Remembering Richard Donner, Superman's real-life best friend

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Director Richard Donner, left, gave us the ultimate movie vision of the ultimate hero — seen here with fictional best pals Jimmy, Lois and Perry.

The decade didn’t seem right for Superman. Few critics believed that such an optimistic, principled, possibly naive comic book hero could succeed on screen in an era like that. It was a decade of war, of recession and an increasingly ravaged environment. In the wake of a lawless president, cinemas were filled with dystopian, cynical, anti-hero movies, and those movies were filled with hyper-realistic violence.

This was the jaded 1970s, the era of Taxi Driver and Godfather. Where did the straight-arrow guy in the red cape and underpants fit into that? You’d have to make a Superman movie some kind of dark and gritty adult reboot. Either that or play him for ironic laughs, as with Batman in the campy 1960s TV show that was still… Read More

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