This project seeks to create the best version of Superman II possible. The best elements and story from the theatrical cut (heavily shot by Richard Lester), and the Richard Donner Cut, along with deleted scenes, the Restored International Cut and the longer version of the Donner Cut exclusive to Vudu.
I love Superman II, but I feel that both versions have their pros and cons. I was disappointed with how little money Warner Bros spent on reconstructing the Donner Cut, and felt they could’ve done a better job, as some of the recreated VFX were not very good (Which were also inconsistent compared to the first film, especially with Jor-El’s hologram.), and even the audio mix could’ve been much better. Both cuts also have an issue with actors being dubbed over by sound-alikes.
Many editors have attempted in making their own version of Superman II, with some really impressive work done by Selutron and Booshman. I do wish Selutron did finish his version, as it was very ambitious, and I liked some of his mock-ups.
I wanted to create my own version of Superman II to help the film feel complete, tie-in closer with the first film and (as controversial of a decision as this may be) retain some of the slight adjustments in its plot from the Donner Cut to lead into Superman Returns.
It would be great to have the extended TV cut available in HD, as Warner Bros would be able to remaster the deleted scenes and even some of the original voices are present. Also, I would need help with some VFX for some sequences such as the opening credits, fixing the space backgrounds used in the Donner Cut, along with the sequence of the villains breaking free from the Phantom Zone and the projections of Jor-El.
Below I have marked each change with an anagram to refer to either the theatrical cut or the Donner Cut.
LC = Lester Cut
DC = Donner Cut
Also, it would be excellent if someone could provide me remasters of the deleted scenes or perhaps high quality upscales.
Update the DC Comics logo to the one featured in Superman Returns.
Add in a new In Memoriam credit for Christopher Reeve, based off the one used in the Donner Cut, while in a similar style to Geoffrey Unsworth’s credit prior to starting the first film.
Color correct the theatrical cut to match the color grading featured in the Donner cut and first film. The Donner cut has been color corrected in places to match the first film’s look.
Start with the grand introduction to Krypton using Ken Thorne’s score and hybridizing the footage from both cuts. Marlon Brando’s voice has been restored. (LC/DC)
The first scene is Jor-El holding Zod’s trial. (DC)
Horizontally flipped the shot of Krypton’s explosion. (DC)
Add music over the fade to black transition to present day. (DC)
Trim the recap of the climax of the first film by removing Superman’s encounter and rescue from Lex, having it focus on Superman stopping the first missile. (DC)
Need VFX to fix the background plates of space when the missile breaks the villains free from the Phantom Zone in the Donner Cut. Would love it if someone could maybe recreate Selutron’s attempt, as his clips were only in standard definition.
The next scene is a slightly abridged version of Superman coming to check on Lois from the first film. Re-scored and ended it with Lois questioning Clark and Superman’s identities, transitioning to the green crystal from the theatrical cut’s opening and the opening credits. Based on Selutron’s opening. May need some VFX help here.
The opening credits from the Donner cut are used, however, I would love if someone could recreate it in the style of the first film’s credits. (DC)
The first scene takes place in the Daily Planet where Lois and Clark are given their assignments in Niagara Falls, ending on a shot of the newspaper from Booshman’s edit. (DC)
The sequence of Lex and Otis doing laundry in prison plays out how it does in the Donner cut, while restoring the guard’s original voice. (DC)
The Donner cut is used for the Moon sequence, however, the theatrical cut’s audio mix is used instead. A slightly longer shot of Zod pulling the astronaut back is taken from the theatrical cut. (LC/DC)
The feedback from Houston is from the theatrical cut, but the departure from the Moon is used from the Donner cut, still using the theatrical cut’s audio mix. (LC/DC)
Removed the establishing shot of Metropolis in the theatrical cut. (LC)
The Donner cut is used to reveal the hologram of Lex and Otis due to the sound effects of the projector. (DC)
Lex’s escape from prison is used from the Donner cut due to the extended bit of humor with him and Otis, along with Lex’s conversation with Miss Teschmacher. (DC)
The extended sequence of Lois and Clark arriving at the suite is used. (LC)
The sequence of Lex and Miss Teschmacher arriving at the Fortress of Solitude is placed right afterwards, as well as adding the deleted scene where they see it across the water. (DC)
The sequence of Lex and Miss Teschmacher in the Fortress of Solitude is used from the Donner cut. Would need VFX to fix the projections of Jor-El and the villains. It would be great to have it be based on Selutron’s work, as I would want the villains to be projected within the archive Crystal, using footage of the opening to the theatrical cut with breaking the crystal. Jor-El would need to be de-colored and reformatted as a head projection. (DC)
The Niagara Falls rescue sequence plays out as it did in the theatrical cut, however the music cue used in the Donner cut when Lois sees Clark without his glasses is used and the shot of the kid in the hat is removed. (LC)
The deleted scene of Lex and Miss Teschmacher leaving the Fortress has been added to give more context to Lex’s plan with the villains. This is followed by a shot from the theatrical version, removing Lex’s dialogue that was used in the deleted scene. (LC)
Lois jumping into the Niagara Falls and being rescued from the theatrical cut is used. (LC)
The arrival of the villains and Ursa’s encounter with the snake plays out in full as it did in the theatrical cut. However, Non’s grunts have been removed. (LC)
The identity reveal scene from the theatrical cut is used since it is far more complete. (LC)
The introduction and conclusion to the encounter between the villains and the cops plays out as it did in the theatrical cut. However, Non picking the car up and caressing the red light has been trimmed away, along with removing his grunts and using the sound effects for Zod’s heat vision from the Donner’s version. (LC/DC)
The villains arriving in town is used from the theatrical cut, though Non’s grunts have been removed. (LC)
The scene of Non killing the boy is added back in, restoring the original voices.
The sequence with Superman showing Lois the crystals and fetching dinner plays out as it did in the theatrical cut. (LC)
The news report and encounter with the Army plays out as it did in the theatrical cut. Superman and Lois’ dinner is placed after the President watches the broadcast. (LC)
The Donner cut of Lois and Clark sleeping together is placed after Zod asks if there is anybody to challenge him. (DC)
Zod declaring his rulership in the town is used from the theatrical cut, with the destruction of the Washington Monument following from the Donner cut. (LC/DC)
The sequence of Superman depowering himself and conversation with Jor-El is used from the Donner cut. (DC)
The sequence of the villains taking out the guards in the White House is from the Donner cut. The President kneeling before Zod is from the theatrical cut, due to a better audio mix. (LC/DC)
The car ride to the diner is taken from the Donner cut. (DC)
The diner scene uses the footage from the Donner cut, but uses audio from the theatrical cut. (LC/DC)
The trip and entrance back into the Fortress of Solitude is taken from the theatrical cut, while removing Clark calling his mother’s name. Once he finds the crystal, it transitions into his conversation with Jor-El. VFX may be needed to transition the dark green lighting to bright white. (LC/DC)
Lex Luthor arriving at the White House uses the Donner cut, due to the longer discussion about Jor-El. Terence Stamp’s voice has been deepened for lines exclusive to the Donner cut. (DC)
The transition and discussion about Superman between Perry, Jimmy and Lois is taken from the theatrical cut, due to the transition to Australia on the globe and Lois thinking about Clark. (LC)
The villains’ break into the Daily Planet is from the theatrical cut, due to a stronger audio mix. (LC)
Non destroying Jimmy’s camera and the discussion is taken from the Donner cut, while restoring the Margot Kidder’s voice and deepening Terence Stamp’s. (DC)
Superman’s introduction is taken from the theatrical cut. (LC)
The battle in Metropolis is taken from the Donner cut, while restoring Christopher Reeve’s voice. (DC)
The villains’ return to the Daily Planet is hybridized between the two versions to extend the tension with Lex, while restoring the original voices to remove the dubs. The scene ends with Ursa seizing Lois. (LC/DC)
The flight, arrival and confrontation in the Fortress of Solitude is taken from the Donner cut, while deepening Terence Stamp’s voice. (DC)
Zod’s defeat from Superman is from the theatrical cut due to the superior audio mixing and score. Non’s grunts are removed and Gene Hackman’s voice is restored. (LC)
The aftermath with Superman, Lois and Lex is taken from the Donner cut. The deleted scene with Lex being arrested is added back in. (DC)
The scene between Superman and Lois in the North Pole from the Donner cut is left in, while removing the destruction of the Fortress of Solitude and fixing some of the music. The arrival back at her apartment is also used from the Donner cut. Margot Kidder’s voice is restored. (DC)
The scene between Lois and Clark and the memory wiping kiss has been used from the theatrical cut. (LC)
The deleted scene where Clark is reminded of the bully in the diner is added back in.
The scene where Clark returns to the diner uses the Donner cut’s footage but uses the theatrical cut’s audio. (LC/DC)
The film’s final scene is Superman returning the American flag back to the White House. VFX would be needed to fix the still image of the White House fountains. Booshman’s work could be lovingly used as an alternate as well, despite his work removing the flag’s base. Superman flying into space is from the Donner cut and the end credits are from the theatrical cut. If someone could find the final shot used in the extended TV cut of Superman flying in space remastered, I might use that instead. (LC)