Verbal Diorama - Episode 231 - Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace - Verbal Diorama

Episode 231

Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Published on: 16th November, 2023

Technically the first ever quadruple-bill episode (if you also count the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, which we do), as voted for by Patrons of this podcast for, on the history and legacy of Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace ! The sequels to the previous episode on Superman

SUPERMAN II was inevitable after Richard Donner completed 75% of the movie, filmed at the same time as Superman (1978). His work on the sequel was halted during Superman's production, but as Superman flew into the box office and became a critical and financial success, the sequel was fired up again... and Donner himself was unceremoniously fired from the movie by the Salkinds, and replaced with Richard Lester; a move that didn't go down well with the cast and crew...

SUPERMAN II: THE RICHARD DONNER CUT came about due to the open secret of Richard Donner's material existing in a vault somewhere. After a few legal issues, notably with the estate of Marlon Brando for the production of Superman Returns, a new 2001 DVD version of Superman also led to the discovery of 6 tonnes of unused, previously lost material shot by Richard Donner for Superman II. In an unprecedented (at the time) fan campaign to see Donner's cut, it was finally released to acclaim in 2006...

SUPERMAN III is less of a Superman movie, and more of a comedy vehicle for the late, great Richard Pryor, but that didn't mean it was easy to get made. A lot of people were still annoyed at the Salkinds for their treatment of Richard Donner, including Christopher Reeve himself. Reeve almost didn't return as the iconic character, but changed his mind and relished playing Superman vs Superman (which was also almost the title of the movie), but in retrospect it would be a movie he wouldn't have too much fun with, despite the slapstick tone...

SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE would only be made after the Salkinds sold the rights to The Cannon Group; a production company known for making low quality movies en masse to make as much profit as possible. Cannon's plan though was big franchises: they bought Superman with the intent of spending $36 million on Superman IV. They were also making Masters of the Universe, the first big screen adventure for He-Man. But Masters of the Universe's financial woes would drastically affect Superman IV, with disastrous consequences for the Superman franchise, and leading to a 19-year wait for Superman to return...

I would love to hear your thoughts on Superman II, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace !



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About the Podcast

Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.
Are you interested in how movies are made? Do you wonder how a film went from conception to completion? If so Verbal Diorama, hosted by Em, is the podcast for you!

Movies are tough to make, and Verbal Diorama is here to celebrate the coming together of teams of extraordinary cast and crew, bringing us movies that inspire us, delight us, make us laugh, make us cry and petrify us. This podcast discovers the stories behind the scenes, and proves how amazing it is that movies actually exist!

Welcome to Verbal Diorama. The podcast all about the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't! Subscribe on your favourite podcast app, and enjoy new episodes every week.
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About your host

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Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

Episodes are audibly book ended by Jess. She sadly passed away in March 2022, aged almost 18. She featured in many episodes of the podcast, and that's why you can hear her at the end of every episode. The role of official feline producer is now held by the comparatively quieter Evie.

I love podcasts, and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.