Superman director Richard Donner is not into the “bleak and angry” superhero movies. The 90-year old director brought the Man of Steel to the big screen back in 1978. Christopher Reeve was in the title role and comic book fans, along with non-readers, were impressed with the world that Donner helped adapt. Superman set the standard for all comic book movies that followed and it continues to be a massive touchstone to this day.
In a new interview, Richard Donner was asked about the current state of superhero movies. “There are so many people that make superheroes so cynical, it’s depressing,” Donner said. “When they’re dark and bleak and angry with themselves and the world, I don’t find it entertaining. I think there’s enough reality going on for that. We just got over four years of that. I think we crave the opposite.” Some comic book fans will agree with what Donner is saying, while others are into the darker side of their favorite heroes.
Richard Donner was also asked what he felt about Martin Scorsese’s take on comic book movies. The iconic director compared them to “theme parks,” which caused a huge uproar amongst fans. Donner says “Well, I’d like to be able to make one of those theme park rides!” Donner went on to say, “The problem is, a lot of times, we see in our industry that when the technical lens becomes readily available, it’s totally misused. But at the same time, every once in a while you really see quite a wonderful story with one of these films.”
Zack Snyder has been accused of making his DC movies too dark by some critics. The director is back behind the camera for his original take on Justice League, which is similar to what happened with Richard Donner and Superman 2. Donner was fired from the project and replaced by Richard Lester, who reshot most of what was already done. Donner’s original footage was edited back in for the 2006 director’s cut of the movie. When asked about the Snyder situation, Donner said he has no idea who the director is, but thinks “it’s wonderful” he’s getting the chance finish his cut.
As for current superhero movies that he does like, Richard Donner brought up Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. The director says that the 2017 movie “had the same feeling of emotion” as his 1978 Superman. “When you see it done right, by my standards, it’s so fulfilling,” Donner said. “I’m very happy and proud when I see them. When it’s done wrong, it’s such a disappointment.” A lot of comic book fans will probably agree with that aspect of Donner’s opinion. For now, the director is looking forward to directing Lethal Weapon 5, which will be the final installment in the franchise. “It’s both my privilege and duty to put it to bed. It’s exciting, actually,” said Donner. You can check out the rest of the interview with the director over at The Telegraph.