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Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)

Superman II (original title)
Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lex Luthor (archive footage)
... Clark Kent / Kal-El / Superman (archive footage)
... Jor-El (archive footage)
... Otis (archive footage)
... Perry White (archive footage)
... Ursa (archive footage)
... Lois Lane (archive footage)
... Non (archive footage)
... Eve Teschmacher (archive footage)
... Sheriff (archive footage)
... The President (archive footage)
... Jimmy Olsen (archive footage)
... General Zod (archive footage)
... Controller #1 (archive footage)
... Controller #2 (archive footage)
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Storyline

Before Krypton exploded and Jor-El put his baby son, Kal-El, in a rocket ship to Earth, the benevolent ruler was forced to banish three irredeemable criminals to another dimension called The Phantom Zone. The trio's leader, General Zod, vowed revenge. Later, of course, Kal-El grew up to become Superman, Earth's mighty champion. A battle with the criminal mastermind, Lex Luthor, ends with Superman hurling a nuclear warhead into space where it explodes, but not harmlessly. Instead, it frees the Kryptonian threesome from their other-dimensional prison. They soon discover they have almost unlimited power (the same powers, in fact, as Superman), which they use to take over the Earth. Meanwhile, the intrepid reporter, Lois Lane, learns that her bumbling colleague, Clark Kent, is really Superman, a revelation that leads to him bringing her to his frozen Fortress of Solitude and renouncing his powers in order to make love to her. It is only when Superman and Lois return to civilization that ... Written by J. Spurlin

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As Originally Conceived and Intended


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sequences of action violence, some language and brief mild sensuality | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

28 November 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$54,000,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is Richard Donner's Director's Cut of Superman II (1980). Donner was the original director, but was replaced by Richard Lester. See more »

Goofs

When Lex Luthor sits behind the Presidents' desk and lights a cigar while he talks to Zod and company, the cigar switches hands from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jor-El: I ask you now to pronounce judgment on those accused. On this... this mindless aberration, whose only means of expression are wanton violence and destruction; on the woman Ursa, whose perversions and unreasoning hatred of all mankind have threatened even the children of the planet Krypton; finally, General Zod. Chief architect of this intended revolution and author of this insidious plot to establish a new order amongst us... with himself as absolute ruler. You have heard the ...
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Crazy Credits

After the Warner Bros./DC Comics logos, there is an on-screen dedication "in loving memory" of Christopher Reeve, "Without whom we would have never believed a man could fly". See more »

Connections

Version of Superman (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
If you haven't seen The Donner Cut, you haven't seen Reeve's finest acting as Superman.
17 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

Most movie fans know that Richard Donner began shooting Superman I&II simultaneously, and that he was fired after the first was completed to be replaced by Richard Lester. Lester re-shot most of Donner's footage, re-working scenes and dialogue and finishing the second film as well as time, budget, and his own talents allowed.Compared to the first, it was badly paced, choppily edited, and filled with horribly out of place attempts at comedy. Superman's showdown with Zod and his henchmen in downtown Metropolis was still (and in many ways, is still) the greatest superhero battle ever captured on film, but the rest of the film was weak and uneven in comparison. The result was an entertaining enough follow-up, but one was until now left to wonder what might have been had Donner had the opportunity to finish the film properly.

In an unprecedented move, Warner Bros. recently allowed Donner to re-master and edit all of his original Superman II footage. Most of the footage had survived, and some parts had to be filled in with segments from Donner's re-shoots and even a couple of full dress screen tests.

The result is, while a bit rough around a couple of edges, remarkable. The new version is paced much better, and gone are the more cringe-inducing moments from the theatrical cut (like Superman's amnesia kiss, or Clark's bumbling around like a buffoon and falling into a fireplace). More importantly, however, is the dramatic weight that some of the restored scenes add to the film. A wonderful father/son dynamic is revealed as Superman and Jor-el (Marlon Brando, appearing in previously unseen footage) find themselves at odds over the last son of Krypton's proper role on Earth. In the theatrical cut, when a de-powered Clark returns to the fortress of solitude in a quest to regain his powers, he finds the glowing green crystalline equivalent of a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. In The Donner Cut, Superman's powers are not restored without a price.

If you haven't seen The Donner Cut, you haven't seen Reeve's finest acting as the son of Jor El. We also get more Gene Hackman and the delightful Valerie Perrine.

The action scenes are as punchy as as ever, and again, campier comedic elements have been removed. The new ending will definitely divide audiences. I won't spoil it here, but it certainly is different, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet.

Here's hoping that in the future, the Man of Steel's cinematic exploits continue to be steered by class directors such as Richard Donner rather than hacks such as Sidney J. Furie or Richard Lester.


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