So to say Superman 2 was mired in controversy is an understatement, a film that was being filmed pretty much at the same time as Superman the Movie, but then the decision was made to stop trying to do both and finish the first one first, makes sense! Richard Donner and the Salkinds (producers of the films) did not see eye to eye and Richard Donner was let go to be replaced by Richard Lester, but as 75% of Superman 2 was already shot Richard Lester had to reshoot a lot of the film so that he could be credited as director. The problem with that is some of the cast weren’t kept on and stand ins were used, Gene Hackman being the most prominent.
So what does that mean for a film like this, does it feel disjointed and pieced together, actually no not at all, I love this film. The story is excellent, very different from the first with Clark struggling with the pressure of being Superman against the love he has for Lois, then you add into the mix the three Kryptonian’s Non, Ursa and of course General Zod and you have everything you could want in a Superman movie.
Now both versions of the film are available to watch, the original and the Richard Donner cut and I’ll be honest both have their good points and there not so good points, liberties are taken with Superman lore mostly the scene in the Fortress of Solitude where Superman gets some fancy new powers never seen before or since like teleportation, duplication and those weird plastic S’s he throws from his suit, but you know what I’ll allow it cos its fun! I dont think that would fly (excuse the pun) if it was released now, 1000s of people would take to twitter with that hashtag #notmysuperman or something else equally as ridiculous. These films are meant to be enjoyed for what they are a film about an alien with superpowers, it doesn’t need to be more complicated than that! Also the other thing that’s odd about the Richard Donner cut is the end of the film the police turn up at the Fortress to take the kryptonians away, pretty handy that theres a road all the way up there haha
Christopher Reeve is once again incredible in this movie, he just gets the character and the scenes when he’s human trying to defend Lois in the diner are just beautiful, Gene Hackmans Lex is and will always be my favourite Lex Luthor. But lets talk about the standouts in this film, the three Kryptonians, Non played by Jack O’Halloran a simple yet foreboding character, Ursa played by Sarah Douglas one of the baddest women in the universe and I cant lie one of my first crushes as a young boy and last but by no means least Terence Stamp as General Zod one simple word can describe this portrayal and that’s Iconic, other people have played Zod since but no one captures it quite like Terence Stamp his Britishness just adds so much and his lines are some of the best villains lines in any film ever!! Can anyone else say this like he can?
Come to me Son of Jor-El, Kneel Before Zod
I find it very hard to separate the first 2 Superman films they just feel like a continuing story and i guess that’s due to them being shot at the same time it gives you a familiarity across them, but also with the story set up in the first continuing in the second it gives you an overarching story that’s just a joy to watch unfold.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of the cast from these two films and to this day they are some of my favourite actors, the fact that we still get to see them in various roles in Smallville and Supergirl makes me very happy that their legacy continues to this day.