Original 1978 Superman storyboards up for auction

Storyboards from 1978’s Superman are up for grabs this weekend, with 18 original works from the famed Ivor Beddoes.


What’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? That would be Superman, of course, but you might not know it from the drawings. But it might be worth a look, as storyboards from 1978’s Superman are up for auction this weekend.

Through Peter Harrington Rare Books, 18 storyboards from Richard Donner’s classic Superman will be up for auction at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair. But you’ll need some major coin, as the collection is valued at a little more than $31,500 (£25,000.00).

Here are some details on the Superman storyboards, as per the Peter Harrington website (where you can also check out the artwork): “Together 18 leaves (approx. 202 x 300 mm), hole-punched left. 17 pencil sketches on transparency (14 with opaque backing paper) and 1 leaf with “Final Shooting Sequence” written in manuscript fibre-tip. Stains from adhesive on backing paper, edges occasionally toned and slightly foxed with a few nicks, largely very well preserved.” The scene depicted is when Jor-El (Marlon Brando) and Lara (Susannah York) send their son, Kal-El (aka Superman aka Clark Kent), to Earth.

Undoubtedly these are incredible items. The Superman storyboards are by Ivor Beddoes, the British artist who – whether he got credit or not – worked on an array of films that include Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and two Star Wars movies from the original trilogy. As Beddoes died in 1982, these Superman storyboards would have been some of the last he did.

1978’s Superman could very well be seeing a resurgence in interest this year. Not only is DC at work on Superman: Legacy, but its star was the focus of the Sundance hit documentary Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story (you can read our own Chris Bumbray’s 9/10 review here).

Superman marked a major transition in the world of superhero movies. While the genre had decades to go before it reached its heights, credit has to be given to the 1978 film, which showed the box office potential of such fare – and just how bad sequels could get

What is your favorite scene from Superman? Give us your pick below!

Source: Peter Harrington Rare Books

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.