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Old July 24 2012, 02:18 PM   #4681
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

There's worlds of difference between the Batman TV series and Lester's take on Superman for them trying to be Silver Age depictions of the heroes. Mostly being that Lester was trying way too hard. (See the opening slapstick Rube Goldberg routine during the opening credits.)
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Old July 24 2012, 02:42 PM   #4682
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

^ As I understand it, but for Donner, we would have gotten a Superman movie in much the same vein as the Batman tv show. Mario Puzo's original script was totally jokey, including, for example, a scene where Superman flew down to arrest Lex in a crowd. However, when he grabbed 'Lex' from behind, the bald man turned round and turned out to be Telly Savalas, brandishing his Kojak lollipop, with Savalas saying 'Who loves you baby?' Hilarious, I don't think.

Donner and Tom Mankiewicz ditched all this junk and gave the movie some gravity and respect.
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Old July 24 2012, 03:09 PM   #4683
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

Quite a bit of blue-screen was used for the Superman flying effects in the first film, in addition to the ZOPTIC process (in fact they used just about every technique you can think of in one flying shot or another; they threw the kitchen sink at this movie in order to get it done). They tried to control for different shades of blue in a very narrow range, utilizing some color correction process, with mixed results. The most obvious example of blue-screen gone wrong in the original release prints was a shot of Superman flying past the camera and on toward Boulder Dam in the distance - Supe's suit came off as teal blue, almost green in this shot. It's been corrected in later versions of the film.

Applying the word "naturalistic" to any aspect of Donner's Superman is incorrect use of the term.

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Old July 24 2012, 03:52 PM   #4684
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
There's worlds of difference between the Batman TV series and Lester's take on Superman for them trying to be Silver Age depictions of the heroes. Mostly being that Lester was trying way too hard. (See the opening slapstick Rube Goldberg routine during the opening credits.)
Yes, of course they're not exactly the same, since they're from different creators. The point is that people today often forget that comics at the time were not as different from their contemporary movie adaptations as we tend to assume. What we see in those films and shows is, of course, filtered through their makers' points of view, sometimes more successfully than others (and I think Superman III really holds up better than most people give it credit for), but if you look at the actual comics they were basing it on, you can see that they were trying in their own ways to be authentic, and not mocking or missing the point to the extent that fans today often believe.
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Old July 24 2012, 04:03 PM   #4685
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

My apolgies if this was already discussed in the earlier pages, but since Donner's Superman has been mentioned, who prefers which version of "Superman II," the Lester version, or the Donner version? Both have their merits, and one can get the sense Singer based his "Superman Returns" more on the events of Donner's version than Lester's.

Also, like the touch with the two different teasers released for "Man Of Steel," one voiced over by Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) and the other by Jor-El (Russell Crowe)...the Crowe one is 6 seconds longer and has one extra shot of young Clark.
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Old July 24 2012, 04:13 PM   #4686
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

therealsb63 wrote: View Post
My apolgies if this was already discussed in the earlier pages, but since Donner's Superman has been mentioned, who prefers which version of "Superman II," the Lester version, or the Donner version?
I prefer the Donner version, since it's less silly, more epic and generally closer in tone to the first movie. Just imagine its potential were Donner allowed to complete it and hadn't had to use footage from screen tests and Lester.
Although I really don't get why that ending with Super-Clark getting back at that jerk in the diner was kept. I can see Lester not caring much wether it was true to the spirit of Superman, but Donner/Mankiewicz?!

Both have their merits, and one can get the sense Singer based his "Superman Returns" more on the events of Donner's version than Lester's.
Uhm, ... no. In Donner's version, Superman destroys the Fortress at the end, and also doesn't get naughty with Lois until he's turned human (therefore couldn't have conceived a Super-kid).
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Old July 24 2012, 04:33 PM   #4687
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

I perfer the Lester version of Superman II, the Donner version has the same ending of the first movie and there's some nice bits in the Lester version that's missing in the other one. Lois was better fleshed out in the Donner version but, the rest of the movie feels badly edited and disjointed at least to me.
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Old July 24 2012, 04:39 PM   #4688
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

To say that Supes can't father a "super-kid" because he's given up his powers assumes that the de-powering process rewrites his genetic make-up. That ain't necessarily so; certainly it's been done differently in more than one comic book story.
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Old July 24 2012, 04:45 PM   #4689
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

therealsb63 wrote: View Post
My apolgies if this was already discussed in the earlier pages, but since Donner's Superman has been mentioned, who prefers which version of "Superman II," the Lester version, or the Donner version? Both have their merits, and one can get the sense Singer based his "Superman Returns" more on the events of Donner's version than Lester's.
I actually prefer the Lester version, even though it includes a lot of silly stuff which is clearly the work of that director (bewigged man losing his toupee in the Metropolis showdown, for example).

To be fair, the Donner cut is not really exactly how Richard Donner would have made the movie had he had free rein at the time and they've done a great job splicing in unused and screen test footage. But we don't need to see Supes flying back in time to save the world again, do we?

Had Donner been allowed to make Superman II as he really wanted to, I think we'd have ended up with something even better than either version.
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Old July 24 2012, 06:13 PM   #4690
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

therealsb63 wrote: View Post
My apolgies if this was already discussed in the earlier pages, but since Donner's Superman has been mentioned, who prefers which version of "Superman II," the Lester version, or the Donner version? .

The Lester version, definitely.
I've only seen the Donner version once but something felt...off. I didn't really like the editing of it much.
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Old July 24 2012, 06:33 PM   #4691
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
But we don't need to see Supes flying back in time to save the world again, do we?
No. But had Donner been allowed to fully see his vision, the first film wouldn't have ended that way. It's only too bad he didn't have all the necessary footage to do a similar project for the first film so he could show how he intended to work the cliffhanger.

SalvorHardin wrote: View Post
The Lester version, definitely.
I've only seen the Donner version once but something felt...off. I didn't really like the editing of it much.
To be fair, the Donner version isn't so much a film as it is a glorified storyboard. So judging it on the merits of editing isn't really fair. He essentially had to paste together a sculpture using bits and pieces of already formed clay that were either incomplete or not even his.

Donner's film is so much more focused--even with the editing shortfalls. The themes and concepts are tighter and more defined and the story is a lot more coherent.
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Old July 24 2012, 07:18 PM   #4692
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

therealsb63 wrote: View Post
My apolgies if this was already discussed in the earlier pages, but since Donner's Superman has been mentioned, who prefers which version of "Superman II," the Lester version, or the Donner version?
I like the "Donner cut" of Superman II much better, except for the ending. My reviews:

http://christopherlbennett.wordpress...uperman-films/
http://christopherlbennett.wordpress...s-superman-ii/
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Old July 24 2012, 08:21 PM   #4693
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

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Yeah, thanks, that's what I was thinking, although, additionally, my emphasis was on how comic books were perceived and regarded from the mainstream perspective. There's no question that, in the 1970's, comic books were regarded as anything but a literary medium by the public at large. Even while the eyes of comic book readers were opened in the following years, mainstream public appreciation for the serious potential of the medium still lagged behind.
Yeah, but what I'm saying is, at the time the movie was made in 1977, the perception of comics as a largely fanciful and lighthearted medium was still not far from the truth. They'd gained some more intelligence, character depth, and sincerity thanks to folks like Stan Lee and Dennis O'Neill, but a lot of the really wild, fanciful, cartoony, silly stuff was still very much a part of them, especially of DC comics at the time. So what Donner created was actually pretty authentic to the Superman comics of the period: a movie that treated its protagonist characters with a fair degree of sincerity but immersed them in a fantasy world.

(And I've heard it argued, persuasively, that Superman III is actually the purest screen depiction of the Silver Age Superman we've ever gotten.)

Today we look back on things like the Adam West Batman and the Richard Lester Superman and see them as a consequence of the "mainstream" not understanding what comics were really like and making fun of them instead. But if you actually look at the comics of the era leading up to those productions, the comics that would've been their referents, they actually were a lot like what we saw onscreen. Our modern perception of superhero comics as this ultra-serious medium is mainly an aftereffect of The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen and the lasting influence they had on comics -- but what we forget is that what was so distinctive about those two works is that their dark, serious tone was profoundly different from what superhero comics had been like until then. They were specifically meant to be radical departures and deconstructions.
You say, "we," and I may be in the minority, but I was certainly aware that the Batman show was not untrue to the comics. But that was because I had read reprints of Batman from every decade. Even if one hadn't, the theme animation, the narration, and the insertion of POW! etc. during the fight scenes were clues.

So the tone of the '66 Batman and the '70s Superman wasn't a result of the "mainstream" misunderstanding or trivializing comics. It was a sincere and at least somewhat authentic depiction of the actual tone and flavor of the comics that these film and TV producers had available as referents.
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That said, the one thing that REALLY dates the movie for me was the characterization of Lex Luthor. I guess that was a valid portrayal of the character from some of the comics, but it wasn't my preferred version. Here is supposedly one of the smartest people on Earth and he surrounds himself with the two dumbest people he could possibly find. He seemed more like a used car salesman than a villain in a superhero film. He never seemed much of a match for Superman.
Actually that was nothing like the Lex Luthor from the comics of the era. That Luthor was a brilliant criminal scientist and inventor, driven by anger and resentment toward Superman and the world, and he generally worked alone. Here's a look at how he was portrayed in the '70s. I really have no idea where the screenwriters got the idea for their version of Luthor.
And here is where the mainstream expectation, of how a comic book universe should be, may have been what trumped the actual contemporary comic book portrayal, to determine the structure of the film adaptation. As far as I know, and unless I'm mistaken, Otis and Miss Teschmacher were created for the film.

By the way, while thinking about this, I realized (belatedly, I know) the parallel between Zod, Ursa, and Non on one hand and Luthor, Eve, and Otis on the other: strong male leader, beautiful female subordinate, and idiot male subordinate. Additionally, from http://superman.wikia.com/wiki/Super...e_Movie#Trivia:

Originally, there was a fourth Kryptonian villain imprisoned in the Phantom Zone with General Zod, an "evil prankster" named "Jak-El" (apparently a pun on the word jackal). Lex Luthor also had a second henchman in addition to Otis in this incarnation of the story, a German man named "Albert." Both of these characters appeared in the July, 1976 draft of the script by Mario Puzo (which can be found here: http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/...n_original.txt), but were dropped in subsequent drafts.
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Old July 24 2012, 08:33 PM   #4694
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
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But we don't need to see Supes flying back in time to save the world again, do we?
No. But had Donner been allowed to fully see his vision, the first film wouldn't have ended that way. It's only too bad he didn't have all the necessary footage to do a similar project for the first film so he could show how he intended to work the cliffhanger.
I know. That's why I said that had Donner been able to make the Superman II he really wanted to make, we'd have gotten something special. I should probably have said 'had he been able to make the two movies he really wanted to make.'

As it is, though, the ending of Donner cut of II cannot help but be compared to Superman The Movie.
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Old July 24 2012, 08:34 PM   #4695
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Re: Superman (casting, rumors, pix till release)

I, too, am another who has some issues with the first two Superman films. I like parts of them, but really dislike others. Then again I saw these when I was 19 and my early 20s so while I enjoyed parts of them I wasn't enthraled by them as so many others seem to have been.

Essentially I like it up until Lex and companions are introduced and then except for some parts it all basically falls apart for me. And for the most part I didn't care much at all for S2.

I still much prefer the Superman we saw in the first Season of The Adventures Of Superman. Superman seems less the boyscout and Clark isn't a goof but a credible reporter. And Clark only seems withdrawn in comparison to Phyllis Coates' feisty Lois Lane. Still didn't care for Jimmy Olsen or Perry for that matter though they were worse in the later seasons.

After that I can skip the Chris Reeve films and go right to the '90s TAS Superman for my preferred version.
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