A screen-worn cape worn by Christopher Reeve in “Superman: The Movie” and “Superman II” has sold at auction through JuliensLive.com for US$137,500!
Primarily used for both studio blue screen traveling matte wire flying and studio ZOPTIC front projection flying, the bright red cape has the iconic yellow “S” symbol shield outlined in black, stitched to the back. The yellow “S” shield has little to no yellow outside of the outer black border (consistent with the “Contest” cape sold by Julien’s in December 2019), which would indicate that it is likely a cape that was originally created for the first two films (filmed simultaneously) and may have also been used in Superman III. The cape features red cloth ties at neck with padding at top.
Two sets of black snaps on either side of shoulder area with four horizontal silver snaps between. Directly below, two additional rows of four black snaps with a thick black felt-tip marker “2” written over and a “3” below the snaps (subsequently crossed out) and fainter “2” to the right. Directly below, felt-tip black ink handwritten costume tag reads “F.2. FLYING CAPE PRETTY GOOD DAMAGE.”
Faint ballpoint writing under the flap below the inside neck area appears to read “M2 FLYING AND MECHANICAL” with another line below that is now difficult to decipher due to fading.
Two stitched slits closed with Velcro are positioned part way down either side of the cape. Across the entire bottom are seven pouches (one missing; originally a total of eight) evenly spaced, closed on all sides except open at top.
This is a unique style of cape that was employed for at least two different flying effects and uses across what we believe to be the first three Superman films.
The cape was originally designed for flying scenes, as evidenced by the two Velcro slits at the sides so that two wires could attach to a harness hidden under the costume.
The cape was expected to sell for between US$20,000 and $40,000. The auction ended July 17, 2020.