Last fall, the internets (including this one) were abuzz with the news that Richard Donner's cut of Superman II (the movie was taken from him by Warner Brothers and handed over to Richard Lester to finish) would finally be made available to the public via DVD. The way it was sold back in October, the new version would actually be made by Donner himself, recutting the movie and adding in his own, unused footage. The truth, it turns out, is decidedly less spectacular.

According to Donner, he has nothing to do with the forthcoming release. Instead, the new edit is being put together by his former assistant, Michael Thau, who went to Warner's himself and got their approval for the project. Thau has been working on "Donner's" Superman II for four or five months, and he's using all of the discarded footage that he can find. Despite the fact that Donner claims much of what he shot was destroyed, his impression is that Thau's edit will be "about 70% [Donner's] footage." So is "Donner's" edit still exciting news? It's hard to say. Interesting, for sure, but the fact that the director is totally uninvolved certainly detracts rather significantly from the value of this new version.

Meanwhile, in non-Superman news, Donner still really, really wants to make another The Goonies. Aw. Hey, if Sean Astin AND Donner still want to play, what's the damn problem? Well, apparently the director has some standards, and doesn't want to just make a sequel for sequel's sake (It's too bad he didn't feel that way before he made Lethal Weapon 4). He admits that some of the pitches he and executive producer Steven Spielberg originally put together for the sequel "weren't right," so he's now just sitting around hoping inspiration will strike. Said Donner, "If I could ever find a really good handle on a screenplay for it, I'd go pitch it again...But it's got to be right, or [I won't] do it...".
categories Cinematical