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Richard Donner is Super, Man

Richard Donner’s 1978 cinematic masterpiece Superman is considered the greatest (and the most perfect) superhero movie ever made. That’s not just my opinion, but the opinion of some of the most influential people in the movie industry. Director Christopher Nolan said the following regarding the Richard Donnner-directed Superman.

“I said, ‘I want to do for Batman what Dick Donner did for Superman,’ ” Christopher Nolan humbly states in the opening of his nearly half-hour conversation with the director of the original “Superman.”
Kevin Jagernauth, IndieWire

Need more proof of the super genius Richard Donner showcased in that unforgettable origin story of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman way back in the late ’70s with Christopher Reeve?

How about getting the super rivals DC Films president Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to wholeheartedly agree on the personal impact and storytelling legacy of 87-year-old Richard Donner and, specifically, that Superman film (a priceless DC property)?

Some of Hollywoods biggest stars, in front of the camera and behind the camera, gathered together recently to celebrate and honor the unforgettable work of the legendary director and producer Richard Donner at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles. Actors and actresss from his most popular movies were in attendance, including the primary cast of Lethal Weapon and the kids from The Goonies.

Here are a few of Richard Donner’s films/credits:

  • The Omen (1976)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Superman II (1980)
  • The Goonies (1985)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Maverick (1994)
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

This celebration of Mr. Donner’s work reaffirms the belief (and I’m a firm believer in the following) that a cinematic masterpiece does not always require mind-blowing special effects or the biggest explosions or the use of bad language for the sake of using bad language for that edge or street cred. Sometimes, a great movie just requires a hero people can believe in who struggles with similar issues and moral dilemmas as the people watching in theaters and at home.

That, above all, is Richard Donner’s storytelling legacy. In this sense, Richard Donner is a super man superman.

Reintroducing a Classic

Through all of the variations of Superman, whether in cinema, television or comic books, Christopher Reeve established himself as the standard bearer 35 years ago. The richness Reeve brought to life in Clark Kent/Superman, and his superb supporting cast, has defined this movie from the ’70s as a classic well into the digitally-driven 21st century. We the audience did not simply watch in awe as a powerful man flew through the air and battled bad guys, but instead got caught up in a heroic story and a love story involving another world and people and a particularly feisty Daily Planet reporter. Terrific elements of realness and fantasy intertwined, which potently lifted Superman off the 2D screen into our hearts and imaginations.

Will 2013s, “Man of Steel” have the same impact as 1978s, “Superman”?

Richard Donner cared about Clark Kent/Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Mr. White, General Zod, Lex Luthor and so forth. His dedication to showing us a story about Superman instead of telling us was just one of the many “it” factors that has cemented, “Superman” as the best movie thus far about the man with the “S” on his chest.

We cared because he cared.

The story for “Man of Steel” was written and concocted by David Goyer and Christopher Nolan (both of “The Dark Knight” trilogy). Below is an interview with Mr. Goyer.

The paramount question: Did Goyer and Nolan write a screenplay and create a story that Superman fans from multiple generations will care about in 2013?

1978, Meet 2013

“Man of Steel” is released this Friday, June 14th. The next few days will revolve around Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent. Superman is the greatest superhero in history and the late Christopher Reeve was responsible for inspiring entire generations through his brilliant portrayal of the, “Last Son of Krypton.” Richard Donner’s timeless classic, 1978s “Superman,” with his sensational cast, gave the world hope in a figure and man that men, women and children continue to admire thirty-five years later.

A video was made synching footage and dialogue from the, “Superman” movies with Christopher Reeve to the music and footage of the third trailer released for, “Man of Steel.”

The video below is a fun way to re-brand the, “Superman” classics for a new generation of fans accustomed to superhero movies being, “epic,” “emotionally raw” and “grand” in scale regarding scope and special effects.

Ladies and gentleman, enjoy this fan-made trailer!