Monday, December 5, 2011

Rejected Supergirl The Movie Posters

I begrudgingly admit that the Supergirl movie is a weak point in my Supergirl knowledge base. I haven't seen the movie in decades. And despite near yearly proclamations that I am going to buy the movie online, I have yet to do so. Feel free to hurl rotten vegetables this way! They are deserved.

The official movie poster is seen above, a nice iconic view of a flying Supergirl wheeling around the Statue of Liberty. It is evocative of the Donner Superman movies but unique enough to not be a knock off. But is a nice heroic pose.

So I owe thanks to all the people who emailed me the link below from the San Diego reader reviewing rejected movie posters, including some from Supergirl:

I apologize for the size of the pics as that was wall that was provided from the story. Some of these are interesting and clearly needed to be rejected. But others are worthy of consideration. But it seems that the studio initially had a hard time figuring out how to sell the movie. Is it action? Romance? Or both?

This batch seems to play up the romance aspect of the movie.

The first one seems to show a bit of a coy sultry Supergirl with the tag line (I think, as I squint) 'On July 12th, a beautiful woman reveals her greatest secret'. Not exactly inspiring. And is she undressing?

I can't make out the next posters tag lines, but the images of a young girl lifting up a man, or flying with a man play up the fact that she is the strong one here. There is also a playful feel here more like this was a John Hughes movie. But she isn't in uniform and there isn't much heroism here. I think these feel more like a teen comedy than a super-hero movie.

These versions give off the feeling like maybe this is a more serious romance movie. Sure the first one has Supergirl flying (carrying love interest Ethan again) to bring in the superhero stuff but the painted faces in the background with the touching and the deep soulful look more like a tacky romance novel.

The other has the tagline 'the most incredible girl you'll ever meet. But this picture of Helen Slater in a field accepting a rose has nothing 'Supergirl' about it.

These ones are a bit better for the film.

The first one has the classic 'hands on hips' iconic super-hero pose. And the font for the title is finally something eye-catching. That said, it is a bit static and maybe not engaging enough.

The sunset profile poster is actually a beautiful poster. The silhouette captures the costume and cape wonderfully. But this was probably the first time the mainstream population would learn about Supergirl. So I don't think this one would work because you don't see the actual costume and S-shield.

Of all these posters, the first one in the above picture is actually my favorite. Great action shot. Costume visible. Nice tag line ('Her legend is just beginning'). And there is something majestic and grand about how she is smaller, high up in the clouds. My guess is the image was considered too small and didn't sell the character well enough.

The second one again suffers from the more static feel of the simple pose. The bare legs under the smaller photos seem off. I do like the text ("Adventure runs in her family').

This first one is also very good. This also has a great action pose, iconic flying position in the clouds. It showcases the character and the costume. And the text is nice ('She has travelled 20 million light years to save her home and her adventure is just beginning'). I would have been happy with this one as well.

The second one suffers from being to gimmicky. Supergirl holding up the title just looks awkward. And the tagline ('Get your summer off to a flying start') is also pretty lame.

The last two add wrinkles to the 'hand on hips' pose which the publicity guys seem enamored of.

Adding some shadowing and putting her on a beach doesn't seem to add much in the first one. Why is she partially in the dark? Where is the light source? And the text ('From out of another galaxy and into your heart') is a bit cheesy.

The second one shrinks the image of Supergirl a bit and adds the light streak lines. It give some dynamics to the poster making it feel less like a pose. Unfortunately, I can't make out any of the paragraph of text above her. That seems like too much space devoted to text. Why not tighten that up and make Supergirl bigger.

Anyways, I will make my usual proclamation that this is the year that I will see the movie again ... finally. And these posters show just how difficult a time the producers must have been having in how to sell the movie.


valerie21601 said...

From what I saw of the Supergirl movie (I haven't watched it from beginning to end.) Three big mistakes they made were:

1. It was too soon for a large romance story it overshadowed the main story line of her adapting to Earth while searching for the whatcha-ma-call-it. There should be a potential love story for a future story line.

2.) The supernatural angle of Selena and her follower was wrong for a first super hero characters movie.

3.) Fractured story telling like where Kara steps out of her pod fully clothed in her costume and is hardly surprised about it. Like what happened to her Argo City clothes during her trip to Earth? Her near instant mastery of her new powers from the get go.

Yes, I do love Helen Slater as Supergirl. I feel she does understand the core of Supergirl, her positive outlook, her compassion, her spirit. Even though the director, producers, story writers and the movie studios didn't understand hardly at all.

Dave Mullen said...

Yeah I'd like to see this again too and I gather there's a special edition out there on DVD. I remember it being okay for the most part, cliche'd with a fair bit of 80s cheese sure but a fair bit of genuinly good effects and a charismatic lead actress who sells the part extremely well.

On reflection it was probobly too soon after the penultimate Reeve movies to release this, if thosse films had been better quality people might have been better disposed to Supergirl but after four films of declining quality it was never going to swim well in theatres.
I would also agree that the comment on the ill judged supernatural aspect with the evil witches, it could have worked if the parts were played better, with some genuine menace, but I was embarrased by it myself...
And yes, some of those posters are better than what we got!

Gene said...

WOW! Excellent historical find Anj! I find these fascinating and I agree that they reflect the struggle the producers had in marketing the film.

I like the one where she is flying into the clouds, reminds me of the Superman "You will believe that a man will fly" poster. The one where she is standing by the lake at sunset is cool too.

I still like the movie despite its faults, mostly because Helen Slater's performance outshone all of them. I noticed similar themes between Supergirl and the Thor movie. I would dare say that Thor was the Supergirl movie recast and retold with a better story and special effects.


Anonymous said...

Yeah somewhere out there is an alternate reality where this movie was done right and Helen Slater became a big star off of a slew of Supergirl movies.
She remains the only reason after 25 years to watch it again, she comes soooo close to breaking thru, ultimately the script lets her down.
If I wrote it believe me, that would be Supergirl movie worth seeing again and again!
The posters wherein Supergirl isn't in costume at all are borderline false advertising IMHO, an inept attempt to fool the aud into thinking their superhero movie was some sort of teen comedy built on shopworn role reversal gags.
I don't think the producers were struggling with the concept, I think they were afraid of it.
Something to think about as new Supergirl movies, cartoons, TV shows etc get discussed going forward.


Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments! It only cements the fact that I need to see this again.

My memories are that Slater was incredible but the rest was pretty campy. Still, Slater just seemed to get it.

Anonymous said...


There are actually higher resolution versions of the pics available if you remove the "_t400" bit at the end of the URL. Some are more than double in size. They're clearly from a pretty cheap digital camera but you can at least read more of the text etc.



Anonymous said...

...but obviously I'm referring to those on the original site and not your URLs!


Anj said...


Thanks so much for the tip!


Jay Allen Sanford said...

Thanks for spreading the word about our Movie Poster Rejects series! I actually shot this collection over 20 years ago, on an Instamatic 110 camera, way before digital, hence the hinky visual quality. If you have trouble pulling down the larger scans, let me know an email addy to use and I'll send individual scans of the posters.