Superman, played by American actor Christopher Reeve (1952 - 2004), holds a green crystal at the Fortress of Solitude, in a promotional still from 'Superman', directed by Richard Donner, 1978. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
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Why Christopher Reeve Preferred Director Richard Lester's Vision For Superman
Director Richard Donner had already shot about 75% of "Superman II" before the release of "Superman." Then, he put the sequel on hold to complete the first movie, and it was released to critical acclaim and enormous box office numbers in 1978.
Unbeknownst to Donner, Richard Lester was hired to complete the sequel in his place. Lester reshot a great deal of "Superman II," and when the film turned out to be a hit, he was kept on to make a more comedy-forward film with "Superman III," which starred Richard Pryor.
After the 2006 release of "Superman II: The Donner Cut," the opinion of Lester's work on the series soured, and many fans voiced their love for Donner's version. However, Christopher Reeve, who portrayed the titular character in the series, felt quite differently.
In a 1983 interview with Omni Magazine, reprinted on the website Superman Homepage, Reeve talked about the halcyon dreaminess of Donner and the more business-minded approach of Lester. He said the latter's way of working was “economical” and “professional,” and Reeve seemed to have preferred those qualities.