Creator Killer: The failure of Superman IV most likely ruined the Cannon Group's chances at becoming a legitimate film studio. They didn't give special priority to the sequel, as they were already overstretched with other productions at the time, and funnelled much of the original budget to those. Between failures like this, Lifeforce, Masters of the Universe, and Over the Top, Cannon was forced to close up shop at the dawn of the 1990s.
Deleted Scene: Quite a lot of material (45 minutes worth!) was cut for the movie's theatrical release, with some odd choices. One would think an extended action sequence of Superman fighting a super-powered opponent (the Bizarro-esque first incarnation of Nuclear Man) would be something you'd want to keep. Other deleted scenes make the plot hang together a little better, and there's a nice character scene between Lois Lane and the weakened Clark/Superman at Clark's apartment.
Doing It for the Art: By some accounts, Christopher Reeve only agreed to do Superman IV in order to get Street Smart made. (Reeve also has co-story and second unit director credit.)
When interviewed after the film was released, Reeve said that if he made another Superman movie, it would feature a naive kid who wants to learn how to fly; Superman would take the kid's money and run off with it.
Genre-Killer: If it hadn't been for RoboCop (1987) that same year, Superman IV would most likely have killed off the superhero/comic book movie genre.
Money, Dear Boy: According to Jon Cryer, Gene Hackman apparently said this to him word for word when he asked him why he chose to do the movie.
Old Shame: Christopher Reeve was deeply ashamed about this movie, declaring the film to be "terrible" on the eve of its release, citing a haphazard scriptwriting process and the poor quality of the film's special effects. Co-star Jon Cryer also hated the film, going so far as to deem the film unfinished as a result of its ultra-low budget.
Recycled Script: One of the Superman title annuals that became part of the Armageddon 2001 crossover event is essentially a more tragic rewrite of this movie's storyline, with Superman using force instead of diplomacy and the goodwill of the nations to dispose of nuclear weapons. And what set him off on that crusade? The death of his wife Lois Lane by a nuclear bomb.
Reportedly, the original budget was about $35 million, but the Cannon Group slashed it in half.
The planned soundtrack album (split between songs - mostly for nightclub scenes - and Alexander Courage's score) was cancelled when most of the scenes for which the chosen tracks were written got cut from the movie. (This was before the phrase "Music From And Inspired By" became the bÍte noire of film music fans.)
Written By Cast Member: Christopher Reeve has co-story credit (and later won a case against the film's screenwriters when they claimed he didn't think up the plot). Since he's also credited with directing the second unit, this qualifies for Directed by Cast Member as well.