2006 Movie News Archives

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November 23, 2006: Tom Mankiewicz Talks “Superman II: The Donner Cut”

Newsarama.com has conducted an indepth interview with screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz about the release of "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut". Here's an excerpt from the interview...

    Q: Why did Lester put in so much campy humor into the theatrical release of Superman II?

    Tom: This goes back to the Salkinds and it may seem like I'm picking on them but then again Donner and I used to call the movie Close Encounters of the Salkind. It was a terrible choice of director. Lester just happened to be the one they owed the money too. He was a very talented director but he's a cynic. His great work like the Beatles movies [A Hard Day's Night and Help!] and The Musketeer movies are all cynical, tongue in cheek things. So of course he's going to go camp because he doesn't really believe in it. Donner and I each had a Superman placard in our offices at Pinewood Studios that said on it "Verisimilitude. You just got to do it like it's really happening." There was some humor with Gene Hackman but the new production designer, John Barry, said Krypton is one big crystal and the brilliant cinematographer, Geoffrey Unsworth, said "Well I'm going to shoot it all with fog filters" and then I said, "Well I'm going to write all the Krypton stuff in stilted English semi-Shakespearean stuff." Then we move to Kansas in Smallville where Unsworth shoots in sepia colors and all the writing is "Gosh, Ma and Pa." Then you get to Metropolis and there are red reds and green greens like a comic strip. Then the payoff of all of it was in the second movie and that's what got so screwed around. Lester's forte is sophisticated comedy but Superman is not a sophisticated comedy. You've got to believe that a man can fly.

    Frankly, Lester put in sequences that were campy and also some scenes that were very cruel. At one point the supervillains kill a little boy but that got cut out. Now it sounds like I'm now knocking Lester and I don't mean to but he didn't believe and Donner believed. I'm really happy for Donner that this new cut is out because it is the movie he envisioned.

Read the entire interview at Newsarama.com.

You can order "Superman II: The Donner Cut" as a stand-alone DVD or as part of the 14-disc Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition box set. Both will be released on November 28th.

Reminder: The Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills and Moving Pictures Magazine will present a screening of "Superman II: The Donner Cut" on Saturday, November 25th at 7:30 PM.

Book tickets at StudioScreenings.com.

2006 Movie News

Listed below are all the Movie News items archived for 2006 organized into various categories:

“Superman Returns” Movie News:

Christopher Reeve Movie News: Hollywoodland (George Reeves) Movie News: Direct-to-DVD Animated Movie News: Other Movie News:

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