Richard Donner’s Contribution Towards Superhero Movies

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Superhero movies and franchise are all the rage these days. People love them mainly because of the inspiration it provides us and the never give up attitude it exudes. There is a reason these heroes are put on a pedestal. We consider them as god like figures who eventually will always take the right decisions. Therefore one film after another they have to take the burden of the entire humanity over them. But how did they become this larger than life figure who can do no harm. How did they become people over whom we can always place our trust?

If your answer is comics, mainstream wise you are giving the wrong answer. Though Comics are intense and one of the best writing works in the world. Even now they are not seen with a lens of seriousness. Maybe it is the presentation of it, but people glance one loo at them and dismiss it. Failing to realise this that they are missing out on some of the best writing they might have ever seen.

So who brought this revolution on screen that Catapulted superheroes’ personality so much that now they are winning Oscars. The answer is Richard Donner. The director of the widely acclaimed Superman released on 1978. Coming out of the heels of a hugely successful first movie in the form of The Omen. Donner was ready to recreate magic and he did so with this movie. He had his work cut out for him, the original script was very tongue in cheek. They had equated comics to funny, and made a script according to it. Donner rejected it and sought to make a movie that put Superman in a higher plane, make him a literal Superhero in attitude and actions. Tom Mankiewicz wrote a new script keeping this idea in mind. They choose Christopher Reeve to play the titular Superhero and he put in his blood and sweat.

The filming was tough. They changed locations due to Brandon’s issues and Donner fought hard to keep his view in the movie intact. To put across his ideas the way he wanted to that led to many fights with the producers. The studio spent 2 million dollars to make Superman fly. And it did fly at the box office making more than 1 billion dollars by today’s estimation. But Donner paid the prize of his determination and was fired after the editing. The franchise ran on the heat produced by Donner for 3 more movies. But the first instalment remained special and formed a legacy in the hearts of all fans.

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