“Superman: The Movie” Title Designer Richard Alan Greenberg Dies

Oscar-nominated effects artist Richard Alan Greenberg, who designed the main titles for “Superman: The Movie”, has died.

His family announced that Greenberg died in New York City on Saturday after a bout with appendicitis. He was 71.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Chicago native and his brother launched R/Greenberg Associates in 1977, where they worked (and lived) out of tight quarters in a brownstone in midtown Manhattan.

To land R/GA’s first job, they suggested a teaser trailer and a “streaking” opening-title sequence for Superman (1978), directed by Richard Donner. There was one problem, though. “We had no idea how to do it!,” Greenberg said in a 2013 interview for the Art of the Title website. “For about two weeks, we kept trying to figure it out.”

The teaser trailer for “Superman: The Movie” won a Clio Award that year and gave R/GA “something that’s very, very important in New York advertising: a tie to the entertainment business, which – I don’t care what New Yorkers say – is very fascinating to them,” he said. “Everybody in New York wants to be a movie director.”

Our condolences to his family and friends on his passing.

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MattComics
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MattComics

It’s really an amazing idea for the title sequence.

Bit of a risk when you think about it, it’s a long sequence and there was no guarantee the audience wouldn’t get bored by it but the combination of the moving titles with John Williams score succeeds very well in getting you in the spirit for the film you’re about to see.

mindhavens
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mindhavens

Totally agree. Even with Superman Returns the title sequence was one of the most exciting parts of seeing that movie in the cinema. And look how not having it affected the start of Superman III. RIP Richard Alan Greenberg, his work is now legendary.

Spidey2878
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Spidey2878

This is a sad day for every Superman fan. Richard Alan Greenberg’s Superman opening title sequence, is my favorite movie opening title sequence. And in my opinion,Superman the movie had the greatest opening title sequence. May Mr. Greenberg rest in peace.

Kal-Ed
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Kal-Ed

Sad day for Superman: The Movie fans. He did an excellent job with the opening sequence. That will be his mark in the history of cinema. May his soul rest in peace.