Superman: The Movie (Book)

The 40th Anniversary Interviews

From the film’s record-breaking budgets to the enmity between director and producers, the story behind the making of Superman is inherently dramatic. Marking 40 years since the film’s commercial release, the book presents original interview transcripts with the cast and crew that, when read together, serve as a rare insider account of an acclaimed blockbuster whose production was steeped in controversy. The interviewees cast light on the daily reality on set, as well as the film’s release and reception with refreshing candour. Beginning with the film’s very inception, the interviews provide valuable insights into the practical logistics and day-to-day realities of mounting a big-budget production, at a time when Hollywood action blockbusters were only just emerging.


At a moment when superheroes dominate pop culture, Gary Bettinson takes us back to the first comic book blockbuster. Superman: The Movie – The 40th Anniversary Interviews is a revealing behind-the-scenes portrait of the personalities and expertise that went into making this landmark of Hollywood cinema. 

Marking 40 years since the film’s release, this book presents all-new interviews with the cast and crew, including Richard Donner (director), Ilya Salkind (producer), Pierre Spengler (producer), Margot Kidder (actor), Marc McClure (actor), Jeff East (actor), Sarah Douglas (actor) and Jack O’Halloran (actor). 

The book serves as a rare insider account of an acclaimed blockbuster that was steeped in controversy throughout production. With refreshing candour, the interviewees cast light on the making and legacy of Superman: The Movie. 

Charting the film’s inception through to its runaway release, this book provides a valuable insight into the practical logistics and day-to-day realities of mounting a big-budget production at a time when high-concept Hollywood blockbusters were only just emerging as a genre.

Gary Bettinson is senior lecturer in film studies at Lancaster University and editor-in-chief of Intellect’s Asian Cinema journal.


Introduction: Superman: The Movie at 40

The Interviews:

Pierre Spengler (Producer)

Ilya Salkind (Executive Producer)

Richard Donner (Director)

Margot Kidder (Lois Lane)

Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen)

Jeff East (Young Clark Kent)

Sarah Douglas (Ursa)

Jack O'Halloran (Non)



Films Cited

'[This excellent book] is not an adulatory tract on the merits of the film and/or its creative and production teams. Bettinson is a respectful and incisive interviewer, sensitive to issues which are still raw. Through the words of those involved, a picture is painted of a masterpiece created in spite of the duplicity, antagonism, insensitivity and even criminality that they expose. [...] I would strongly recommend this book to both the academic and casual reader. It offers insight into the technical and financial side of filmmaking as well as the emotional baggage that comes with such a complex undertaking.'

Tina Stockman, Media Education Journal
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