Superhero Films – Superman II (1980)
Whew! Things look like they’ve settled down in Metropolis.
After having saved the world from bank robbers, nuclear missiles, earthquakes, runaway trains and finally sending Lex Luthor to prison, it looks like everything has calmed down enough for Superman to take a break from flying around and focus on his reporting job and maybe give Clark Kent a chance to get something started with Lois!
Ummm not so fast. It seems things were just getting started and Supes will be faced with an even more dangerous threat than just a nutty real estate scheme. This time it’s not just California that’s at stake, but the entire planet!
Filmed simultaneously alongside the first film, Superman II wasn’t just an afterthought of a sequel, but a continuation of the story that was setup in the opening minutes of the first film.
Raising the stakes for Supes, this time he’s faced with three Kryptonian criminals who managed to escape from the Phantom Zone – a floating square prison cell Superman’s old man sentenced them to be trapped in for the rest of eternity.
You think they might be a little ticked off?
General Zod, Ursa and Non are out for revenge and are looking to rule our planet AND get some payback on Superman. Nothing would be sweeter than to see the son of Jor-El kneel in front of Zod! Oh get your head out of the gutter – that joke is way too easy! Kneeling because he’ll be Zod’s slave for goodness sake! Geez!
Meanwhile, Supes and Lois’ relationship have taken a giant leap forward and he’s ready to give up all his Kryptonian powers for her and live life as a flesh and blood human being! This definitely could complicate things…..
After having filmed approximately 75% of the film during a mammoth production, director Richard Donner was fired after completing the first film and replaced by Richard Lester to finish the sequel up.
Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Valerie Perrine all return, along with Terence Stamp, Sarah Douglas and Jack O’Halloran who get more to do than just stand in the middle of some floating hula hoops.
Although there were alterations and changes from Donner’s vision, Superman II has become one of the most beloved superhero films ever by fans.
Finally in 2006 Donner got a chance to re-edit the film incorpoarating footage that had never been used. Fans would finally get to see Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, with plenty of new scenes and the return of Marlon Brano.
There’s plenty to examine here….