Remembering Richard Donner, the director behind ‘Superman,’ ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘The Goonies’

Richard Donner and Lauren Shuler Donner appear at the 2019 Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, CA. Photo by Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.

Director Richard Donner died on Monday at age 91. He was behind big box office hits including “Superman: The Movie,” “The Omen,” “The Goonies,” and the “Lethal Weapon” films. Donner’s career spanned decades, but his contributions to the now-ubiquitous superhero genre might be his enduring legacy. 

“Richard Donner was able to give Superman the attention, and more importantly, the grandiosity of the character in 1978. Superman already had decades of history. So Richard Donner was really committed to making that character seem as large as possible,” says Witney Seibold, contributor to IGN and the co-host of the podcast Critically Acclaimed. 

“Superman feels enormous, especially in that first half where we see the home planet on Krypton and the young Superman in the fortress of solitude and him soaring through the air. Richard Donner really, really understood that he was making something enormous. And to this day, it still feels enormous when you watch it.”

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