Superman II
Superman 2 poster
Directed by Richard Lester
Produced by Pierre Spengler
Written by

Christopher Reeve
Margot Kidder
Gene Hackman
Ned Beatty
Jackie Cooper
Sarah Douglas
Jack O'Halloran
Valerie Perrine
Susannah York
Clifton James
E. G. Marshall
Marc McClure
Terence Stamp

Music by Ken Thorne
John Williams
Cinematography Robert Paynter
(Lester footage)
Geoffrey Unsworth
(Donner footage)
Editing by John Victor-Smith
(Lester footage)
Stuart Baird
(Donner footage)
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release December 4, 1980

April 9, 1981
(United Kingdom)
June 19, 1981
(United States)

Running time 127 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $54 million
Gross revenue $108,185,706
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.


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.


External links

Superman Films
Films 1978-1987
SupermanSuperman IISuperman IIISuperman IV: The Quest for Peace
Other films

SupergirlSuperman II: The Richard Donner CutSuperman ReturnsMan of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Adapted characters
General ZodJor-ElJonathan KentMartha KentNonUrsaLaraLois LaneLucy LaneLana LangLex LuthorJimmy OlsenSupergirl / Kara Zor-ElSuperman / Clark KentPerry WhiteOtisRoss WebsterGus GormanDaily PlanetMetropolis
Christopher Reeve films

Superman (1978)  · Superman II (1980)  · Superman III (1983)  · Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)  · Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)  ·

Gene Hackman films

Superman (1978)  · Superman II (1980)  · Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)  · Heartbreakers (2001)  ·

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