Superman II - The Expanded Richard Donner Cut

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Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1980
Original Running Time:
115
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
127
Time Added:
12
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Superman II has already had its history of different official and unofficial, so doing a new cut of the film isn't reinventing the reel or anything.

This Expanded version uses the Donner Cut as a basis, and adding in footage and scenes from the Theatrical Cut and a few other sources to try and to assemble a more complete version of Donner's own cut.
Intention:
I felt that the Donner cut felt a little incomplete, as it was missing stuff that was never shot and didn't extensively use the Theatrical Cut. So I've put back a few unused pieces from the TC, as well as extra deleted scenes included on the Blu-Ray, and a few short segements from the new and niche Vudu/iTunes cut that has some unique footage.
Other Sources:
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut - This cut was used as the main base
The Richard Donner Cut: Deleted Scenes - All but one of the deleted scenes were upscaled and used here
Superman II: Theatrical Cut - Certain scenes were taken from here and regraded to fit the Donner Cut
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Redux (Booshman) - A piece of audio was borrowed from the ending to transition from the villians being arrested to Lois/Supes flying
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (Extended Vudu/iTunes Version) - There's some exclusive extended segements that were taken from the iTunes version that don't appear anywhere else.
Superman II: OST - One track was borrowed to mesh a Donner and Lester scene together

image
Special Thanks:
Booshman for creating his own Redux cut, of which used a few deleted scenes in a similar way
Release Information:
Digital
Cuts and Additions:
Theatrical Cut (TC)
Donner Cut Vudu/iTunes (RDV)
Deleted Scene (DS)

- shot of ursla flying on the moon (TC)
- longer shot of Zod pulling the Soviet Cosmonaut (TC)
- added establishing shot of "Metropolis, NY" (TC)
- added longer shot of the Prison Guard (played by Star Wars' Gold Leader) walking past the cells (TC)
- added Guard walking back in front of Lex's projector a 2nd time (TC)
- added Lex and Miss Teschmacher waving at Otis as they leave the prison (TC)
- added Lex and Miss Teschmacher on their snowmobile as they discuss the Fortress (DS)
- added extended Jor-El dialogue as he aludes to the fact that the Phantom Zone may be cracked open, and the villians may escape (RDV)
- extended post-Jor-El hologram as Lex talks to himself as Miss Teschmacher finds the Fortress' toilet (RDV)
- added Lois realising that Clark wasn't around for Superman saving the kid falling from Niagra Falls (TC)
- added Lex and Miss Teschmacher riding on their snowmobile back from the Fortress, but picking up readings on the three Kryptonians (DS)
- added Superman showing Lois around the Fortress, after which he goes shopping for something to eat (TC)
- added the East Idaho Sheriff telling the Deputy "if you wanna be a peacemaker, you gotta kick ass" (TC/RDV)
- added longer shot of Zod lasering his shotgun (TC)
- added Zod calling the shotgun a noisemaker and throwing it under the car (TC/RDV)
- added Lois and Superman making a super-soufflee (DS/RDV)
- added extended dinner with Lois and Superman (TC/RDV)
- added extended shot of the news reporter as he has an extra line of dialogue (TC/RDV)
- added Non using his heat vision a 2nd time, with the Jeep now crashing through the building (TC/RDV)
- added a bar patreon escaping the building that Zod set on fire, with a quick exchange between Ursla and Zod (TC/RDV)
- added the reporter commenting on the military as they ready to attack the Kryptonians (TC/RDV)
- added extended version of the helicoptor approaching (TC/RDV)
- added extra close-up of Ursla walking towards Zod as they're being shot upon (TC)
- added extended version of Ursla blowing the helicoptor into the barn (TC/RDV)
- added extended close-up of Ursla in the Oval Office before Lex walks in (TC)
- added theatrical version of Clark finding the Green Crystal to the Donner re-powering scene due to continuity with an earlier added Theatrical scene (TC)
- recoloured both scenes to match one-another
- added extra shot of Lex walking into the Daily Planet offices (TC)
- added Theatrical version of Superman approaching the Daily Planet (TC)
- added extra shot of Zod flying (TC)
- added Zod telling Non and Ursla to get Superman (TC)
- added shot of the crowd cheering on Superman (TC)
- added extra shot of Superman carrying the tower (TC)
- added extended scene of Zod blowing up cars (TC)
- added extra close-up of Zod using his heat vision on the truck (TC)
- added Ursla telling Non to lift the bus, with some extended shots of them doing so (TC)
- added extended shot of the bus passengers escaping the capsized bus (TC)
- added Ursla telling Zod they should take Lois to the Fortress as she grabs her around the throat (TC)
- added the Kryptonians trying and failing to get into the Fortress, before resorting to brute force (DS)
- added the US Polar Patrol arresting Lex outside of the Fortress as he pleads with Superman (DS)
- added Jimmy showing off his new camera to Clark as he also gets shoved by a bully at the Daily Planet, reminding him of the Diner patreon (DS)

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Ever since the Donner cut was released way back in 2006 there's been many fanedits of Superman II through the years, the most notable to me was Booshman's which I'd lost to hard drive failure.
Last week I watched Wraith's superman edit and reading that this was the perfect edit to acompany that with, I relinquished in the chance to give it a watch.

Not sure where to start talking with this edit, so I'll just jump right in with the thing I particularly liked and add points from there, the first is the pacing, the first hour flew by so quickly, no sooner are the Kryptonians freed we're seeing what Clark and Lois are doing, then we have Lex's escape, I appreciate Zod not speaking Russian - even if Aliens speaking fluent English is a stretch in itself. After the moon sequence there's quite a bit more time before we get to the main 3 again, Once we get past the sequence with the Sheriff and the deputy when we next come back to them they have all but decimated the town - I really liked the way Zod blew the fire back, just a few seconds cut removed the bad flame animation but we got the gist of what he'd done.

There's always a preference in communities about which scenes are better in regard to Lois attempt to be saved and the Superman reveal. I've never minded the Rapids sequence in the Lester cut but the Tripping over the rug is just a far less interesting reveal. Lois is no fool and is onto Clark immediately at the start of the film, and after her first failed attempt explains her reason bluntly "I was risking my life" I think the Bullet scene is quite possibly Lois at her most cunning as a reporter and one of my favourite Lois scenes in all of superman.

It's such a silly moment but I really like the assault on the whitehouse, Zod wouldn't need to use human weapons, but when he's firing that gun, the glee on Terence Stamp's face is priceless. I always liked that Donner tried to keep all three of them as a capable threat, even if myself as a child appreciated that Non was the silly one that couldn't figure out his powers.

I don't like the time reversal, but as explained before the credits roll, this is the redux of the Donner cut from 2006 that should have been to the closest specifications of the director's vision, for that I respect it.

Also: maybe I'm misremembering the booshman edits from years ago (Plus I haven't revisited them on any blu ray) but I remembered the deleted scenes being far blurrier than here, there were a couple of far away shots where the artic police looked a little bad but you could reason that to so much dry ice being on screen. But I thought all were reintegrated really well.

This was once again, the perfect viewing for a Sunday afternoon.
Thank you Bobson

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Bobson's edit will be the end-all-be-all for this film, which has its intrinsic ups and downs, but I never wanted to ever give up on it, as, yes, this is childhood and a film I grew to love, despite Lester's silliness.

Donner's official edit was noble, but seemed a little haphazard. Our intrepid editor here has taken the narrative and - most importantly - has drawn it out, and developed the nuances of the scenes that matter while, yes, killing the silliness in general and getting it together. Is it just me, or does the Lois-falling-out-of-the-building-scene just look better than it did on the Donner cut?

The ending with the trucker, btw: love it. It's funny, because, yes, in the alternate timeline there is no need for the "unprovoked attack", but in this case it's totally Kal-El getting a little private revenge that only he knows about. Justified? Well, who knows, but it's a snarky little move - who hasn't dreamed of such things? Kal-El isn't infallible! In fact, the irony is that this is his all-too-human moment, a moment perhaps "beneath" him, but very human nonetheless.

Brilliant narrative, careful, well-paced, and essential. I'm not a fan of most superhero movies and couldn't care less about anything Marvel, but Superman I and II are parts of growing up in the early 1980s, and anyone who was a kid in those days knows what it means to feel that chill when Zod realizes what Kal-El pulled off in the chamber during the film's climax.

Beautiful edit, Bobson! -

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Excellent edit, I feel now that I watched a more complete version of the movie, definitely my ultimate cut of Superman 2, thanks.

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A beauty of a restoration, as usual Bobson's editorial senses are right on the money in terms of what to keep and what to leave out, and his collection of extra shots/scenes from sources hither and yon are greatly appreciated, giving us a beautiful, maximalist version of the Superman sequel that feels like an excellent concluding of a lot of the themes from the first film, and sets up the uber-sequel that is ADigitalMan's "Superman Redeemed."

One nit-pick: even after Superman has reversed the flow of time, eliminating the events of the film from ever having occurred, he still goes back to the diner to beat up a trucker. The character logic/ethics of this scene notwithstanding, there's a throwaway line from a diner employee saying that they'd just fixed the place up from the earlier fight scene which, I believe, never happened? So there might be a quick fix edit needed there, if the editor revisits this work.

In all, an absolute shelf-replacer, though, and has helped renew my appreciation for this classic, by casting as wide a net as possible for material.

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Really REALLY enjoyed this edit.

Great job!

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