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Superman II Flies Again

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April 4, 2006
Posts: 1353

PostPosted:     Post subject: Superman II Flies Again
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12:00 AM, 27-NOVEMBER-06

Michael Thau, the editor who helped director Richard Donner reassemble his version of Superman II, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming DVD release restores footage that Donner shot but that was changed in the original theatrical release, including never-before-seen scenes of Marlon Brandon as Jor-El. Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut also deletes the infamous "amnesia kiss" scene from the film's end. "This film has much more of a romantic ending, and it's much more dramatic," Thau said in an interview.

Donner, who directed 1978's Superman: The Movie, never got to complete the sequel (even though both movies were filmed mostly at the same time) because of creative differences between him and the film's producers, Alexander and Ilya Salkind. Director Richard Lester finished what Donner began and was given the director credit for the 1981 sequel.

But Warner Brothers recently gave a green light to reassemble Donner's original cut, and Thau was brought in to help restore it. The editing project took about nine months, and Thau said it was difficult finding negatives that were stored properly. "We pored through all the notes of the [original] shoot," he said. "What was a surprise was that Donner had shot a little bit of his version of the fight over Metropolis [between Superman and the three Phantom Zone villains]."

Thau added: "I guess it is 'old' footage. But it looks new to me. The Lester version had 35 percent of Donner's footage. This [new] one has 80 percent of Richard Donner."

So how does Superman erase Lois' (Margot Kidder) memory at the end? He turns the world backward. That effect, which was intended for Superman II, actually wound up in the first movie. Thau said that Donner and writer Tom Mankiewicz feared that the initial film wouldn't do any business, so they opted to use their best visual effect in the first movie rather than risk its being scrapped should a sequel never be made.

So how did the Donner cut turn out? "The Lester version was perfectly fine," Thau said. "This one is better." Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut hits retailers on Nov. 28. —Michael Maloney


I have heard about this for years and I am definitely going to be buying this on payday in the big Superman box set with all the goodies. Yeah, the studios know scam my money!

If you don't know what I am talking about:

a.k.a. Fringey, The Fringe Element
"A life lived without passion is a life not lived.
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