Monday, October 13, 2008

Richard Donner talks about the state of SUPERMAN while talking about Mel Gibson

Christopher_reeveLike so many people, I was a huge fan of Donner's 1978 "Superman" film and, in fact, I wrote a lengthy piece for the Los Angeles Times back in 2006Superman II," which reached theaters in 1980 in a very different form than Donner planned. There's been a lot of talk lately about the future cinema life of the first and greatest superhero, so I had to ask Donner what he thought of the talk that Warner Bros. would like to take the Man of Steel into darker terrain. when the filmmaker got to go back and re-cut the sequel, "

"I do think you could probably take Superman into some other areas today. I think maybe it's ready to break the mold slightly and bring a little greater sense of reality into it. Not contemporizing it to like today. Just making the heavies -- and the situation that is the tension piece -- a little more broken away from the comic-book character. It would take some tricky writing, some good acting and some good directing."

Bryan Singer's 2006 film, "Superman Returns," felt like a valentine to the Donner work on Superman and the older director received it with fondness. "I totally enjoyed it. I saw it just that once. I went to the theater not knowing anything. Bryan and I had spoken many times before but I didn't want to know anything about the film. I went as the audience. And I thought, 'Wow, he really nailed it.' There's that one scene, when that piano slid across the floor on the boat? I was startled. It was great."

What would Donner like to see next for the Last Son of Krypton? He didn't hesitate. "I'd like to see Geoff Johns take a crack at the Superman...I think he would be startling. Did you read his comics? There it is. It's there on paper." Johns is a star writer in comics, of course, but before that, the Detroit native worked in Donner's office as an assistant to the filmmaker. Once again, Donner thinks the smart way to do business is to put a premium on loyalty and good ideas. "The studio hasn't gone to him and said, 'Give us a screenplay.' That would be the smartthing to do, but that's show biz. Right? Show biz, that's our life." -- Geoff Boucher

Click to read the full interview with Richard Donner

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