The Sundance Film Festival recently premiered a heartwarming documentary titled Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story. The documentary pays tribute to the actor best known for portraying Superman in four DC movies. It also sheds light on Christopher Reeve's timeless legacy as the Man of Steel and his profound friendship with the late comedian Robin Williams. Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, the documentary intricately weaves the narrative of Reeve's life and career, as well as the aftermath of his debilitating 1995 accident. One of the most poignant moments in the documentary is a quote by actress Glenn Close, and overall her comment and the film as a whole brought tears to the eyes of many.
Super/Man stands out for its intimate approach, blending home videos, new interviews with Reeve’s children, and insights from his contemporaries into a rich tapestry that depicts his life and legacy. The Bostonians actor narrates a significant portion of the film posthumously through excerpts from his audiobook, taking the audience on a journey through the pivotal moments of his life.
However, the touching friendship between Christopher and the Genie voice actor is at the heart of the documentary. This bond remained strong through the highs and lows of their respective careers and personal lives. Glenn Close, a friend of Reeve, reflects on this friendship in a particularly moving manner. Speaking about the bond between the two iconic actors (via The Guardian), she says:
I’ve always thought if Chris was still around, then Robin would still be alive.
Close's statement reveals the strong bond between Reeve and Williams, and highlights the significant influence their friendship had on each other's lives. It's a sad realization that had Reeve lived a little longer (he died in 2004), we might have been able to enjoy Robin Williams' presence for a bit longer too (he passed in 2014). You can get a look at the relationship between the two actors by watching the video below of Robin telling Oprah how he used comedy to cheer up his friend in the hospital after being paralyzed.
Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story also explores the Somewhere in Time actor’s struggles after his accident, including the physical, emotional, and mental challenges he faced. It portrays his resilience and his advocacy for disability rights, which shaped his later years and helped shape the incredible medical advancements in spinal cord injuries.
The film is a well-balanced mix of Reeve's career highlights and personal hardships, particularly after his accident. It doesn't shy away from the darker aspects of his journey, such as the strain on his family and the significant personal and financial costs of his condition. It also highlights how Reeve's perspective on life and his role as a father and husband changed dramatically after the accident.
The Christopher Reeve Story not only commemorates the life of the beloved actor whose embodiment of the Big Blue Boy Scout is the reason so many spend time ranking Superman movies or putting their favorite Superman suits in order, but it also celebrates the enduring legacy of his friendship with Williams.
There is no word on whether the doc will hit the 2024 movie schedule, as it’s still waiting for broader distribution. It is currently unknown when the doc will be released to audiences, but be sure to check back with CinemaBlend for more updates.
If you want to revisit some of Robin Williams' best movies or Christopher Reeve’s incredible performances, check out some of their best work streaming with an Amazon Prime Video plan or a Max subscription.