It was announced this week that British actor Henry Cavill will don Superman's famous cape in an upcoming sequel to 2006 movie, Superman Returns. Cavill, better known for his role in BBC drama The Tudors, was dubbed the "unluckiest man in Hollywood" by Empire Magazine for narrowly missing out on not only playing Superman five years ago, but also Batman and James Bond.
The new movie appears to have reversed Cavill's fortunes. Slated for release in December 2012, it will be directed by Zack Snyder (of 300 and Watchmen fame) and written by Christopher Nolan, the latter playing a large part in the revival of the Batman franchise. With Nolan's involvement, the new movie may well do the same for the Superman.
Superman, alter ego of journalist Clark Kent, first took to the skies in 1938. The creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the superhero has become a cultural icon and one of the most recognisable comic book characters of all time. He has been portrayed on television, radio, in video games, and most notably by actor Christopher Reeve in the late 1970s.
Superman has proven to be a highly collectible franchise. Just under a year ago, we reported on the sale of a pristine copy of Action Comics # 1 - the first appearance of Superman - for $1.5m. The sale set a World Record price for the most expensive comic book ever sold. Several copies of this issue in varying conditions have regularly sold for thousands of dollars.
In 2007, the costume worn by Reeve in Superman's 1978 silver screen debut sold for a massive $115,000 - double its estimate.
In addition, we recently sold an autographed note, handwritten by the late actor to a fan shortly before principal photography began on the iconic first movie, for $1000. Due to the untimely death of Reeve in 2004, such items are now rare; supply and demand will inevitably increase the value of the actor's autograph.
The advent of the new Superman movie undoubtedly means that comics and memorabilia related to the man of steel have significant potential as an alternative investment, for both fans and collectors. The relative renaissance in comic book culture - thanks to a slew of recent movies - has leant new power to superhero collectibles, as we reported last April.
Much like the man himself, the value of Superman collectibles is likely to soar skyward on his return to a cinema near you - exciting news for alternative investors and aficionados.