Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:
I love Donner's original Superman film, and I understand that eh shot scenes for the second to make them one big film apparently.
The original plan was for Donner to shoot the two films back-to-back and release them in succession, as was done with things like Back to the Future Part 2
and Part 3
or the 2-part Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
-- or as Richard Lester did with his two Three Musketeers
movies for the Salkinds. But there was a falling-out between the Salkinds and Donner when he was about 70 percent through filming the second film, and Lester was brought in not only to finish the film, but to reshoot enough of Donner's material that the majority of the final film would be Lester's and he could get sole director credit, shutting Donner out entirely. They also cut out Marlon Brando's scenes from the second film due to, I believe, a salary dispute.
Originally the plan was for the nuclear missile Superman tossed into space to release the Phantom Zone villains, so one would lead directly into the other.
The scene where Superman save Lois falling out of a building was unbelievable to me. Sure, superman can go that fast, but I'd always imagine that he wouldn't be able to move quite that fast (like the speed of electricity) without building up to that speed for a least a few seconds.
But it's much better for Lois from a character perspective than the version Lester gave us. As I put it in my blog review linked above:
The Donner version of S2 opens with Lois simply looking at Clark Kent and noticing that he resembles Superman. Unlike virtually every other incarnation of Lois Lane, she is actually perceptive enough not to be permanently fooled by a pair of glasses. Then she does an experiment to test her notion, drawing Clark clothes onto a photo of Superman. Thus convinced, she dramatically risks her life to prove her conclusion, jumping out a window to force Clark to change to Superman and save her. He manages to save her without revealing his identity, and she’s left uncertain, but ultimately clings to her conviction when Superman shows up at Niagara Falls, and then she enacts another bold ploy to force the truth from Clark, shooting him with a blank so he thinks he’s been exposed and gives himself away. Throughout, she’s perceptive, strong-willed, and in control.
But in the Lester version, she’s so much less of all of those things. She doesn’t even begin to suspect the resemblance between Clark and Superman until she accidentally gets a glimpse of him without glasses. Instead of being observant and deducing that they’re the same man, she stumbles upon the discovery. She then tests it in a variation of the window-jump scene from the Donner version, but instead, she merely jumps into the rapids — still dangerous, true, but not as extreme and unambiguously life-or-death a gamble, and it’s not that hard for Clark to rescue her while still remaining Clark. And at that point, Lois is completely convinced she was wrong, and doesn’t even suspect anything further until Clark “accidentally” stumbles over the rug and his hand lands in the fire. Lois is taken completely by surprise. They rationalize the stumble by suggesting that maybe Clark subconsciously wanted her to know, but that makes Clark the initiator and leaves Lois far more passive. All in all, she’s a far less impressive character in this version.