Richard Donner Talks Superman

On returning to New York City to talk about his new action-thriller 16 Blocks, director Richard Donner spoke to about the involvement he’s been having in Bryan Singer’s upcoming revamp of the franchise for Superman Returns.

Of course, Donner directed the two original movies back in 1978 and 1980, and Singer has been saying that his movie was meant as a sequel to those two films, something that Donner seemed to be thrilled about. “Bryan Singer directed ‘X-Men’ for my wife [Laura Schuler Donner],” Donner told us, “and Bryan and the two writers, Dan and Mike, during the making of ‘X-Men,’ were in their trailer every time there was a break, and those guys would sit there and watch ‘Superman.’ They could remember things that even I couldn’t remember! The three of them are great, crazy kids, and I watched them put ‘Superman’ together, then Bryan called me one day and said, ‘They offered me ‘Superman’ and this is what I wanted all my life.’ He’s perfect for it, because he’s totally emotionally committed to it, as are the two writers. They wanted me to see material, but I don’t want to. I want to see the movie. If it is [a sequel to my movies], I’m happy to see these kids get success from it.”

Of course, Richard Donner never actually finished making the sequel to his 1978 blockbuster hit, because he was removed from the project by the producers and replaced by Richard Lester. Apparently, time heals all wounds, because Warners has decided to give Donner a chance to cut his own version of the movie, much like they did with Paul Schrader’s version of The Exorcist prequel. Donner talked a bit about this project: “There’s a young editor named Michael Thau, who came to me and said, ‘If you go online, everybody wants to see your 2’, so he went to Warner Bros, and they supported him. They brought all the negatives over from England, but half the stuff you can’t find. There are major scenes missing, but he printed it all up, and he’s recutting it and putting it together. He asked for my input and I’m giving it, but it was a long time ago, and I would do it so different today probably. I’m really trying to encourage him to do it on his own, because he’s seeing it maybe the way I did back then. It’s pretty clever.”

Superman Returns opens nationwide in June, but Donner’s next movie 16 Blocks with Bruce Willis and Mos Def opens on March 3. Look for more with Donner later this month.

Source: Edward Douglas