Superman director Richard Donner on State of Superhero movies

“There are so many people who make superheroes so cynical, it’s depressing.”

Christopher Reeve in Superman

Love her or hate her (you’ll be either way in our mentions), Zack SnyderThe superhero films have a very specific taste. Gone are the colorful, optimistic fantasies of an MCU or Wonder Woman 1984. To quote a LEGO version of one of Snyder’s themes instead: “Darkness!” Like Snyder’s movies man of Steel, Batman versus Supermanand what I can only imagine will be his version of Justice League are desaturated, bombastic and grim, grim, grim dissections of superheroes. It’s pretty much the choice …


… what does one of our first superhero cinema directors think of this election? In an interview with the Telegraph (via IndieWire), Richard Donner, Director of the 1978s Superman, a definitive, influential text in superhero filmmaking that is colorful, cheerful, and upbeat, admitted he didn’t know who Snyder was (even though he saw it Patty Jenkins‘first Wonder woman and enjoyed it).

Like Snyder, however, Donner tackled an original vision that was replaced by a new, studio-hired director in his great superhero follow-up. 1980s Superman ii I had already done a lot of early recordings of Donner, who was about to direct. But when the behind the scenes cracks got too full with the movie’s producers, Donner was fired and replaced by the famous comedy director Richard Lesterwho have re-recorded a new version. Donner finally had his day in court with the release of the home video of Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, released in 2006 in an attempt to restore its original vision of the sequel. In this regard, Donner shared the good fortune that WB allowed Syder to restore his original vision and called it “wonderful”.


Image via HBO max

Directors supporting other directors; you love to see! But something tells me, based on Donner’s more general comments on contemporary superhero cinema culture, that if he ever saw Zack Snyder’s Justice League or any of his previous DC films, he wouldn’t like what he saw. Here’s what Donner said about today’s superhero films:

“When you see it’s done right by my standards it’s so fulfilling. I’m very happy and proud to see them. When it’s done wrong it’s such a disappointment … There are so many people Who Makes Superheroes So Cynical. It’s depressing. When they’re dark and bleak and angry with themselves and the world, I don’t find this entertaining. I think there’s enough reality going on for that. We’ve just got over four years of it think we long for the opposite. ”

Cynical, depressing, dark, desolate, angry … all of these are descriptors I would use to describe Snyder’s superhero films on purpose. If you like this taste go with god. But if Donner ever decides to try Snyder’s work himself, he might long for a disturbance in the studio after all.

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Credits Scene Explained: This feels familiar …

Spoiler ahoy!

About the author

Gregory Lawrence
(941 articles published)

Gregory Lawrence (aka Greg Smith) is a writer, director, performer, songwriter, and comedian. He is an Associate Editor for Collider and has written for Shudder, CBS, Paste Magazine, Guff, Smosh, Obsev Studios, and others. He loves pizza and the Mortal Kombat movie. More information is available at

More from Gregory Lawrence

Comments are closed.