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Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
Director: Richard Donner
Richard Lester
Producer: Pierre Spengler
Michael Thau (2006)
Writer(s): Screenplay:
Mario Puzo
David Newman
Leslie Newman
Robert Benton
Creative Consultant:
Tom Mankiewicz
Mario Puzo
Comic Book:
Jerry Siegel
Joe Shuster
Release Date: November 28, 2006
Running Time: 116 min.
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Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut is Richard Donner's original interpetation of Superman II. It follows the same plot as Superman II, but it has different takes on certain scenes, such as the fact that the Kryptonian criminals are freed by the missle Superman threw into space in Superman: The Movie, and Marlon Brando's Jor-El takes the place of Susannah York's Lara as Superman's mentor, like in the original film.


The film opens on the Planet Krypton where Jor-El condemns General Zod, Non, and Ursa to the Phantom Zone. The scene now follows the three supervillains as they witness the destruction of Krypton from inside the Phantom Zone. The resulting explosion bumps their floating prison, and changes their trajectory, so that they set on the same course as the ship that is sending Kal-El to earth.

The film then shows flashbacks to the first Superman film, The launching of the two XK-101 missiles; Superman being trapped in the swimming pool with the Kryptonite necklace by Lex Luthor and being rescued by Ms. Teschmacher; and Superman diverting the missile into outer space. The Phantom Zone drifts towards Earth and the missile hits it, freeing the villains, who upon seeing Earth, fly towards it. After a successful escape from jail, Lex Luthor finds and infiltrates the Fortress of Solitude, learning of the impending doom brought by General Zod. He resolves to meet up with Zod, and begins to track his approaching alpha wave signal using the same tracking device he used to locate the Fortress.

At the Daily Planet, Lois Lane suspects that Clark Kent is Superman. She tests Clark by jumping out of a window, but Clark uses his powers to save her while appearing to have done nothing. The newspaper sends Clark and Lois to Niagara Falls. Superman's rescue of a small boy renews Lois' suspicions, and she tricks Clark with a gun loaded with blanks into admitting that he is Superman. Meanwhile Zod, Non and Ursa, arrive on the moon and ruthlessly attack some astronauts, learning of their Superpowers. They fly towards the 'Planet Houston', where they intend to rule as 'Gods'. They destroy a small town, then travel to Washington to force the President to surrender to Zod on behalf of the entire planet. When the President pleads for Superman to save the Earth, Zod demands that Superman come.

Superman, unaware of the arrival of Zod, takes Lois Lane to his Fortress of Solitude. After spending the night together, Superman decides to transform himself into a human by exposing himself to red Kryptonian sunlight in a crystal chamber. The two return to society and learn of Zod's conquest of the world. Realizing that humanity is helpless, Clark returns to the Fortress to reverse the transformation. Having anticipated this decision, Jor-El's artificial intelligence reveals it has been programmed to deal with this situation by sacrificing the remaining Kryptonian energy it needs to continue operating. Thus to restore Clark to his superpowers, it must be joined with him (by taking the physical form of Jor-El and touching him on the shoulder), making a reality of the Kryptonian prophecy concerning "the father becoming the son" and rendering the Fortress of Solitude obsolete.

Lex Luthor arrives to the White House informing Zod that Superman is Jor-El's son, and that he has the ability to find him, in exchange for control of Australia. He takes the three Kryptonians to the Daily Planet where they abduct Lois. Superman arrives and a fight ensues in Metropolis. After he is almost killed, Superman realizes he can't win and flies off towards his Fortress, with Zod, Ursa, and Non in pursuit. At the Fortress, Zod forces Superman to again undergo the transformation process. The three villains realize too late that Superman has altered the process to expose everyone outside the chamber, removing the Kryptonian criminals' powers. He defeats Luthor, Non and Zod with ease. Lois gets her revenge on a powerless Ursa by decking her, forcing her to join Non and Zod underwater. Superman now turns his eyes on the unnecessary Fortress of Solitude and destroys it with his heat vision. He then repeats the time-traveling flight from the end of the first film, so that the Kryptonians never escaped the Phantom Zone, Lois never found out he was Superman, the Fortress of Solitude was never destroyed, and Lex Luthor never escaped from jail.



On September 20, 2006, Warner Bros. released the official trailer for the Christopher Reeve Superman Collection DVD box set. (Includes footage of Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.)

On November 21, 2006, Warner Bros. released the trailer for the Ultimate Superman Collection DVD box set.

External links[]

Superman Films
Serials Superman: The Serial | Atom Man vs. Superman
1950s films Superman and the Mole Men
Donner/ Lester/ Furie series Superman: The Movie | Superman II | Superman III | Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Singer series Superman Returns
DC Extended Universe Man of Steel | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Spin-offs Supergirl | Steel