|Directed by||Richard Lester|
|Produced by||Pierre Spengler|
|Music by||Ken Thorne|
|Editing by||John Victor-Smith|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release||December 4, 1980|
April 9, 1981
|Running time||127 minutes|
|Preceded by||Superman: The Movie|
|Followed by||Superman III|
Superman II is a 1980 superhero film directed by Richard Lester. It is a direct sequel to the 1978 film Superman and stars Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Terence Stamp, Ned Beatty, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, and Jack O'Halloran. The film was released in Australia and mainland Europe on December 4, 1980, and in other countries throughout 1981. Selected premiere engagements of Superman II were presented in Megasound, a high-impact surround sound system similar to Sensurround.
Superman II is well known for its complicated production. The original director Richard Donner had completed, by his estimation, roughly 75% of the movie in 1977 before being taken off the project. Many of the scenes were shot by second director Richard Lester, who had been an uncredited producer on the first film. However, in order to receive full director's credit, Lester had to shoot up to 51% of the film, which included refilming several sequences originally filmed by Donner. According to statements made by Donner, roughly 25% of the theatrical cut of Superman II contains footage he shot, including all of Gene Hackman's scenes. In 2006, a re-cut of the film was released titled Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. The new version restores as much of Donner's original conception as possible, with approximately 83% of his footage included. Some of Lester's theatrical footage was retained to fill gaps in the story line that Donner had not been able to film before his firing.
The film was released to the general public in 1981, where it received mixed to positive reviews from film critics who praised the visual effects and story, but criticized the slapstick humor and themes. Despite this, it was a box office success, grossing more than $108 million worldwide at the time, and became the third highest grossing film of the year. Three years after the film's release, a second sequel, Superman III, was released which received a negative critical response. In 2006, Superman Returns, an alternative sequel directed by Bryan Singer was released. It ignored the events of Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
- Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman
- Margot Kidder as Lois Lane
- Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor
- Ned Beatty as Otis
- Jackie Cooper as Perry White
- Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen
- Terence Stamp as General Zod
- Sarah Douglas as Ursa: Zod's second-in-command and consort
- Jack O'Halloran as Non: The third of the Kryptonian criminals
- Valerie Perrine as Eve Teschmacher: Lex Luthor's beautiful assistant and girlfriend.
- Susannah York as Lara: Jor-El's wife and Superman's biological mother.
- E. G. Marshall as the President of the United States.
Gene Hackman, Valerie Perrine, Ned Beatty, E. G. Marshall, and Marlon Brando are the only actors who did not participate in the film's reshoots. Their scenes in Lester's version (with the exception of Brando) were sourced from Richard Donner's original shoot. Where additional shots were needed for continuity, Lester used body doubles in place of the original actors. Marlon Brando's scenes were excised entirely, due to the high fee the actor had demanded for the use of his footage in the film.
- Superman II at the Internet Movie Database
|Superman • Superman II • Superman III • Superman IV: The Quest for Peace|
|General Zod • Jor-El • Jonathan Kent • Martha Kent • Non • Ursa • Lara • Lois Lane • Lucy Lane • Lana Lang • Lex Luthor • Jimmy Olsen • Supergirl / Kara Zor-El • Superman / Clark Kent • Perry White • Otis • Ross Webster • Gus Gorman • Daily Planet • Metropolis|
|Christopher Reeve films|
|Gene Hackman films|