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There have been multiple reasons given over the years as to why Richard Donner was fired and replaced with Richard Lester by the Salkinds, among those reasons - depending on which party you're listening to - being that Donner had been at odds with the Salkinds over the tone of each film and he was not getting along with Pierre Spengler, a long time friend and frequent collaborator of the Salkinds, and that the Salkinds decided that they weren't happy with some of the original footage but could not agree with Donner on the budget for them.
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