedly began the entire genre. Superman rapidly became an American household hero taking over the comic world and hitting the big screen in style.
The Superman Movie Curse
The Superman curse actually began to take hold before the Man of Steel managed to hit the world’s screens. It seemed to materialize around the creators Siegel and Schuster.
Unfortunately they made the HUGE mistake of not just selling the idea to Detective Comics – they near enough sold the whole franchise.
So when the Man of Steel snowballed into a merchandise paradise they were completely powerless to pick up on any of the royalties. It took the pair an entire lifetime to recoup a small amount of what they were initially entitled to.
They had to sit there for decades watching their creation make the fat cats rich, powerless to do anything about their creation’s success.
This was the start of the Superman movie curse – since then a large number of individuals involved with the legendary superhero have suffered some misfortune or catastrophe.
The following catalog of misfortune follows the timeline of the curse throughout the superhero’s relationship with the big screen.
Curse or coincidence – you decide…
The Superman Actor Curse
1) One of the first actors to play the Man of Steel was George Reeves – he starred in the 50’s TV show The Adventures of Superman. He played the lead role in the series for 6 years until he died from a gunshot wound. At the time they thought it was a self-inflicted injury but even now people close to him doubt that was the case.
2) In 1978 Superman finally hit the silver screen with Christopher Reeve playing the title role. He ended up being probably the most iconic and familiar actor to play the Kryptonian. Several years after playing the role so well he was paralyzed in a horse riding accident. He spent the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair.
3) Marlon Brando made a cameo as Jor-El in the same franchise as Christopher Reeve. Things went dark for the actor in 1980 when his son decided to gun down his half-sister’s boyfriend. He was found guilty and ended up being sent to prison for a decade.
4) The same franchise also gave us the wonderful performance of Lois Lane by Margot Kidder. She unfortunately had a complete breakdown in April 1996 and disappeared for days on end. They eventually found her in a complete state of paranoia and completely delusional.
5) The third Superman film of the same franchise saw Richard Pryor turn up as Gus Gorman – he completely stole the show! About three years after the film’s release he was unfortunately diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
6) In the first Superman film we witnessed a small baby being sent to Earth from the decaying planet Krypton. Lee Quigley played this role ( as a baby of course! ) and went on to fall into a pit of substance abuse. He was found dead in his teenage years through an overdose.
7) The final Superman film in 1987 saw Muriel Hemingway take one of the lead roles. Not long after the film’s release her older sister, Margaux, was found dead from an overdose of sedatives. Hemingway has always stated that she does not believe the overdose theory – her sister would apparently never have done such a thing.
8) The next franchise to come along was based around the Superman Returns movie. In all, three members of the production crew suffered worrying injuries during the filming process. In this film Lois Lane was portrayed by Kate Bosworth who blames the film for her awful break up with then boyfriend Orlando Bloom.
There have been a handful of other Hollywood Superman releases since Superman Returns and the curse seems to have watered itself down.
Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Henry Cavill and Brandon Routh have all seemed to have avoided any sort of misfortune because of their portrayal of the Man of Steel.