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Filmmaker Richard Donner recounts his experience directing Superman, from the minute he first got the call (while he was sitting on the toilet hung over), to the casting of Christopher Reeve and working with Marlon Brando (who initially wanted his character to look like a donut and refused to memorize any lines). Donner also reflects on the current trend of superhero movies and why he thinks it may be time for audiences to "grow up."

Photo: Director Richard Donner on the set of Superman with Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve

Hollywood News Banter 7 MIN, 2 SEC

Indiewire executive editor Michael Schneider joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • There's drama in the world of TV morning shows. Michael Strahan announced he’ll be leaving Live to go to ABC’s flagship morning show Good Morning America. However, it appears that his Live co-host Kelly Ripa didn’t learn about his departure until moments before he announced it on TV. Ripa is reported to be extremely upset and has taken several days off.
  • Several Asian characters in upcoming films are being played by white actors. Some have argued that no Asian actress has the box office power of Scarlett Johansson, who is playing the lead in Ghost in the Shell, but many others are upset at this case of whitewashing, especially following the controversy of #OscarsSoWhite and other instances of whitewashing of Asian characters like in the Cameron Crowe film Aloha.

Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)

Richard Donner's 'Superman' 20 MIN, 33 SEC

Earlier this month, to mark the opening of Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman, Stephen Galloway at the Hollywood Reporter talked to filmmaker Richard Donner about the crazy backstory behind the making of the original Superman movie.

 Superhero movies are kind of a big thing these days, and the origin story of the cinematic Superman, which was a major hit when it opened in 1978, was so entertaining that we thought the only thing better than reading it would be to hear Donner tell it himself. And so he did, when we visited him at his home in the Hollywood Hills.

When Donner got involved with the project through producer Alexander Salkind, Marlon Brando had already agreed to play Superman's father Jor-El. Donner would cast a then-unknown Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel and Margot Kidder as reporter Lois Lane. She knows Superman, of course -- but only as the unassuming Clark Kent.

Donner is the veteran director of the Lethal Weapon movies, starting with the original in 1987. Just about a decade earlier, his Superman turned out to be the most expensive film of its time, with a budget that blew past $50 million. But Superman was a big hit that won a special award from the Motion Picture Academy for groundbreaking visual effects.

However, getting there was far from easy as Donner, now 86, explained.

Richard Donner, director

Read Richard Donner’s story of ‘Superman’ in The Hollywood Reporter:


Kim Masters

Kaitlin Parker

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