Superman Star Christopher Reeve: New Documentary Reveals Life Before and After Paralyzing Accident

It has been 20 years since the death of beloved “Superman” star Christopher Reeve, and a new documentary is shedding light on the actor’s life before and after his life-altering accident. In 1995, Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down after falling from a horse at an equestrian competition. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 52 from a heart attack following an infection. Now, his youngest son, Will Reeve, has spoken out about the documentary, titled “Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story,” calling it a powerful and honest portrayal of his father’s life.

The documentary, directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is currently seeking distribution. Will Reeve expressed his excitement about sharing his father’s story with the world, stating, “Everything came together in a way that we knew as a family we could be open and honest and vulnerable and hand everything over to them and see what they came back with. And that trust has been rewarded in a way that we’re just so thrilled about and can’t wait for the world to experience as well.”

The film includes never-before-seen footage and interviews, including outtakes from Reeve’s original audition for the role of Superman and interviews from the 1970s and 1980s. It also explores Reeve’s relationship with his children and how it changed following his accident. According to the documentary, Reeve’s son Matthew recalls that his father often showed love through competition, such as taking his children skiing and racing ahead of them.

Reeve’s relationship with his own father is also touched upon in the documentary. He described the relationship as difficult and strained, and the film includes an unverified family tale about his father’s disapproval when Reeve landed the role of Superman. Despite the challenges, Reeve went on to become a Hollywood icon in the role.

The documentary also highlights Reeve’s advocacy work and his dedication to raising awareness and funds for spinal cord injury research. After his accident, Reeve became heavily involved in disability advocacy and worked with celebrities such as Robert De Niro and Paul McCartney to support rehabilitation and research efforts.

Throughout his life, Reeve struggled with the concept of being a hero and being defined by his role as Superman. He found solace in his work in theater and was particularly proud of his role in the Oscar-nominated film “Remains of the Day.” His son, Will Reeve, explained that his father wanted to be recognized for his range as an actor and to redefine what it means to be a hero.

The documentary pays tribute to Reeve’s wife, Dana, who was by his side until his death and tragically passed away from cancer in 2006. The film explores their love story and Dana’s crucial role in Reeve’s life and advocacy work.

Will Reeve expressed his pride in sharing his mother’s story and the impact she had on their family. He and his siblings are actively involved in the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families affected by paralysis.

Overall, “Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story” offers an intimate and revealing look into the life and legacy of Christopher Reeve. It captures his journey from actor to advocate and his unwavering determination to make a difference in the world. The documentary serves as a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit.