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Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Episode 23116th November 2023 • Verbal Diorama • Verbal Diorama
00:00:00 00:56:04

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Technically the first ever quadruple-bill episode (if you also count the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, which we do), as voted for by Patrons of this podcast for, on the history and legacy of Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace ! The sequels to the previous episode on Superman

SUPERMAN II was inevitable after Richard Donner completed 75% of the movie, filmed at the same time as Superman (1978). His work on the sequel was halted during Superman's production, but as Superman flew into the box office and became a critical and financial success, the sequel was fired up again... and Donner himself was unceremoniously fired from the movie by the Salkinds, and replaced with Richard Lester; a move that didn't go down well with the cast and crew...

SUPERMAN II: THE RICHARD DONNER CUT came about due to the open secret of Richard Donner's material existing in a vault somewhere. After a few legal issues, notably with the estate of Marlon Brando for the production of Superman Returns, a new 2001 DVD version of Superman also led to the discovery of 6 tonnes of unused, previously lost material shot by Richard Donner for Superman II. In an unprecedented (at the time) fan campaign to see Donner's cut, it was finally released to acclaim in 2006...

SUPERMAN III is less of a Superman movie, and more of a comedy vehicle for the late, great Richard Pryor, but that didn't mean it was easy to get made. A lot of people were still annoyed at the Salkinds for their treatment of Richard Donner, including Christopher Reeve himself. Reeve almost didn't return as the iconic character, but changed his mind and relished playing Superman vs Superman (which was also almost the title of the movie), but in retrospect it would be a movie he wouldn't have too much fun with, despite the slapstick tone...

SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE would only be made after the Salkinds sold the rights to The Cannon Group; a production company known for making low quality movies en masse to make as much profit as possible. Cannon's plan though was big franchises: they bought Superman with the intent of spending $36 million on Superman IV. They were also making Masters of the Universe, the first big screen adventure for He-Man. But Masters of the Universe's financial woes would drastically affect Superman IV, with disastrous consequences for the Superman franchise, and leading to a 19-year wait for Superman to return...

I would love to hear your thoughts on Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace !



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