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Richard Donner

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Personal History

Personal History of Richard Donner is unknown.

Professional History

Richard Donald Schwartzberg (April 24, 1930), more commonly referred to as Dick Donner, is an American film director, and also a film producer through the production company, The Donners' Company, owned by Richard and his wife, fellow producer Lauren Shuler Donner. Although known for The Omen and the Lethal Weapon films, he is most famous for the hailed creation of the first modern super-hero film, Superman, starring Christopher Reeve. The influence of this film eventually helped establish the fantasy genre as a respected film genre.

In 1978, Donner directed the first full-length Superman feature film. Following Superman, Donner had prepared many elements for the films sequel, Superman II, but was fired by producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind early in production. The decision to remove him from the film series has been widely viewed by many fans as a huge mistake on the Salkinds' part, as the subsequent Superman films helmed by their preferred director Richard Lester, were perceived as being of poorer quality and quickly resulted in a downward spiral in popularity for the series. Donner's definitive (or at least, as close to definitive as possible) version of the movie, simply entitled Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut was released on November 28, 2006. The footage includes never-before-seen footage of Marlon Brando, a new opening, a new ending and approximately 83% of Donner footage. Some Richard Lester footage was used to tie in loose ends.

In December of 2006, Richard Donner contributed material to the Superman mythos once again, this time collaborating with writer Geoff Johns on a story-arc for Action Comics titled, "Last Son".


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