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Old July 10 2013, 09:33 AM   #25
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Donner inexplicably chose to excise this iconic moment. Actually, not inexplicably... he did it because he's prideful and smug. All one needs to do is listen to his commentary track on the Donner Cut to realize how prideful, smug and arrogant he is.
As I understand it, the Donner cut was actually put together by producer Michael Thau, rather than Donner himself.

Work finally began on the project in late 2005, though without Richard Donner. At the Director's Guild screening of the Donner cut in November 2006, Michael Thau underlined Donner's reluctance to involve himself in the project, telling the audience, "Dick (Donner) was doing (the film) 16 Blocks at the time and I was always trying to lure him in with, you know 'Dick, here's a piece of candy, come in to the cutting room.' and he said 'No, no, no..."
Thus, mixed emotions invariably followed the initial announcement in January 2006 that a new Superman II was being worked on, primarily down to the news that Richard Donner was having little or nothing to do with the re-edit. In a January 2006 interview with the website IGN, he stated, "They're doing it. I'm not doing it...I don't even want to see it until it comes out in the theater...I'm too far away from it now." A month later, when asked about the new Superman II cut, Donner told the website Dark Horizons, "I would never shoot like that now in a million years, I mean it was a different way, a different style, different interpretation."
In August 2006, Thau confirmed that the entire film, rather than simply featuring new material, would be re-cut from the original camera negative (including the small number of Lester scenes remaining in the film). The Donner cut comprises Donner Superman II scenes edited by Stuart Baird in 1977-78, 1980 Superman II theatrical scenes cut by John Victor Smith, as well as a large amount of new material edited by Michael Thau.
In an interview with Now Playing magazine, Thau noted, "A lot of scenes that had been already cut, that Richard Lester had interwoven new material in and there was a lot of them I unwove that material and recut those scenes, basically from scratch a lot of times. I also had to deal with negatives that had already been cut. And when I wanted to recut it, and Lester had already cut it in a different way, I'd have to unwind that. It was a complicated jigsaw puzzle sometimes, to put it back the way I envisioned Dick would want it cut. We only used the Lester footage when there was material when they had not been able to shoot, and to keep some continuity to the story." (boldface added by me)
It seems a bit harsh to blame this one on Donner, if that's right.
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