24-year-old American film actor Christopher Reeve stands before the Manhattan skyline dressed as the comic-book hero of the film 'Superman'.    (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Christopher Reeve And Margot Kidder's Superman Contracts
Were Hiding Unpleasant Surprises
Long before Hollywood began releasing superhero movies every quarter, multi-movie contracts that demanded long-term commitments from actors were a standard industry practice. One such multi-picture contract was for the 1978 Warner Bros. film, “Superman,” which would raise questions about whether the actors' salaries were high enough.
Actress Margot Kidder described her experience, saying, “I had a contract — a very thick one. They weren't going to risk having a hit with 'Superman' and then not have those same actors in the second because you could then go back and ask for $20m to do the sequel.” After the film’s release, Kidder and Christopher Reeve noticed their likeness being used for more than just film promotion.
Kidder recalled, “For the second one we renegotiated our contracts because I found out they had things with Chris in Japan holding Pepsi cans in his hand. [...] He then found out they had Taco Bell glasses with my picture on it.” The actress refused to work until her contract was renegotiated, leading to her and Reeve’s getting a pay increase.