Superman II – The Richard Donner Cut

Last modified on December 3rd, 2006

For those of you who read my blog from time to time, you might remember my write up when I saw Superman Returns in the summer. It was actually not that bad of a movie (my second viewing I didn’t think it was as good), and when I got home that weekend, I decided to watch Superman I and II again just to remember what they were like. And I have to say, I really enjoyed them (even though Chris says that makes me gay).

I was surfing the internet about a year ago, and read about the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. Apparently the original director of Superman I and II was a guy named Richard Donner. Sometime in between Superman I’s release and Superman II, they fired him, and reshot most of the movie using a new guy. Over the last twenty years, fans have been sending letters to the studio asking that they release the old footage, since most of the die hard fans weren’t that happy with Superman II. This weekend, all those fans got their wish, and the studio released a version of the film based on the original footage that Richard Donner shot twenty years ago. Fifty percent of the movie has never been seen before, and although it represents some of the original vision he had, it’s obviously not entirely a complete movie, since some of the scenes he wanted were never shot.

It’s pretty interesting to see this movie, and see new scenes with Christopher Reeve now that he’s no longer around. I saw Superman Returns on the weekend again with my dad, and it made me appreciate just how good Christopher Reeve was at portraying the character. Overall, my first impression is that it’s not bad, and that it could have been great, but unfortunately the pacing and everything doesn’t always work since lots of the footage has sort of been squished together. There’s even a scene between Clark and Lois that was actually taken from one of their screen tests, and in it Clark Kent is wearing completely different glasses and has his hair styled a bit differently. So it stands completely out. But, it was cool seeing the original Marlon Brando scenes that were stripped out due to money concerns.

All in all, a good watch, especially if you’re a fan of the series.

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