Superman II

Superman II is a 1980[5][6][7] superhero film directed by Richard Lester and written by Mario Puzo and David and Leslie Newman, based on the DC Comics character Superman. It is a sequel to the 1978 film Superman and stars Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Terence Stamp, Ned Beatty, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, and Jack O'Halloran. The film was released in Australia and mainland Europe on December 4, 1980,[1] and in other countries throughout 1981. Selected premiere engagements of Superman II were presented in Megasound, a high-impact surround sound system similar to Sensurround.

In 1977, it was decided to film both Superman (1978) and its sequel simultaneously, with principal photography beginning in March 1977 and ending in October 1978. Tensions arose between Richard Donner and the producers in which a decision was made to stop filming the sequel, of which 75 percent had already been completed, and finish the first film. Following the release of Superman in December 1978, Donner was controversially fired as director, and was replaced by Richard Lester. Several members of the cast and crew declined to return in the wake of Donner's firing. In order to be officially credited as the director, Lester re-shot most of the film with a new alternate opening and ending for which principal photography began in September 1979 and ended in March 1980.

The film received positive reviews from film critics who praised the performances from Reeve, Stamp and Hackman, the visual effects, and humor. It grossed $190 million against a production budget of $54 million. A sequel, Superman III, was released, for which Lester returned as director.

Superman II
Superman II
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRichard Lester
Richard Donner
(uncredited)
Produced byPierre Spengler
Screenplay by
Story byMario Puzo
Based onSuperman
by Jerry Siegel
Joe Shuster
Starring
Music byKen Thorne
CinematographyRobert Paynter
Edited byJohn Victor-Smith
Production
companies
  • Dovemead Ltd.
  • Film Export A.G.
  • International Film Production
Distributed by
Release date
  • December 4, 1980 (Australia)[1]
  • April 9, 1981 (United Kingdom)[2]
Running time
127 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom[3]
United States[3]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$54 million
Box office$190.4 million[4]

Plot

Before the destruction of Krypton, the criminals General Zod, Ursa and Non are sentenced to banishment into the Phantom Zone. Years later, the Phantom Zone is shattered near Earth by the shockwave of a space-borne hydrogen bomb. The three criminals are freed and find themselves with superpowers granted by the yellow light of Earth's sun.

The Daily Planet sends journalist Clark Kent—whose secret identity is Superman—and his colleague Lois Lane to Niagara Falls. Lois suspects Clark and Superman are the same person after Clark is absent when Superman appears to save a falling kid. She tries putting herself in danger so he can save her, but he does so without becoming Superman. That night, when Clark recovers his glasses from a lit fireplace, Lois discovers that his hand is unburned, forcing Clark to admit he is Superman. He takes her to his Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, and shows her the traces of his past stored in energy crystals. Superman declares his love for Lois and his wish to spend his life with her. After conferring with the artificial intelligence of his mother Lara, Superman removes his superpowers by exposing himself to red Kryptonian sunlight in a crystal chamber, becoming a mortal. Clark and Lois spend the night together, then leave the Fortress and return from the Arctic by automobile. Arriving at a diner, Clark is beaten up by a truck driver named Rocky.

Meanwhile, the Zod gang, after becoming accustomed to earth, travel to the White House and force the President of the United States to surrender on behalf of the entire planet during an international television broadcast. When the President pleads for Superman to save the Earth, General Zod demands that Superman come and "kneel before Zod!" Clark and Lois learn of Zod's conquest and, realizing that humanity alone cannot fight Zod, Clark tries to regain his powers.

Lex Luthor escapes from prison with Eve Teschmacher's help, leaving his accomplice Otis behind. Luthor and Teschmacher infiltrate the Fortress of Solitude before Superman and Lois arrive. Luthor learns of Superman's connection to Jor-El and General Zod. He finds Zod at the White House and tells him Superman is the son of Jor-El, their jailer, and offers to lead him to Superman in exchange for control of Australia. The three Kryptonians ally with Luthor and go to the offices of the Daily Planet. Superman arrives, after having found the green crystal that restores his powers, and battles the three. Zod realizes Superman cares for the humans and takes advantage of this by threatening bystanders. Superman realizes the only way to stop Zod and the others is to lure them to the Fortress. Superman flies off, with Zod, Ursa, and Non in pursuit, kidnapping Lois and taking along Luthor. Upon arrival, Zod declares Luthor has outlived his usefulness and plans to kill both him and Superman. Superman tries to get Luthor to lure the three into the crystal chamber to depower them, but Luthor, eager to get back in Zod's favor, reveals the chamber's secret to the villains. Zod forces Superman into the chamber and activates it; however, Superman crushes Zod's hand and tosses him into a crevice. Luthor deduces that Superman reconfigured the chamber to expose the trio to red sunlight while Superman was protected from it. Non falls into another crevice when trying to fly over it and Lois knocks Ursa into a third. Superman flies back to civilization, returning Luthor to prison and Lois home.

At the Daily Planet the following day, Clark finds Lois upset about knowing his secret and not being able to be open about her true feelings. He kisses her, using his abilities to wipe her mind of her knowledge of the past few days. Later, Clark returns to the diner and has a rematch with Rocky the truck driver and defeats him easily. Superman restores the damage done by Zod, replacing the flag atop the White House and tells the president he won't abandon his duty again.

Cast

  • Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor: Criminal genius and Superman's nemesis. Armed with vast resources and scientific brilliance, Luthor's contempt for mankind is only surpassed by his hatred for Superman. Luthor strikes a bargain with the three Kryptonian criminals in an effort to destroy Superman.[7]
  • Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman: Born on Krypton and raised on Earth, Superman is a being of immense strength, speed, and power. Morally upstanding and instilled with a strong sense of duty, Superman tirelessly uses his formidable powers, which he gets from the Earth's yellow sun, to protect the people of his adoptive homeworld. His alter ego is mild-mannered Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent. Superman's abilities include: X-ray and heat vision, vast strength, speed and invulnerability, super-intelligence and flight.[7]
  • Terence Stamp as General Zod: The ruthless, arrogant and megalomaniacal leader of three Kryptonian criminals banished to the Phantom Zone and unwittingly set free by Superman. Zod, upon landing on Earth and gaining the same superpowers as Superman, immediately views humans as a weak and insignificant sub-species and imposes his evil will for world dominance. However, his arrogance causes him to quickly become bored with his powers and he is almost disappointed at how little of a challenge humans are. His insatiable lust for power is replaced however by revenge when he learns that the son of Jor-El stands in the way of his absolute rule of the planet.
  • Ned Beatty as Otis: Luthor's incompetent henchman.
  • Jackie Cooper as Perry White: Mercurial editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet newspaper and Lois and Clark's boss.
  • Sarah Douglas as Ursa: Zod's second-in-command and consort. Ursa's evil will and power-lust are equal to and sometimes surpass those of General Zod's. Her contempt and utter disregard for humans, men in particular, make her a very deadly adversary. She has an inclination to collect insignia and heraldry from people she defeats or dominates, such as the NASA patch from the EVA suit of an astronaut she kills.
  • Margot Kidder as Lois Lane: The ace reporter for the Daily Planet and Superman's love interest. Lois, is a driven career journalist, who lets nothing stand in the way of breaking the next big story and scooping rival reporters while ignoring the potential consequences that sometimes put her in peril. She finds out that Clark is Superman, but her memory is erased when Clark kisses her.
  • Jack O'Halloran as Non: The third of the Kryptonian criminals, Non is "as without thought as he is without voice." At 7 ft (2.1 m) tall, Non is a formidable hulking mute who easily matches Superman's strength, but has the intelligence and sometimes curiosity of a child, and communicates only with guttural grunts and growls. Though he lacks the mental ability to use his powers effectively, he does however possess the same taste for destruction as his Kryptonian companions.
  • Valerie Perrine as Eve Teschmacher: Lex Luthor's beautiful assistant and girlfriend who helps Lex Luthor escape from prison.
  • Susannah York as Lara: Jor-El's wife and Superman's biological mother.
  • Clifton James as Sheriff.
  • E.G. Marshall as the President of the United States.
  • Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen: Young photographer at the Daily Planet.

According to the 2006 documentary You Will Believe: The Cinematic Saga of Superman, Sarah Douglas was the only cast member to do extensive around-the-world press tours in support of the film and was one of the few actors who held a neutral point of view in the Donner-Lester controversy.

Richard Donner briefly appears in a "walking cameo" in the film. In the sequence where the de-powered Clark and Lois are seen approaching the truck-stop diner by car, Donner appears walking "camera left" past the driver's side. He is wearing a light tan jacket and appears to be smoking a pipe. In his commentary for Superman II, Ilya Salkind states that the inclusion of his cameo in that scene is proof that the Salkinds held no animosity towards Donner, because if there were, then surely they would have cut it out. Conversely, Donner has used his inclusion in the scene to debunk praise heaped on Lester around the release of the film where Lester took credit for the intense nature of the "bully" scene in the diner, pointing out that he (Donner) filmed the scene and not Lester.

Production history

Original production

Principal photography for both Superman films began on March 28, 1977 at Pinewood Studios for the Krypton scenes, but by May 1977, production had ran two weeks behind schedule.[8] It was reported that Donner had developed tensions with the Salkinds and Pierre Spengler concerning the escalating production budget and production schedule. Donner responded by claiming he was never given a budget.[9] In July 1977, Richard Lester—who had previously directed The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974) for the Salkinds—came on-board the project as an uncredited associate producer and intermediary on Superman to mediate the relationship between Donner and the Salkinds whom were no longer on speaking terms.[10] Prior to this, Lester had won a lawsuit against the Salkinds for money still owned to him from making the films, but the assets were held in legal entanglements in the Bahamas. The Salkinds then offered to compensate him if he would help on the Superman films, in which Lester became a second unit director where he and Donner formed an effective partnership.[11][12] By October 1977, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, and Valerie Perrine had completed their scenes as they were all under contract to finish both pictures. Nevertheless, with months left of filming, the Salkinds had halted filming Superman II and focus on finishing Superman[13] by which Donner had already completed 75% of the sequel.[14] During the pause in filming, the Salkinds agreed to a negative pickup deal with Warner Bros. granting the studio rights to foreign distribution and television airings in exchange for more financing.[15]

Replacing Richard Donner

Following the release of Superman in December 1978, Spengler encountered Variety columnist Army Archerd at a Christmas party that, in which he confirmed that while there had been tension between him and Donner, he was proud of the film and looked forward to working with him on the sequel. Archerd then contacted Donner in which he responded "If he's on it—I'm not."[16] Two days after the first film's general release, Brando had sued the Salkinds for $50 million claiming he had never received his percentage of the film's gross and filed a restraining order to prevent the use of his likeness. While his restraining order request was thrown out, Brando received $15 million from the settlement.[17] Following this, producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind announced that Marlon Brando's completed scenes for Superman II would be excised from the movie in order for them to avoid having to pay the actor the reported 11.75%[18] of gross U.S. box-office takings he was now demanding for his performance in the sequel. In addition to this, Ilya Salkind had also claimed Brando was removed due to creative differences, in which he suggested to his father: "What if it's the mother [instead]? She talks about love to her son. And it kind of made sense creatively....Jor-El had done his thing if you want."[19] Donner publicly lambasted this decision, in which he told Variety, "That means no games... They have to want me to do it. It has to be on my terms and I don't mean financially. I mean control."[20]

As Donner had become unavailable during the European promotional campaign for Superman, the Salkinds approached Guy Hamilton to take over directional reins for Superman II since Lester was filming Cuba (1979) at the time. However, Hamilton was unavailable, but by the time Superman II was ready to being filming, Lester had completed Cuba and was available to direct.[21] Eventually, on March 15, 1979, the Salkinds decided to replace Donner with Richard Lester. Donner recalled that "One day, I got a telegram from them saying my services are no longer needed and that my dear friend Richard Lester would take over. To this day, I have not heard from them." Ilya Salkind countered, "Dick Donner said, 'I will do the second movie on my terms and without [Pierre] Spengler'...Spengler was my friend since childhood and my father and I were very loyal guys. We said no, and it really boiled down to that."[22]

The decision to replace Donner was controversial amongst the cast and crew.[22] Creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz was approached by Terry Semel, then a Warner Bros. vice president, to return for the sequel, but he declined out of loyalty to Donner. He recounted "I have a lot of respect for him. [referring to Richard Lester] Friendship is more important than anything. And Dick [Donner] brought me on the picture and my loyalty was with Dick and I couldn't believe that they fired him."[23][24] Editor Stuart Baird also declined to return for the sequel. Gene Hackman declined to return for re-shoots, which necessitated the need for a stand-in actor and a voice double for several scenes.[25]

Production under Richard Lester

To replace Mankiewicz, Superman co-screenwriters David and Leslie Newman were then brought back to re-tool the script constructing a new opening and ending. The new script featured newly conceived scenes such as a new opening involving Superman thwarting the nuclear terrorists at the Eiffel Tower, Clark rescuing Lois at Niagara Falls, and a new ending in which Clark causes Lois to forget his secret identity through a hypnotic kiss.[25] Furthermore, cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth had died before the release of Superman. With Lester as director, he was not sympathetic to Donner's filmmaking style commenting "I think that Donner was emphasizing a kind of grandiose myth. There was a kind of David Lean-ish attempt in several sequences, and enormous scale. There was a type of epic quality which isn't in my nature, so my work really didn't embrace that...That's not me. That's his vision of it. I'm more quirky and I play around with slightly more unexpected silliness."[26] Lester then brought on cinematographer Robert Paynter to have the film evoke the garish color scheme of the comics.[27] Another replacement happened when set designer John Barry suddenly collapsed on the nearby set of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and died from meningitis. Peter Murton was then hired in Barry's place.

Before filming was to begin, Christopher Reeve was initially unavailable as he had accepted to star in the romantic fantasy film, Somewhere in Time, five months into the production shutdown by which his contract to shoot both Superman films back-to-back had expired. Reeve had claimed that twelve hours after his casting was announced, he received a letter from the producers to be available for Superman II on July 16, which was only five days after he was to finish filming Somewhere in Time.[28] In March 1979, the Salkinds filed suit against Reeve alleging he had breached his contract by walking off the sequel.[29] Furthermore, Reeve had held reservations with Lester and the Newmans' script following the departure of Donner. During the renegotiation of his contract, Reeve agreed to the financial terms, but demanded more artistic control.[30]

Filming for Superman II re-commenced in September 1979[31] at Pinewood Studios. The remaining sequences left to be shot included the scenes of the super-villains in Midwest America and the battle in Metropolis. With Brando cut from the film, the decision was made to re-shoot the scene in which Clark confesses his love for Lois and surrender his powers. Another scene, as written in the film's original shooting script and shot, was to have Jor-El restore his superpowers by reaching out to him in a tableau reminiscent of the painting, The Creation of Adam, but the younger Salkind felt it was over-the-top.[19] The first scene was re-shot with actress Susannah York taking Brando's place while the restoration of Superman's powers would take place off-screen.[25] Location shooting took place in Canada, Paris, Norway and St Lucia, and the Metropolis scenes—in contrast to the first film where they were filmed on location in New York—were filmed entirely on the back lot at Pinewood. Throughout filming, Lester caused tensions as he opted to retain his directorial technique for his three-camera setup, which frustrated the actors as they did not know when they were being filmed for their close-ups.[27] Filming was completed on March 10, 1980.[32]

Due to budgetary reasons and actors being unavailable, key scenes filmed by Donner were added to the final film. Since the Lester footage was shot two years later, continuity errors are present in the physique and styling of stars Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve. In Donner's footage, Reeve appears less bulked as he was still gaining muscle for the part. Kidder also has dramatic changes throughout; in the montage of Lester-Donner material, shot inside the Daily Planet and the Fortress of Solitude near the movie's conclusion, her hairstyle, hair color, and even make-up are all inconsistent. Kidder's physical appearance in the Lester footage is noticeably different; during the scenes shot for Donner she appears slender, whereas in the Lester footage she looks thinner.

Before the film's release, Warner Bros. had appealed to the Directors Guild of America to assign the appropriate co-director credit, in which they argued Lester could not be credited unless he shot 40 percent of the film. Although Lester had earlier thought he would not be credited, he approached Donner to see if he wished to be credited as co-director, in which Donner replied, "I don't share credit".[33][34]

Music

Composer John Williams was originally slated to score Superman II in which he was given a screening with Ilya Salkind and Richard Lester. When Salkind left the projection room, Williams and Lester fell into an argument, and when Salkind returned, Williams told him that he "could not get along with this man". To take his place, Richard Lester's frequent composer Ken Thorne was selected to score the sequel.[32][35][36] Thorne wrote minimal original material and adapted source music, such as Average White Band's "Pick Up the Pieces", which appears both in the restaurant in Idaho and during Clark's second encounter with Rocky in the Alaska diner. The music was performed at the CTS Studios, Wembley, London in the spring of 1980 by a studio session orchestra (rather than the London Symphony Orchestra, who had played for the first film). The soundtrack was released on Warner Bros. Records, with one edition featuring laser-etched "S" designs repeated five times on each side.[37]

A complete score was released in 2008, as part of Superman: The Music--1978-1988, an 8-CD box set released by Film Score Monthly, with a limited edition of 6.000 units.

Release

During a preview of the finished film, Warner Bros. executives had hoped to maximize its box office returns by releasing the film in every part of the world during their peak movie-going period. The film premiered in Australia on December 4, 1980, which was followed with Christmastime releases in France, Italy, Spain, and South Africa. The film opened in the United Kingdom and West Germany in Easter 1981.[38] On June 1, 1981, the film premiered at the National Theater in New York City, and received its general release in 1,354 theaters in the United States and Canada on June 19—six months after its release in other parts of the world.[32]

Marketing

To promote the film, The New York Times reported that Warner Bros. had licencees for 34 products including posters, Pepsi-Cola, pajamas, and T-shirts with Superman carrying the American flag. They had also enlisted their publishing division to produce calendars, pop-up books, a film novelization, a behind-the-scenes book, and a children's dictionary.[38]

Before production on Superman II resumed in 1979, the Philip Morris Company had paid $40,000 (approx £20,000) for their Marlboro cigarette to appear in the film.[39] Lois Lane was shown as a chain smoker in the film, although she never smoked in the comic book version.[40] A prop included a truck sign written with the Marlboro logo, although actual vehicles for tobacco distribution are unmarked, for security reasons.[41] This led to a congressional investigation.[42][43]

Reception

Critical reaction

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, who gave the original film very high acclaim,[44] also praised Superman II, giving it four out of four stars. He wrote in his review, "This movie's most intriguing insight is that Superman's disguise as Clark Kent isn't a matter of looks as much as of mental attitude: Clark is disguised not by his glasses but by his ordinariness. Beneath his meek exterior, of course, is concealed a superhero. And, the movie subtly hints, isn't that the case with us all?"[45] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune awarded three-and-a-half out of four stars[46] and declared it "better than the original."[47] Sheila Benson of the Los Angeles Times called it "the most interesting 'Superman' yet," adding, "This film's fun comes from character, dialogue and performance, not effects. There are, of course, enough effects to fill a dozen Saturday matinee serials but they aren't necessarily the film's deliciousness."[48] Janet Maslin, reviewing for The New York Times, wrote that "Superman II is a marvelous toy. It's funny, it's full of tricks and it manages to be royally entertaining, which is really all it aims for." She further praised the performances of Reeve and Hackman and found the direction between Donner and Lester to be indistinguishable.[49] Similarly, David Denby, reviewing for the New York magazine, praised the film's light approach by crediting Lester for the film in particularly Hackman's performance.[50] Tom Mankiewicz, who had served as creative consultant for the first film, shot back in a mailed letter writing, "Just for the record, Gene Hackman did 100 percent with Dick Donner and it was all written by me", but New York never issued a correction.[33] Reeve said that Superman II is "the best of the series".[51]

British cinema magazine Total Film named Terence Stamp's version of General Zod No. 32 on their 'Top 50 Greatest Villains of All Time' list (beating out the No. 38 place of Lex Luthor) in 2007.[52] Pop culture website IGN placed General Zod at No. 30 on their list of the 'Top 50 Comic Book Villains' while commenting "Stamp is Zod" (emphasis in original).[53]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 40 reviews with an average rating of 7.5 out of 10; the site's critical consensus says, "The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor."[54] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 87 (out of 100), indicating "universal acclaim".[55]

Box office

On its opening weekend, Superman II broke the box office record with a first day gross receiving $4.4 million. The next day, it grossed $5.6 million, which at the time was the highest-single box office day, surpassing the record previously set by Star Wars (1977) at $4.5 million.[56][57] The film grossed $108.2 million in the United States,[58] with its worldwide gross at $190.4 million.[4]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result
1982 Saturn Awards Best Science Fiction Film Superman II Won
Best Actor Christopher Reeve Nominated
Best Actress Margot Kidder Nominated
Best Music Ken Thorne Nominated

Broadcast television versions

As with the first film, Alexander and Ilya Salkind prepared a version for worldwide television release that re-inserted unused footage (in this case 24 minutes) into the film. It was through this extended version that viewers first caught a glimpse into the Superman II that might have happened had Richard Donner remained as director. In fact, a majority of the added footage was shot by Donner before Richard Lester became director. This footage (or alternative takes of it) would be recycled into the Richard Donner cut of "II".

17 of the 24 added minutes were utilized by ABC for its 1984 network premiere. Subsequent ABC airings of the longer version would be cut further for more advertising time. The full 146-minute extended cut was shown internationally, including parts of Canada.

Additional footage

The added footage offers an alternative ending to the film. In the theatrical cut, it is implied that Superman has killed the three Kryptonian villains (going against the strict code that Superman does not kill). In the extended ending, a U.S. "polar patrol" is shown picking up the three Kryptonians and Lex Luthor, after which Superman, with Lois standing beside him, destroys the Fortress of Solitude.

Among the other "lost" scenes:

  • Superman passes a Concorde jet on his way to Paris. This is not in the video release and was actually an outtake from Superman: The Movie as a bridge between Superman saving Air Force One and his conversation with Jor-El after his first night.
  • At the end of the film, Clark Kent bumps into a large bald man, which reminds him to go to the diner to face the obnoxious trucker who beat him up earlier.
  • The Phantom Zone villains land outside the Fortress of Solitude with Lex Luthor and Lois Lane, trying to figure out how to get in.
  • Extended scenes of the three Kryptonians invasion of the White House, with Zod using a gun and Non frightening a dog.
  • Superman cooks soufflé using his heat vision, during dinner with Lois at the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Extended discussion between Zod and Ursa on the Moon.
  • A little boy tries to get help and escape the town being overrun by Zod, only to be blown up by Non who throws a superheated police siren at him.

Some telecast versions remove the following for content:

  • Much violence in the opening White House scene was left out.
  • Much of the bully's line in the bar ("I don't like your meat anyway!") was re-edited to ("I don't like you anyway").
  • About 35 seconds of the "battle of Metropolis Road" (Superman flying over Metropolis River) was deleted.
  • Some language and profanity were re-dubbed.

Among the footage seen in the international/Canadian telecasts:

  • A little girl watching the destruction of East Huston by the Kryptonians on TV.
  • Longer conversation between Lois and Superman after he destroys the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Lex Luthor taking Perry White's coffee during the Times Square battle.
  • Lex and Miss Tessmacher admiring the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Lex's negotiating with Superman after they leave the fortress is longer.

It should be mentioned that some Canadian telecasts were slightly cut for time.

In 2004, the fan-restored DVD known as Superman II: Restored International Cut was released through many Superman fan sites.[59] It featured extended scenes pulled from international television broadcasts over the years, in which Warner Bros. threatened legal action over the bootleg release.[60][61]

The Richard Donner Cut

During the production of Superman Returns, Warner Bros. acquired the rights from Marlon Brando's estate to use the late actor's footage from Superman into the film.[62] Shortly after, Ilya Salkind confirmed that Donner was involved in the project to re-cut Superman II using Brando's unused footage. Editor Michael Thau worked on the project alongside Donner and Tom Mankiewicz, who supervised the Superman II reconstruction.[63] Despite some initial confusion, Thau confirmed that all the footage shot by Donner in 1977 was recovered and transferred from a vault in England.

The new edition, titled Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut was released on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray on November 28, 2006. In order to make Donner's vision of Superman II feel less incomplete, finished scenes by Lester that Donner was unable to shoot were incorporated into the film as well as the screen tests by Reeve and Kidder for one pivotal scene. The film also restores several cut scenes including Marlon Brando as Jor-El, an alternate prologue and opening sequence at the Daily Planet that omits the Eiffel Tower opening from the original, as well as the original scripted and filmed ending for Superman II featuring Superman reversing time before it was cut and placed at the end of the first film.

In other media

Comics

  • Superman's publisher DC Comics published a commemorative magazine of Superman II in 1981. Published as DC Special Series #25, it was produced in "Treasury format" and included photos and background photos, actor profiles, panel-to-scene comparisons, and pin-ups.[64][65]
  • Near the end of the film, Clark uses a "super-kiss" to make Lois forget he is Superman. While this was a real power Superman had in the comics (originally displayed in Action Comics #306),[66] it was rarely used, and eventually eliminated after the 1985–1986 reboot of the character following the limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • In the film, after attacking the White House, Lex Luthor enters the Oval Office to make a deal with the Kryptonians. By the end of the scene, he is sitting behind the President's desk. In the comics (in the year 2000), Lex Luthor ran for President of the United States and won.[67]
  • In 2006, the Superman comics themselves adapted elements from the Superman movies, specifically the ice-like look of Krypton, and Jor-El banishing the criminals to the Phantom Zone. Ursa and Non made their first appearances in the comic book continuity. (This was facilitated in the "Last Son" story arc, co-written by Richard Donner.)[68]

Television

  • In the television series Smallville, much of the imagery and concepts of the first two Salkind/Donner Superman films, has been revived as a conscious homage to the film series by the show's creators. These include the ice-crystal Fortress of Solitude, the spinning square in space to represent the Phantom Zone, and the continued presence of the deceased Jor-El as a disembodied counselor and teacher to young Clark/Kal-El. Terence Stamp, who played General Zod in the first two films, provided the voice of Jor-El for the series. Christopher Reeve made two appearances on the show as Dr. Virgil Swann, a disabled scientist who had acquired knowledge of Krypton to pass on to Clark, before Reeve's death in 2004.[69][70] A section of John Williams' Superman theme was included when Reeve made his first appearance, and was later used in the series finale.[71] Margot Kidder, Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen), and Helen Slater (Supergirl) have also made appearances on the show. Annette O'Toole (Lana Lang in Superman III) played Martha Kent.
  • In the animated series Young Justice, in the episode "Satisfaction" of its second season, Lex Luthor appears briefly talking to one of his assistants on the phone, who is called Otis, as a reference to the character in the films.

References

  1. ^ a b Langford, David (2005). The Sex Column and Other Misprints. Wildside Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-930997-78-3.
  2. ^ "Entertainments (cinema listings)". The Guardian. April 9, 1981.
  3. ^ a b "Superman II". American Film Institute. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b Box office
    • Block, Alex Ben; Wilson, Lucy Autrey, eds. (2010). George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success. HarperCollins. pp. vii & 534. ISBN 9780061778896.
    • "Adjusting for Ticket Price Inflation". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  5. ^ "Release – Superman II". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  6. ^ "Superman II (1980)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "Superman II (1980) – Cast, Credits and Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  8. ^ Scivally 2008, p. 83.
  9. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (June 14, 1981). "The Life and Exceedingly Hard Times of Superman". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  10. ^ "Short Takes" (Subscription required). Los Angeles Times. July 13, 1977. Retrieved October 8, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ Rossen 2008, pp. 93–4.
  12. ^ Weldon 2013, pp. 185–6.
  13. ^ Scivally 2008, pp. 86–7.
  14. ^ Richard Fyrbourne (January 1979). "The Man Behind Superman: Richard Donner". Starlog. pp. 40–44.
  15. ^ Scivally 2008, pp. 87–8.
  16. ^ You Will Believe: The Cinematic Saga Of Superman (DVD) (Documentary film). Warner Home Video. 2006 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ Rossen 2008, p. 106.
  18. ^ Morris, Clint. "Exclusive Interview: Ilya Salkind". Moviehole.net. Archived from the original on June 23, 2006.
  19. ^ a b Freiman, Barry. "One-on-One Interview with Producer Ilya Salkind". Superman Homepage. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  20. ^ Scivally 2008, p. 91.
  21. ^ Scivally 2008, pp. 91–2.
  22. ^ a b Tye 2013, p. 232.
  23. ^ Tom Mankiewicz (2006). "The 2006 Tom Mankiewicz Interview" (Interview). CapedWonder.com. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  24. ^ Rossen 2008, pp. 114–5.
  25. ^ a b c Weldon 2013, p. 200.
  26. ^ SciFiNow's 80s Sci-Fi Almanac Complete Movie Guide. Imagine Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-1785461057 – via Internet Archive.
  27. ^ a b Rossen 2008, p. 119.
  28. ^ Mann, Roderick (March 29, 1979). "Studio Clips Superman's Wings" (Subscription required). Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved October 8, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ Royce, Bill (March 28, 1979). "'Superman' Sequel Runs into Snags" (Subscription required). The Hartford Courant. Retrieved October 8, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (August 20, 1979). "Reeve Shaking Off His Superman Image". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  31. ^ Scivally 2008, p. 92.
  32. ^ a b c Scivally 2008, p. 94.
  33. ^ a b Mankiewicz & Crane 2012, pp. 212–3.
  34. ^ Rossen 2008, p. 126.
  35. ^ Rossen 2008, p. 125.
  36. ^ "An Interview with Ken Thorne - CapedWonder Superman Imagery. Christopher Reeve Superman Photos, Images, Movies, Videos and More!". www.capedwonder.com.
  37. ^ Superman II: Original Soundtrack, Ken Thorne/John Williams, Warner Brothers Records HS 3505, 1980/1981
  38. ^ a b Harmetz, Aljean (June 21, 1981). "The Marketing of Superman and His Paraphernalia". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  39. ^ Levin, Myron (March 8, 1989). "'Protect Children Act' Aims to Ban Cigarette Deals in Film". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  40. ^ Vernellia R. Randall (August 31, 1999). "Lesson 04 Targeting of Children, Women and Minorities". University of Dayton. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  41. ^ "Superman II". Turner Classic Movies. March 11, 2011. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009.
  42. ^ "sfm10_variety" (PDF). Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2003. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  43. ^ "Re: Superman II - The Movie". Tobaccodocuments.org. October 18, 1979. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  44. ^ "Superman Movie Review & Film Summary (1978)". Ebert Digital LLC. December 15, 1978. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  45. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1981). "Superman II Movie Review & Film Summary (1981)". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  46. ^ Siskel, Gene (June 26, 1981). "Siskel's Flicks Picks". Chicago Tribune. Section 3, p. 10.
  47. ^ Siskel, Gene (June 14, 1981). "'Superman II': A sequel tops the original". Chicago Tribune. Section 6, p. 5.
  48. ^ Benson, Sheila (June 18, 1981). "'Superman II': A Human Touch to the Invincible". Los Angeles Times. Part VI, p. 1.
  49. ^ Maslin, Janet (June 19, 1981). "'Superman II' is Full of Tricks". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  50. ^ Denby, David (June 22, 1981). "The Decline and Fall of Mel Brooks". New York. Vol. 14 no. 25. pp. 49–50.
  51. ^ Andersen 2008, p. 34.
  52. ^ "The Top 50 Greatest Heroes & Villains Of All Time – 'Total Film' Compiled List". Snarkerati.com. November 24, 2007. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  53. ^ "General Zod is number 30 – IGN". IGN. Archived from the original on December 24, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  54. ^ "Superman II Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  55. ^ "Best reviewed films on Metacritic". Archived from the original on 2008-06-09.
  56. ^ Scivally 2008, pp. 94–5.
  57. ^ "'Superman II,' In First Weekend, Sets Records". The New York Times. June 22, 1981. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  58. ^ "Superman II (1981)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  59. ^ Bridges, Jeffrey. "Superman II - Restored International Cut Reviewed". Superman Homepage. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  60. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (April 18, 2005). "Original Superman II movie gets revived by fans". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  61. ^ Rossen 2008, p. 130.
  62. ^ Rossen 2008, pp. 130–1.
  63. ^ Superman II: Restoring the Vision (DVD) (Bonus feature). Warner Bros. Home Video. 2006 – via YouTube.
  64. ^ Eury, Michael (December 2012). "The Amazing World of Superman Tabloids". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 11–16.
  65. ^ DC Special Series #25 at the Grand Comics Database
  66. ^ Plastino, Al, art. "The Great Superman Impersonation!", Action Comics #306 (Nov. 1963)
  67. ^ Lex 2000 #1 (DC Comics, Jan. 2001).
  68. ^ Action Comics #844–847, 851; Action Comics Annual #11 (DC Comics, 2006).
  69. ^ Miles Millar, Alfred Gough (writers), James Marshall (director). (Feb 25, 2003). "Rosetta". Smallville. Season 2. The WB.
  70. ^ Jeph Loeb(writers), Greg Beeman (director). (April 14, 2004). "Legacy". Smallville. Season 3. CW.
  71. ^ Turi Meyer, Al Septien (writers) part 1. Kelly Sunders, Brian Peterson (writers) part 2. Kevin G Fair (director) part 1, Greg Berman (director) part 2 (May 13, 2011). "Finale". Smallville. Season 10. The WB.

Bibliography

  • Andersen, Christopher (2008). Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve. Hyperion. ISBN 978-0786891306.
  • Mankiewicz, Tom; Crane, Robert (2012). My Life as a Mankiewicz: An Insider's Journey through Hollywood. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0813161235.
  • Rossen, Jake (2008). Superman vs. Hollywood: How Fiendish Producers, Devious Directors, and Warring Writers Grounded an American Icon. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1556527319.
  • Scivally, Bruce (2008). Superman On Film: Film, Television, Radio And Broadway. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0786431663.
  • Tye, Larry (2013). Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero. Random House Trade Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0812980776.
  • Weldon, Glen (2013). Superman: The Unauthorized Biography. Wiley. ISBN 978-1118341841.

External links

9th Saturn Awards

The 9th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film in 1981, were held on July 27, 1982.

E. G. Marshall

E. G. Marshall (born Everett Eugene Grunz, June 18, 1914 – August 24, 1998) was an American actor, best known for his television roles as the lawyer Lawrence Preston on The Defenders in the 1960s and as neurosurgeon David Craig on The Bold Ones: The New Doctors in the 1970s. Among his film roles he is perhaps best known as the unflappable, conscientious "Juror #4" in Sidney Lumet's courtroom drama 12 Angry Men (1957). He also played the President of the United States in Superman II (1980), Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006) and his photo (as The President) appears in the TV version of Superman (1978). Marshall was also known as the host of the radio drama series, CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974–82).

Eve Teschmacher

Eve Teschmacher is a fictional character appearing in the 1978 film Superman and the 1980 film Superman II, where she is the secretary to Lex Luthor. She is portrayed by Valerie Perrine.

Last Son (comics)

"Last Son" is a five-issue comic book story arc featuring Superman in the monthly Action Comics. It is written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner, the director of the well-known 1978 film Superman: The Movie and a portion of Superman II, with pencils by Adam Kubert. This story introduces the original character, Christopher Kent and adapts the classic Superman film villains, General Zod, Ursa and Non into the regular DC Universe continuity.The arc's first three parts were published in Action Comics #844 through #846. The next parts were delayed to give Kubert sufficient recovery time from health problems he did not wish to disclose. Because of this, the fourth part was delayed and released with issue #851. The eleventh annual of Action Comics, released in May 2008, completed the storyline.

The hardcover edition of the complete series was released on July 2, 2008.

List of films based on DC Comics

DC Comics is one of the largest and oldest American comic book publishers. It produces material featuring numerous well-known superhero characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, and Green Arrow. Most of this material takes place in a shared fictional universe, which also features teams such as the Justice League, the Suicide Squad, and the Teen Titans. The company has also published non-DC Universe-related material, including V for Vendetta, and many titles under their alternative imprint Vertigo.

Film adaptations based on DC Comics properties have included serials, live action and animated films, direct-to-video releases, television films, fan-made films, and documentary films.

Non (comics)

Non is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. He first appeared in the 1978 film Superman: The Movie portrayed by actor and former boxer Jack O'Halloran. The character made his comic book debut in Action Comics #845 (January 2007). An accomplice of General Zod and an adversary of the superhero Superman, he is typically depicted as having been imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, along with Zod and Ursa, among whom he is portrayed as the strong and silent muscle.

Richard Donner

Richard Donner (born Richard Donald Schwartzberg, April 24, 1930) is an American director and producer of film and television. After directing the horror film The Omen (1976), Donner became famous for directing the first modern superhero film, Superman (1978), starring Christopher Reeve.

Donner later went on to direct movies such as The Goonies (1985) and Scrooged (1988), while reinvigorating the buddy film genre with Lethal Weapon (1987) and its sequels. He and his wife, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, own the production company The Donner's Company, most well known for producing the X-Men film series. In 2000, he received the President's Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Film historian Michael Barson writes that Donner is "one of Hollywood's most reliable makers of action blockbusters".

Richard Lester

Richard Lester Liebman (born January 19, 1932) is an American film director based in the United Kingdom. He is known for his work with The Beatles in the 1960s and his work on the Superman film series in the 1980s.Lester is an Honorary Associate of London Film School.

Sarah Douglas (actress)

Sarah Douglas (born 12 December 1952) is an English actress. She is perhaps best known for playing the Kryptonian supervillain Ursa in Superman (1978), Superman II (1980) and Jinda Kol Rozz in one episode of Supergirl in 2018.

Her other prominent roles include that of the evil Queen Taramis in the 1984 film Conan the Destroyer, and Pamela Lynch in the 1980s primetime drama series Falcon Crest (1983–85).

Superman (1940s cartoons)

The Fleischer Superman cartoons are a series of seventeen animated short films released in Technicolor by Paramount Pictures and based upon the comic book character Superman, making them his first animated appearance.

They were originally produced by Fleischer Studios, who completed the initial short and eight further cartoons in 1941 and 1942. Production was assumed in May 1942 by Famous Studios, a successor company to Fleischer, who produced eight more cartoons in 1942 and 1943. Superman was the final animated series intitiated by Fleischer Studios, before Famous Studios officially took over production.Although all entries are in the public domain, ancillary rights such as merchandising contract rights, as well as the original 35mm master elements, are owned today by Warner Bros. Entertainment. Warner has owned Superman publisher DC Comics since 1969.

Superman (1978 film)

Superman (informally titled Superman: The Movie in some listings and reference sources) is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner starring Christopher Reeve as Superman based on the DC Comics character of the same name. An international co-production between the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Panama and the United States, the film stars an ensemble cast featuring Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Jeff East, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Jackie Cooper, Trevor Howard, Marc McClure, Terence Stamp, Valerie Perrine, Ned Beatty, Jack O'Halloran, Maria Schell, and Sarah Douglas. It depicts Superman's origin, including his infancy as Kal-El of Krypton and his youthful years in the rural town of Smallville. Disguised as reporter Clark Kent, he adopts a mild-mannered disposition in Metropolis and develops a romance with Lois Lane, while battling the villainous Lex Luthor.

Several directors, most notably Guy Hamilton, and screenwriters (Mario Puzo, David and Leslie Newman, and Robert Benton), were associated with the project before Richard Donner was hired to direct. Tom Mankiewicz was drafted in to rewrite the script and was given a "creative consultant" credit. It was decided to film both Superman and its sequel Superman II (1980) simultaneously, with principal photography beginning in March 1977 and ending in October 1978. Tensions arose between Donner and the producers, and a decision was made to stop filming the sequel, of which 75 percent had already been completed, and finish the first film.The most expensive film made up to that point with a budget of $55 million, Superman was released in December 1978 to critical and financial success; its worldwide box office earnings of $300 million made it the second-highest-grossing release of the year. It received praise for Reeve's performance, and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Film Editing, Best Music (Original Score), and Best Sound, and received a Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects. Groundbreaking in its use of special effects and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the film's legacy presaged the mainstream popularity of Hollywood's superhero film franchises. In 2017, Superman was inducted into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Superman III (soundtrack)

Superman III: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, based on the film Superman III, features contributions by Ken Thorne and various artists and was released in 1983. A CD of this album coupled with the Superman II album was released in Japan.

Superman in film

The fictional character Superman, an American comic book superhero in DC Comics publications, has appeared in various films almost since his inception. He debuted in cinemas in a series of animated shorts beginning in 1941, and then starred in two movie serials in 1948 and 1950. An independent studio, Lippert Pictures, released the first Superman feature film, Superman and the Mole Men, starring George Reeves, in 1951.

Ilya and Alexander Salkind and Pierre Spengler purchased the Superman film rights in 1974. After numerous scripts, Richard Donner was hired to direct the film, filming Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) simultaneously. Donner had already shot eighty percent of Superman II with Christopher Reeve before it was decided to finish shooting the first film. The Salkinds fired Donner after Superman's release and commissioned Richard Lester as the director to finish Superman II. Lester also returned for Superman III (1983), and the Salkinds further produced the 1984 spin-off Supergirl before selling the rights to Cannon Films, resulting in the poorly reviewed Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). Ilya Salkind commissioned a fifth Superman script before Warner Bros. acquired the rights entirely in 1993.

Over the course of eleven years, Warner Bros. would develop and then cancel Tim Burton's Superman Lives, which would have starred Nicolas Cage, Wolfgang Petersen's Batman vs. Superman, and the J. J. Abrams scripted Superman: Flyby, which went between directors Joseph "McG" Nichols and Brett Ratner. The studio hired Bryan Singer to take over the films in 2004, releasing Superman Returns in 2006, which starred newcomer Brandon Routh. Donner's director's cut for Superman II was also released that year. Despite positive reviews, Warner Bros. was disappointed with the financial performance of Superman Returns, and canceled Singer's proposed sequel. The studio nearly went into production of a Justice League film with George Miller directing and D. J. Cotrona as Superman, but it was shelved in 2008 and the film series was rebooted in 2013 with Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder with Henry Cavill starring as Superman. Snyder and Cavill worked together again in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.

Superman music

The various film and theatre appearances of the Superman character have been accompanied by musical scores.

Terence Stamp

Terence Henry Stamp (born 22 July 1938) is an English actor. After training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London he started his acting career in 1962. He has appeared in more than 60 films. His performance in the title role of Billy Budd, his film debut, earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA nomination for Best Newcomer. Associated with the swinging London scene of the 1960s, Stamp was among the subjects photographed by David Bailey for a set titled Box of Pin-Ups.Stamp's other major roles include butterfly collector Freddie Clegg in The Collector, archvillain General Zod in Superman and Superman II, tough guy Wilson in The Limey, Supreme Chancellor Valorum in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, transgender woman Bernadette Bassinger in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, ghost antagonist Ramsley in The Haunted Mansion, Stick in Elektra, Pekwarsky in Wanted, Siegfried in Get Smart, Terrence Bundley in Yes Man, the Prophet of Truth in Halo 3, Mankar Camoran in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and General Ludwig Beck in Valkyrie. He has appeared in two Tim Burton films, Big Eyes (2014) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016).

For his acting, Stamp has won a Golden Globe, a Mystfest, a Cannes Film Festival Award, a Seattle International Film Festival Award, a Satellite Award, and a Silver Bear. Stamp has also had voice work, narrating Jazz Britannia on the BBC, and 1966 – A Nation Remembers on ITV in July 2016 which marked the 50th anniversary of England's 1966 FIFA World Cup victory.

Ursa (DC Comics)

Ursa is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. She first appeared in the 1978 film Superman: The Movie portrayed by actress Sarah Douglas. The character made her comic book debut in Action Comics #845 (January 2007). An adversary of the superhero Superman and accomplice of General Zod, she is typically depicted as having been imprisoned in the Phantom Zone along with Zod and Non.

Valerie Perrine

Valerie Ritchie Perrine (born September 3, 1943) is a retired American actress and model. For her role as Honey Bruce in the 1974 film Lenny, she won the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles, the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other film appearances include Superman (1978), The Electric Horseman (1979), and Superman II (1980).

Comic strips
Radio
Live-action films
Animated films
Television
Novels
Video
games
Music
Documentaries
Stage
Toys
Advertisement
Related
Serials
Single films
Franchises
See also
Films directed by Richard Lester
Works by Mario Puzo
Novels
Screenplays
Non-fiction
The Flashman Papers
Other novels
Short stories
History
Memoirs
Screenplays

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.