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Superman, The Inside Story: Director Richard Donner Remembers Meeting Stallone to Play the Lead, Working…

He said, “Do you know who I am?” and I said, “No. Why are you calling me?” He said, “I’ll get to that. I’m a producer. Did you ever see The Three Musketeers?” I said I did see it, and he said “I produced that.” And I said, “The way I hear it, they tried to release a second picture without paying the actors.” He said, “Well, that’s a long story. I’m making Superman. I don’t have a director and I’ll pay you a million dollars.”

Superman (1978)   on the set Directed by Richard Donner Shown from left: Christopher Reeve (as Clark Kent/Superman), Richard Donner

I’ve heard most of these stories from Dick Donner but it’s still amazing how he managed to produce the classic films under these conditions. The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Donner and he shared some of these stories about saving the film from being a flaming pile of insulting crap to avoiding casting people like Stallone in the lead.  Check out the interview.

What Donner accomplished still stands as a triumph of film and filmmaking.

S2-Donner_CutIf you’ve never seen “SUPERMAN II: The Richard Donner Cut” you should. (Click This or the image to buy from Amazon – It’s only $9.99 for Blu Ray and totally worth it)

Fanboys and critics alike are arguing over how director Zack Snyder has portrayed Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel and the new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But when director Richard Donner brought the superhero to the big screen in 1978’s Superman, there were no such debates. The movie promised, “You will believe a man can fly,” and audiences bought it enthusiastically. The film grossed $300 million worldwide — the equivalent of $1.09 billion today