Christopher Reeve Documentary Receives Standing Ovation at Sundance (Get the Release Date Here)

Superman III Christopher Reeve, 1983
Warner Brothers/Everett Collection

A new documentary about the life of Christopher Reeve titled Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story was met with tears and a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The documentary shares the tale of his career and activism before and after the accident that changed his life forever. In 1995, he was thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition and became paralyzed from the neck down.

This began a very tough time for the actor, who battled dark thoughts in the hospital. His mother thought he should be taken off life support while his wife, Dana held on to hope that he could live a semi-normal life. Eventually, he was able to leave the hospital and the documentary shares his life after the incident until his death in 2004.

American actor Christopher Reeve (1952 - 2004), UK, 20th January 1984

D. Morrison/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The film features home video footage and new interviews with Reeve’s family including his three children and many of his actor friends. Reeve actually narrates most of the film, with his words taken from audiobook versions of his memoirs. Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, the film goes back and forth between his early career and the events that happened after the accident.

Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve during AAFA American Image Awards To Benefit the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation at Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, New York, United States

Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

Reeve got his big break in 1978 when he was cast as Clark Kent and Superman. Although it catapulted him to stardom, he wasn’t always happy with the role and didn’t love doing the sequels. He said around the time, “I am not a hero, never have been, never will be.” He went back to the stage and mainly acted in smaller films. After his accident and long road to recovery, he decided to help advocate for those with disabilities who did not have the same resources. Now, his children have created a foundation in Reeve and his late wife’s names to carry on their activism work.

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story was first shown at Sundance. The film was purchased by Warner Bros. Discovery for $15 million and will be released in select theaters on September 21 and September 25, 2024 (Sept. 25th would be his birthday). It is unclear as of now if the film will get a wider and/or international release. His daughter, Alexandra shared about the film, “He was very conscious of that irony and the legacy of ‘Superman’ when people viewed his story and thought about him after the accident. He talked about redefining what it is to be a hero… it’s an everyday person who survives despite overwhelming obstacles.”

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August 2020

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