Superman director Richard Donner has passed away at the age of 91.
Richard Donner and ‘Superman’
Comic book fans know him best as the director of the original comic book superhero classic Superman: The Movie in 1978.
The film starred Christopher Reeve as Superman and Clark Kent. Additionally, Margot Kidder played Lois Lane, Marlon Brando was Jor-El, Gene Hackman was Lex Luthor, and Ned Beatty was Otis. In addition to its huge box office take, it won an Oscar award for visual effects.
The film’s success paved the way for later more successful superhero films, like Tim Burton’s Batman, Sam Rami’s Spider-Man, and eventually the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe of movies, like The Avengers.
Superman is considered the first superhero comic blockbuster that took the comics source material seriously, thanks to Donner’s direction.
After the first Superman, Donner also shot 75% of Superman II. However, due to clashing with the studio heads, Donner left the production part of the way through. Despite taking his name off of Superman II, Donner eventually released his director’s cut of the movie in 2006.
Other Donner Films
Later in life, Donner and his wife produced a number of movies. Most notably, their production company helped make the X-Men film franchise. The X-Men movies also launched the career of Kevin Feige, who went on to spearhead the widely successful Avengers movies.
Other notable films that Richard Donner help create include the beloved Lethal Weapon series and The Goonies.
His vision was amazing, and it’s doubtful the world of cinema, particular comic book movie genre, would be what it is today. Everyone here at Dark Knight News was a fan, and we send all our love, best wishes and condolences to his family, friends, and everyone that knew or worked with him.