Superman: Son of Jor-El
Superman II had fulfilled the arc set-up by the first movie, but was butchered by Richard Lester and again was saddled with the slapstick of Lex Luthor bickering with Miss Teschmacher. Even the vastly superior Richard Donner Cut, while eliminating many horrible moments created by Lester, relied upon the Deus ex machina time-travel ending which results in the unsatisfying conclusion to everything that happened.
This edit strips out the entire Lex Luthor plot-line from the Superman The Movie portion and melds the two movies into a single narrative arc which has always been at the heart of the two movies from their inception. Relying on the restored Donner footage, this new story heavily focuses on the relationship between Jor-El and Kal-El. Kal-El struggles to find his place on Earth, and reconcile his personal needs and emotions with the expectations given to him by his father. But most importantly, this movie ends with our characters fulfilling their journey. No turning-back the clock, no memory-wipes. Fina
- NTSC DVD-5
- NTSC DVD-9
With the major hurdle resolved Jelio inter-cut the relevant portions of Superman II into the transitioning section between I and II. Starting with a scene-for-scene reproduction of his work-print, I worked closely with Jelio creating several versions of this edit. Throughout the editing process we bounced ideas off each other as to the best ways to minimize or eliminate camp, strengthen characters, and overall, create a movie that best-suited both of our sensibilities regarding Superman. It was a truly collaborative effort in determining the best way to fit this puzzle together.
This edit primarily uses footage from
- Superman The Movie, the extended Donner version
- Superman II The Richard Donner Cut
But also uses brief footage from:
- Superman IV: Quest for Peace (missile footage)
- Superman Returns (Planet Krypton)
A Warning Before you download!
Lex Luthor is not introduced until just before the third act. This is an unavoidable narrative necessity because with the film available, he cannot be introduced earlier without derailing the story that this edit is intended to tell.
While this does not create any technical plot holes, it can rankle those who feel that story-wise, all vital characters must always be introduced early, and then nurtured throughout a movie. If that is you, or If you are looking for a movie with Lex throughout, there are many other excellent Superman edits out there.
This list is in no way comprehensive as many elements were moved around to make the flow as smooth as possible, but this represents the bulk of what happened. Unless noted otherwise, all footage is from the Donner versions of 1 and 2.
Starting with Superman The Movie
- Delete opening credits
- Swap out establishing shot of red sun and Krypton with Superman Returns establishing shot
- Slightly re-cut Destruction of Krypton/Kal-El’s escape to remove Jor-El and Lara’s running around, improve pacing and move baby Kal-El’s escape as far back as possible to be closer to the destruction of Krypton
- New title sequence inter-cut with Kal-El’s journey to Earth (no Jor-El voice-over).
- Delete’Lois Lane’ reference inside the train (how old she supposed to be?)
- Restored theatrical version of Martha Kent in the morning setting breakfast.
- Delete all Otis/Lex/Teschmacher footage.
- Trim Clark going to elevator to remove rudeness of his co-workers
- Trim helicopter accident to improve pacing
- Trim cops and robbers chase through Metropolis, scene picks up with Superman seeing shoot-out on the pier.
- Delete Air Force One sequence
- Delete cat rescue sequence
- Insert heavily modified sequence of Superman hurling a malfunctioning missile test into space and freeing the Kryptonians from the phantom zone (uses footage from STM as well as both Donner and Lester footage of S2)
- Cut to Superman in FOS from extended STM version.
- Cut to Perry Demanding interview with Lois, scene runs normal.
- Cut to mission control from S2
- Trim out all Kryptonians talking to Astronauts in space, run to Zod throwing Soviet into space
- Cut to Lois waiting for Superman from STM
- Trim flying sequence; no Statue of Liberty, no falling, no spoken-word ‘Can you read my mind?’, conclude with Lois leaving for date with Clark.
- Cut to S2 footage exterior of Daily Planet (this picks up after Donner version has Kryptonians freed)
- Brief insert of STM newspaper headline “Night I Spent with Superman” while we hear Perry compliment Lois on her article (real article is about Lex Luthor and Missiles but we don’t see it) continue into scene of Lois figuring out who Clark’s real identity.
- Delete stale joke of Clark saying Lois stepped outside.
- Cut to Zod driving toward Lunar Lander, runs through to static in Mission control
- Delete hair drier joke
- cut back to Moon, and Kryptonians discussing their new powers
- cut to establishing shot of honeymoon hideaway with audio of Clark knocking on door, run Donner version of Clark’s secrete discovered scene.
- Delete reference to other events that don’t exist in this edit
- Inter-cut romance story and Superman giving up his powers with Kryptonians wreaking havoc and taking the White House
- Cut to Diner scene, plays out
- Cut to Lex at White House. Trim some dialogue that is over-the-top from Lex. This scene establishes how Lex knows about Superman, he introduces himself as genius criminal, and that he’s the best there is.
- Cut to trimmed version of Clark traveling to the FOS
- Remove scene of him lying on the floor after Jor-El gives him his powers back, we get the bright white and that’s it.
- Cut to Daily Planet
- Trim the meeting inside Perry’s office once Zod arrives, eliminate flat jokes, improve pacing
- Insert Lester version of Superman arriving “Care to step outside?”
- Trimmed and slightly rearranged battle over Metropolis using both Donner and Lester Cut to remove Statue of Liberty.
- During Zod and co. flight to FOS, insert Lex saying “NORTH! NORTH!”
- In FOS, reduce Lex’s dialogue that establishes specific history between the two. He’s a known criminal and that is all we know.
- Delete Superman destroying the FOS
- Use rooftop as final scene, Lois delivers final line “There he goes kid. Up up and away.”
- Fade to black, transition to shot of Superman over Earth, cue John Williams.
My standpoint coming in was this:
Superman The Movie- I always loved the film, except I hated the goofy portrayal of Luthor (see the animated Superman series for a faithful comic book adaptation of him) and I never saw the appeal of Margot Kidder. Narratively, however, it works great except for the ending.
Superman II- I've watched multiple DVD cuts, and all of them have good and bad bits. Zod is of course a compelling villain, but a lot of the powers used by those 3 and by Superman look goofy and cheesy as hell. The ending is a mess as well.
So a fan-edit would have to fix the above elements for me. While this one fixes the end of Superman The Movie, the wrap-up from Superman II still doesn't work for me, and the inclusions of some power usage are still problematic. It's an improvement over any other cut of Superman II I've seen, but if I HAVE to choose between watching this edit or just watching Superman The Movie and skipping Superman II, I'll take the latter.
Technically, this is very high quality. Lots of care and expertise put in. The edits are smooth and most cuts are inspired. The narrative KIND OF works, but there are some leaps in logic by characters, some of which were also problematic in the original films. The inclusion of early test footage between Clark and Lois was jarring for me and my friends when we watched it. Cutting back and forth between that and the footage filmed later was very apparent for us. Reeve just looked quite thinner and different in the earlier footage. Besides that, most edits fit pretty well.
Overall, worth a watch, but I'm still looking for some way to incorporate the good bits of Superman II. I'm not even sure if it's possible, tbh. That film is just a mess. Great effort here, though.
I loved this fanedit. Definitely is the real Superman.
I really liked this fanedit. Definitely replaces Supes 1 and 2 for me.
It was good. Not crystal clear but considering the movies are movies from the late 70's and early 80's that's understandable.
Flawless in my opinion. Not one instance that a cut is noticable.
Great except for one thing: How does Lex Luthor know Jor-El and The Fortress of Solitude? He hasn't been there yet. The newspaper? No, it never mentioned Jor-El. If we exclude that, the narrative amazingly works!
Despite my Lex nitpick, I enjoyed this the whole time. It was so fun! No time-travel, no magic kiss, no stupid landgrabbing (even Superman Returns' landgrabbing made more sense!) and surprisingly the Superman Returns Krypton establishing shot worked perfectly!
Overall, I would definitely recommend this to the people who want a near perfect Superman movie!
An interesting cut, which I enjoyed despite some of the problems which have been pointed out by others. The late arrival of Luthor didn't bother me as much as I thought. What did bother me is that throughout the film everyone seemed to know so much about things that they shouldn't have. The characters had a history with each other that is not supported by the timeline.
All of the scene transitions seemed fine and I didn't discern any real problems with the audio. I thought there might have been a bit of leftover audio at about 39:30 where Jor-el was saying something that was cut but you could stil hear bits of it. It also seemed as if the video quality skipped around between higher and lower quality resolution throughout. Some of the scenes seemed fuzzy while others were sharp and clear.
The editors used the superior Donner cut for the reveal of Superman's identity, which is distracting because of the problem with his glasses switching types, but this is a limitation of the source material. I still enjoyed seeing these films in a different light and would recommend it.
While on paper this may seem like a great idea the final version creates so many plot-holes it takes away the overall enjoyment I had for the edit.
Within a week superman aka Clark Kent joins the daily planet and befriends Louis lane, a few days later miss lane falls from a helicopter to which Clark Kent becomes superman for the first time. the next night Louis interviews superman, then the very next day Louis suspects Clark Kent to be superman and then that very evening her suspension are confirmed. Our hero then decides to fly Louis to his secret hide out were he then gives up his powers because he's in love and no-longer wants to protect the earth. All this occurs within a week?
As others have said the lack of lex luthor creates many problems, how doe's he know so much about superman than anyone else and how doe's he know about superman’s hideout. Not only doe's his character need fleshing out but he also needed a conclusion. As it is it would appear superman has just left him to freeze to death the attic conditions
the edit doesn't suffer from too many hard cuts or audio glitches overall though it doe's suffer for a narrative perspective which took away overall enjoyment I had for the edit.
my superman 1 & 2 score 8/8
my fanedit superman score 6/10