Date Sold: 03/11/2022
Superman’s (Christopher Reeve) complete costume from Richard Donner’s superhero film Superman and its sequels Superman II and Superman III, both directed by Richard Lester. A groundbreaking film, the original Superman brought a sense of legitimacy to the superhero genre and earned numerous accolades for its storytelling and visual effects. The first two films were shot back-to-back and, where possible, the costumes were also reused in the third film. This costume comprises a tunic, a cape, a pair of trunks, a belt, a pair of leggings and a pair of boots.
Superman’s instantly recognisable long-sleeved tunic is made of a custom-woven, stretchy blue nylon material manufactured during production, and displays Superman’s classic “S” logo in red and gold on the chest. The tunic has a hidden zipper at the back, and features a Bermans & Nathans wardrobe label stitched near the neck that reads “CHRISTOPHER REEVE NORMAL 18628 SUPERMAN 3”, to differentiate it from the costume worn by the evil Superman in Superman III, which was a darker blue.
The leggings are made of the same material, and include a handwritten label that reads “S/7 NEW 22/5/78”. The red trunks feature an elastic waistband and include a yellow-painted leather belt labelled “CHRISTOPHER REEVE Harness 15129 SUPERMAN II” which fastens at the back with hook-and-bar closures.
The knee-length cape is made of red wool and attaches to the tunic via snap-buttons on the shoulders. The back of the cape features a yellow-stitched “S” logo with black threading. Two labels are stitched inside, one reading “REMADE JULY/82 HB 24”, and the other reading “CHRIS REEVE FLYING CAPE 14-9-79”. This indicates that the cape was made for the original film, and then remade for the third. It was created for the flying sequences and features tabs at the bottom, where rods were inserted and moved to give the illusion of flight. There were previously two holes in the cape to attach a harness, but these were subsequently stitched up.
Superman’s knee-high boots are made of red leather and close at the back with a zipper hidden behind a leather flap. They were intended for the flying scenes and feature red tape on the soles to make them look perfectly smooth.
This classic, iconic costume is mounted on a bespoke mannequin with a painted lifecast of Christopher Reeve to complete the display. The statue is mounted to a metal base in the shape of Superman’s emblem, with a rod entering the left boot through its zipper, which is stitched shut. The complete costume shows minor wear due to production use and age. Dimensions (on display): 91.5 cm x 51 cm x 198 cm (36″ x 20″ x 78″)
Special shipping required; see special shipping notice in the Buyer’s Guide.
Estimate: £250,000 – 500,000