ByIgnatius Klepto, writer at Creators.co
I'm a writer, storyteller, comedian, and geek with an affinity for comics and all things creative.
Ignatius Klepto
No disrespect taken. I do find the biggest problem I had with Superman II (the Lester version) was how campy it was. Throwing the S, the random Ice cream and random wind mishaps in the street scene. Richard Donner Cut showed me so many unused bits of exccelent footage that I found way more appealing then the Lester Version. The scene at the beginning when Lois jumps out the window is such an amazing scene and the effects for the film are not up to todays standards for sure, but you need to remember that the Richard Donner Cut was completed in 2006 using whatever footage they could find and salvage (watch the behind the scenes on how its made) Its effects arent as good as Superman: The Movie simply because most of the footage used was what they could salvage. Since the scenes were cut and stored away of course the effects weren't finished. The Donner Cut is not a theatrical Superman film. It is however almost a completely different movie then the Lester version, yes some of the same scenes and yes the same plot but I have never seen (Blade Runner Cuts included) A movie with the exact same plot with a completely different setting or locations or scenes. The scenes you refer to of Gene Hackman being campy, well honestly The Superman movies were sort of campy, and Gene delivered an excellent performance AS a campy lex luthor. Hes hilarious. Man of Steel had two, maybe three funny moments. I really missed some of the humor. The truck up the pole and the "kinda hot" comment at the end were the two biggest chuckles and laughs of the film. Gene Hackman refused to refilm any dialogue or scenes after Donner was fired from the film, so Lester cut out many scenes with him and if his Dialogue needed to be changed, they used an impressionist (and if you look carefully you can see that sometimes Hackman's lips don't match what hes saying in the Lester Version) Reeve and Kidder were among the only cast to refilm scenes, like the Eiffel Tower Scene, and the Niagara Falls scene (which is unbelievably campy with the pink rugs and everything.) A lot of the original Scenes for Superman II were never shot so Donner had to find whatever he could to complete his cut and he used all the footage that had never been seen before. It was honestly more to satisfy all the Superman Fans that had been demanding and requesting to see what Donner's Version would be like, and what happened to all the scenes he did shoot. It was never made to be in theaters, or to wow audiences by its effects. It was made to showcase the character and the talents of a cast and crew on a film that was practically finished filming when the producers decided to hire a different director. If you watch the Behind the Scenes, youll find some really really interesting details about how long making the Donner Cut was and how they had to salvage and save and sort through tons of film reels from the seventies. The scene where lois fools Clark with the gun was the original test footage the two shot together to audition for their roles. Donner insisted that this was included since that was how they obtained their roles and it was such a pivotal scene in the original script for the sequel (which was as I mentioned in an earlier comment being filmed at the same time as Superman: The Movie) Some of the footage special effects were actually complete, which goes to show just how far along Superman II was before it was filmed. The Marlon Brando scenes were also used later in Superman Returns, but Lester and the producers didnt want to pay him to use the footage so they cut him out entirely of the Lester version. The Donner Cut is my favorite of the Superman films because I love Superman II. Its campy, its weird, but its fun and its got Christopher Reeve, the definitive Superman. It has Lex Luthor, played by the great and hilarious Gene Hackman. It has General Zod forever known for his "Kneel Before Zod" campiness with the utmost sincerity. It has action and is not as campy as the Lester version (Lester also directed Superman III which was horrifically campy. Superman II used a lot of Donner's footage so that is arguably why it wasn't as campy as Superman III) Donner had the perfect balance between action and camp and drama. (Honestly thats why I love Lex Luthor so much in this series. Since hes sort of the "Straight Man" with all this weird crap going around him. He takes some nuclear missiles but thats to combat the flying men and women around him in spandex. "Im surrounded by idiots" he says numerous times about Otis and the the rest of people in the movie. Superman II is more like Superman. Man of Steel while I love it (and its my second favorite Superman film) is more dark and some parts are joyless punching scenes with terrible dialogue throughout. Nothing was witty or well written about it. To each his own. Superman II (either version) is my favorite Superman film. (I like it better than the first Superman because theres no origin story, theres more action and theres more to lose. Before it was Lex with a missile. Not much action. Now its Zod and Lex. Lots of action and lots to lose. Including his powers. Man of Steel was similar to Superman II in a lot of ways which is why I like it a lot, but Cavil is no Reeve, and Snyder, though he can direct action, is no Donner. Donner created the Superhero movie by making Superman. We have him to thank for the Superhero movies of today.
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