25 July 2006

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

Warner Bros. has officially announced -along with the 8 disc box set of the first 4 Superman films - the alternate (or true version, depending on your point of view) of Superman II. In a seperate release, the new 122 minute version, supervised by director Richard Donner, will be the original take on what Superman II was intended to be.

Long story short, Donner was fired before he could finish the sequel. But because of DGA guide lines -because so much of the sequel had been filmed- Donner's name would still have to be on it. The Salkind's decided to scrap what had been filmed and reworked the script with Richard Lester now at the helm. But they ran into trouble when actor's Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman and John Williams, who created the memorable theme, pulled an audible and refused to return to refilm their scenes and score the film (and along the way, Director of Photography GefforeyUnsworth died, also, meaning a loss of residuals to his family).

Forced to keep the Donner directed Hackman in the film due to the script, Marlon Brando was dropped and his lines went to Susanna York. Williams Superman theme was used, but the score was done by Ken Thorne.

Now, after years of being kept hidden, Donner's version will see the light this fall.

According to the press release, Donner's cut will finally restore Brando's role, which was filmed and cut from the film, that deepened the bond between father and son. Also included will be scenes that amplify the legend and lore of Superman, including a variety of Lois Lane schemes to unmask Clark Kent as Superman. Included in this version will be enhanced and completed visual effects and a newly-recored commentary by director Richard Donner and creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz. There is also a new featurette -Superman II: Restoring the Vision - and several additional scenes not included in the new cut.

Both DVD boxed set and Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut will be released on November 28, along with the new film, Superman Returns (which will be the theatrical version. Director Bryan Singer has said, an extended version -amounting maybe close to 45 minutes, will released sometime in the future).

4 comments:

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