Superman Week: Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut
|This scene was one Donner really wanted in the film, but only a screen test was filmed|
resulting in a few minor appearance changes.
Gene Hackman refused to return for re-shoots in support of Richard Donner and the scenes shot with Marlon Brando were scrapped entirely so they wouldn't have to re-shoot them, thus would have to pay Brando again. There were a ton of great scenes cut due to this, and they really added to the film. The Jor-el character alone added so much to the story of the film that its a shame they made the decision to cut it all to not pay Brando's fee. Thankfully all of these scenes were restored for this version of the film.
One of the biggest complaints I've heard from people is about the ending. People are baffled that they used the "flying backwards around the earth" trick twice. Well after watching the documentary on this cut, its made known that this was the planned ending for Superman 2. In a rush to finish the first film, they wanted the biggest special effect shot in that film, so they figured "we'll redo the ending when it comes time" but never got around to it. So the original planned ending for Donner's film is restored and still makes more sense than the memory erasing kiss.
|If there was one thing Zod needed, it was a gun.|
Overall This is the true sequel to Superman the movie in my eyes. It has the same feel and tone to it as the first film, and it doesn't leave you with a ton plot holes. For years all I had known about was the theatrically released version of Superman 2 and when I learned of and finally got a chance to see this film, I was shocked at how much better it was. Despite being a "Frankenstein" of a film, since there is some of the footage Lester filmed used to tie the story together, its a good look at what could have been.
Bottom Line: If you're a fan of the original Donner Superman film, check this one out. It's a far superior sequel to a great film, a much more satisfying movie to watch than what we got for a sequel.