Superman - in - HD - Palooza!
Tuesday Nov. 28th will go down as the day Superman flies down to Earth in multiple formats. Today the new Superman movie "Superman Returns" comes to DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray. Two other Supes films will also appear in the HD format of your choice. The 2001 extended cut of Superman: The Movie (directed by Richard Donner) and Superman II: The Richard Donner cut.
Donner intended to shoot both Superman and Superman II at the same time in 1977, but he had been going over budget and was taking too long. Warner Brothers pulled the plug on Superman II in Oct 1977. This let Donner focus on Superman: The Movie, which to this day stands as the finest and most bulletproof Superman film ever made.
But apparently over 75% of Superman II had already been shot when Warner stopped production, so they still went ahead with completion of Superman II but with a new director, Richard Lester. Lester made a more, shall we say, pedestrian Superman film than Donner.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the making of Superman II with Lester instead of Donner. Scenes with Marlon Brando (Jor-El) were removed in order to prevent having to pay Brando some 11.75% of the film's box office gross. Donner has been speaking his mind on this topic ever since, and it's never been good.
The new Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut is no mere "director's cut". This is effectively a whole new movie. Over half of Lester's footage has been removed and replaced with Donner's. For the first time, fans of Donner's brilliant work on the Superman character will be seeing it in Superman II. New footage will include 15 minutes of restored scenes staring Marlon Brando as Jor-El. There'll also be plenty of new Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder as Supes, Clark and Lois.