Superman II (1980) Poster


Alternate Versions

In late 2006 an "official Donner's version" was released on DVD and Blu-ray, appropriately dubbed "Donner's Cut" by the new right holders of the franchise. It reinserts virtually everything that could been salvaged from what Donner shot for his intended original version of the film, such as the infamous Marlon Brando scenes, before the producers sacked him. This version uses less than 20% of Lester's shootings, and since that left a few gaps in the story here and there with no chances of re-shoots, Donner had to make do with just about every bit of shooting he had made some 25 years before, including footage which had only been shot as screen tests. (Source: Amazon.com and the DVD/BD itself)
Richard Donner originally shot an opening with Lois Lane drawing glasses onto a picture of Superman, revealing his alter ego Clark Kent. And Lois calls this to Clark's attention by throwing herself out a window. Clark secretly saves her, so she has no proof. Donner also shot a scene where Lois shoots at Clark with blanks. This is when she realizes it's Superman. This can be semi-seen in the screen tests on the Superman DVD.
Some versions show a young boy in the small town trying to ride a horse away for help. Zod says that no one is to leave. Non throws the red light he tore earlier from the police car at the boy killing him. One of the townsfolk says that he was just a boy, and Ursa replies that he will never become a man.
Another version shows Superman destroying his fortress of solitude after he's trapped Zod inside.
In the ABC TV version, Superman passes a Concorde jet on his way to Paris. This is not in the video release.
An even longer version of the film was aired in Northern Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Australia in the 1980s, featuring these deleted scenes:
  • A scene of a young woman watching a football game, only to see it be interrupted by a newsflash involving the three Kryptonian villains' attack on the small town, causing her to call the TV station and attempt to get them to put the football game back on;

  • A scene of a young Japanese girl viewing the villains' destruction of the small town on TV, followed by her father telling her that she shouldn't watch it due to excessive violence, causing her to reply, "Shut up!";

  • An longer version of the scene of Zod using a machine gun in the White House, where Zod kills a young black secret service agent, then fires at a portrait of Richard Nixon;

  • A longer version of the scene of Clark and Lois traveling by car in the snow before they go to the diner and meet the bully.

The ABC television version originally contained 17 minutes of footage that had been cut from the theatrical release, much of it remnants of Richard Donner's scenes he originally shot before 'Richard Lester' became director, while others are alternate scenes involving Lex Luthor in prison and the Fortress of Solitude. Also, the network version has an alternate ending where Lex Luthor is arrested and taken away by the Arctic Police (and, if you look closely, the three Phantom Zone villains are also arrested and taken away!), thus explaining Luthor's appearance in "Superman IV".
  • At the end of the film Clark Kent bumps into a large bald guy, which reminds him to go to the diner to face the obnoxious trucker who beat him up earlier

  • Superman destroys his Fortress of Solitude.

  • The Phantom Zone villains land outside the Fortress of Solitude with Lex Luthor and Lois Lane, trying to figure out how to get in!

  • Extended scenes of the three Kryptonians invasion of the White House, with Zod using a gun and Non frightening a dog.

  • Superman cooks souffle using his heat vision, during dinner with Lois.

  • Extended discussion between Zod and Ursa on the moon.

  • The three Kryptonian villains are arrested in the TV version.

The Canadian version has scenes not in the ABC version:
  • A little girl watching the destruction of East Houston by the Kryptonians on TV.

  • Longer conversation between Lois and Superman after he destroys the Fortress of Solitude.

  • Lex Luthor taking Perry White's coffee during the Times Square battle.

  • Lex and Eve Teschmacher admiring the Fortress of Solitude.

  • Lex's negotiating with Superman after they leave the fortress is longer.

Superman is chased over the Metropolis river and city by Non in a far more exciting and action packed scene (which is abbreviated in theatrical version). During this chase General Zod can be heard shouting "Kill him, kill him!". The scene ends when Superman goes around a building at a sharp angle, Non follows him but chips off a huge piece of the building, scene then flows into the theatrical version, with Superman looking behind to see Non, with General Zod saying in the background "Come on kill him."
  • General Zod says to Lex Luthor during the flight to Superman's Fortress. Zod: "I trust, you do not waste my time, Lex Luthor!" Lex Luthor: "Of course not, your turbulance!"

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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