Richard Donner Superman

Richard Donner’s Superman Changed James Gunn’s Life

While discussing comic book movies, DC Studios Co-CEO and Superman: Legacy director James Gunn spoke about his love for Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman movie.

As he ranked his five favorite comic book movies for GQ, the filmmaker described how Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman movie changed his life.

“Number two, I’m going to have to go with a movie that changed my life, and that’s Richard Donner’s Superman,” Gunn stated. “This one is important to me historically, it’s a great movie, but it was also a movie I saw as a kid that affected my life a lot.”

Gunn then went into depth about Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of Superman/Clark Kent, noting that the character’s “playfulness” is one of the best parts of the movie.

“The thing they don’t talk about much when they talk about Christopher Reeve, they talk about his pureness, his hope, his goodness,” Gunn explained. “They talk about, you know, the way that he plays Clark as being so different from the way he plays Superman and how he can turn that on in an instant.

“But there’s this playfulness about Superman, when he’s saving a cat, he’s got that wry smile. And that is one of the best parts of the movie is the playfulness of Superman. He enjoys what he’s doing. He likes helping human beings and he likes saving them.”

“Superman: Legacy tells the story of Superman’s journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas,” reads the movie’s official synopsis. “He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned.”

Superman: Legacy is set to premiere in theaters on July 11, 2025.