Monday, October 8, 2007
I decided to watch Superman II on Sunday night as nothing else happened that day and I was feeling a bit down. I watched the theatrical version first, then because my day had yet to make a turn around I decided to check out the Richard Donner cut. I had heard about the Richard Donner cut and wanted to see it. Richard Donner was the director who had done the first Superman movie in 1978. He was signed on to do the second movie and was filming the two simultaneously. At one point during the production Donner argued with the producers over their attempts to make the film more “Campy” and it was decided that Richard Donner would be replaced even though Donner had shot over 75% of the sequel. Director Richard Lester replaced Donner and re-shot most of the film. This was done for several reasons. First, according to the Director's Guild rules a director must film more then half the picture to get credit as the director, second Donner's cinematographer, Oscar-winner Geoffrey Unsworth had died so Lester brought his own cinematographer on. I liked both movies ok. I liked Donners concepts better then Lesters. Originally the nuclear explosion that releases the three criminals came from the first movie when superman throws the nuke into space. Also, to prove that Clark Kent is Superman Louis shoots him. We have in this film, a noticeable lack of Marlon Brando. Brando sued for a portion of the profit of the film and won. This pissed off the producers so they had Brando cut from the second film , even though he had been paid already, and replaced his scenes with Elva Mai Hoover, Superman’s mom. I liked the Richard Donner cut. It explained how Superman gets his powers back after he is told there is no returning once he has decided to become mortal. The Donner version would have been a better film then the Lester film ended up being. They are too different as directors. Lester had no respect for the film and decided to change to many things. They should have left Donner on the project. If you are a fan of the Superman movies I’d recommend seeing the Donner cut.