Perhaps it’s the fact that they coaxed Christopher Reeve into returning by agreeing to center the film on the threat of nuclear escalation; and then as they shot the movie, budget cuts kneecapped the project faster than a speeding bullet.
SupermanIV was clearly hindered by Cannon’s frugal ways, but it’s a bizarre and poorly written film, as well. The movie’s central antagonist Nuclear Man has the look of a compelling villain, but his voice was dubbed with Gene Hackman’s. A move that truly put the f%*$ in WTF.
Couple that with shoddy special effects, a nonsensical love triangle, and a B-plot seemingly taken from an never produced episode of the George Reeves show and you’ve got one of the more notorious superhero movies ever made.
Hence, why it bombed with critics and at the box office. Superman IV grossed just $36.7 million worldwide, further worsening the financial woes of Cannon Films. And it’s 10% on Rotten Tomatoes is a far cry from even that of III (29%).
Reeve, Margot Kidder, and Hackman all deserved so much better, lest we forget Jackie Cooper and Mark McClure.