Thursday, September 29, 2005

The upcoming Superman film (due in July or so) is going to mean a lot of Superman product hitting the shelf. In addition to an onslaught of t-shirts, toys and Dr. Pepper cans, Warner Bros. may be releasing a "Director's Cut" of Superman II.

Quick background: Superman I and II were shot simultaneously by Richard Donner. However, do to a lot of disagreements, the producers of the films (the Salkinds) fired Donner before production was entirely complete on Superman II. They brought in television director Richard Lester who reshot scenes and re-worked certain parts of the film.

What I don't know, and I'm not sure anybody but Richard Donner knows, is what the original film was supposed to look like. While most folks like Superman II due to the action elements, in The League's opinion, Superman I is just a much better realized film. One wonders what a cohesive Superman I and II would have looked like.

According to an interview I read a few years ago with Jack O'Halloran (Non from Superman I and II), Lester was brought in to do everything quickly, cheaply, and not to care too much if the actors were going nuts. Reportedly using TV set-ups (such as multi-camera set-ups) and other short-cuts, Lester did little to endear himself to the returning cast.


According to the e-mail from Nathan Cone today:


Also today, there are online reports from various Superman-themed websites(including Superman Cinema ) that Warner Bros. and producer Ilya Salkind have finally negotiated a deal for the release of director Richard Donner's original unused footage from Superman II. This would allow for the creation of a long-awaited Superman II: Director's Cut that would be closer to the film Donner was crafting before the film was taken away from him by the studio back in 1979 and given to replacement director Richard Lester. Donner, as many of you know, also directed the original Superman: The Movie (the two films were shot, for the most part, simultaneously). The idea behind all of this, of course, is that Warner wants to release new DVD special editions of Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace in conjunction with the theatrical or DVD debut of Bryan Singer's currently in production Superman Returns. The new film is expected to hit theaters in June 2006.

Honestly, I always sort of assumed the Richard Donner cut was an urban myth. Like the guy who wakes up in the tub with his kidney missing, or Delaware.

You know The League will be watching closely as news develops.

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