Cuts and Additions:
This edit is based on a work-print created by Jelio. The key to making this combination of both movies into a single and compelling story (that clocks in well under 3 hours) is in how Jor-El’s enemies are freed from the phantom zone. Rather than constructing elaborate subplots of Lex Luthor wanting land, or terrorists in France, Jelio conceived simply to have Superman hurl a malfunctioning missile into space. The solution is simple elegantly eliminates everything that happens after Lois’ date with Superman
With the major hurdle resolved Jelio inter-cut the relevant portions of Superman II into the transitioning section between I and II. Starting with a scene-for-scene reproduction of his work-print, I worked closely with Jelio creating several versions of this edit. Throughout the editing process we bounced ideas off each other as to the best ways to minimize or eliminate camp, strengthen characters, and overall, create a movie that best-suited both of our sensibilities regarding Superman. It was a truly collaborative effort in determining the best way to fit this puzzle together.
This edit primarily uses footage from
- Superman The Movie, the extended Donner version
- Superman II The Richard Donner Cut
But also uses brief footage from:
- Superman IV: Quest for Peace (missile footage)
- Superman Returns (Planet Krypton)
A Warning Before you download!
Lex Luthor is not introduced until just before the third act. This is an unavoidable narrative necessity because with the film available, he cannot be introduced earlier without derailing the story that this edit is intended to tell.
While this does not create any technical plot holes, it can rankle those who feel that story-wise, all vital characters must always be introduced early, and then nurtured throughout a movie. If that is you, or If you are looking for a movie with Lex throughout, there are many other excellent Superman edits out there.
This list is in no way comprehensive as many elements were moved around to make the flow as smooth as possible, but this represents the bulk of what happened. Unless noted otherwise, all footage is from the Donner versions of 1 and 2.
Starting with Superman The Movie
- Delete opening credits
- Swap out establishing shot of red sun and Krypton with Superman Returns establishing shot
- Slightly re-cut Destruction of Krypton/Kal-El’s escape to remove Jor-El and Lara’s running around, improve pacing and move baby Kal-El’s escape as far back as possible to be closer to the destruction of Krypton
- New title sequence inter-cut with Kal-El’s journey to Earth (no Jor-El voice-over).
- Delete’Lois Lane’ reference inside the train (how old she supposed to be?)
- Restored theatrical version of Martha Kent in the morning setting breakfast.
- Delete all Otis/Lex/Teschmacher footage.
- Trim Clark going to elevator to remove rudeness of his co-workers
- Trim helicopter accident to improve pacing
- Trim cops and robbers chase through Metropolis, scene picks up with Superman seeing shoot-out on the pier.
- Delete Air Force One sequence
- Delete cat rescue sequence
- Insert heavily modified sequence of Superman hurling a malfunctioning missile test into space and freeing the Kryptonians from the phantom zone (uses footage from STM as well as both Donner and Lester footage of S2)
- Cut to Superman in FOS from extended STM version.
- Cut to Perry Demanding interview with Lois, scene runs normal.
- Cut to mission control from S2
- Trim out all Kryptonians talking to Astronauts in space, run to Zod throwing Soviet into space
- Cut to Lois waiting for Superman from STM
- Trim flying sequence; no Statue of Liberty, no falling, no spoken-word ‘Can you read my mind?’, conclude with Lois leaving for date with Clark.
- Cut to S2 footage exterior of Daily Planet (this picks up after Donner version has Kryptonians freed)
- Brief insert of STM newspaper headline “Night I Spent with Superman” while we hear Perry compliment Lois on her article (real article is about Lex Luthor and Missiles but we don’t see it) continue into scene of Lois figuring out who Clark’s real identity.
- Delete stale joke of Clark saying Lois stepped outside.
- Cut to Zod driving toward Lunar Lander, runs through to static in Mission control
- Delete hair drier joke
- cut back to Moon, and Kryptonians discussing their new powers
- cut to establishing shot of honeymoon hideaway with audio of Clark knocking on door, run Donner version of Clark’s secrete discovered scene.
- Delete reference to other events that don’t exist in this edit
- Inter-cut romance story and Superman giving up his powers with Kryptonians wreaking havoc and taking the White House
- Cut to Diner scene, plays out
- Cut to Lex at White House. Trim some dialogue that is over-the-top from Lex. This scene establishes how Lex knows about Superman, he introduces himself as genius criminal, and that he’s the best there is.
- Cut to trimmed version of Clark traveling to the FOS
- Remove scene of him lying on the floor after Jor-El gives him his powers back, we get the bright white and that’s it.
- Cut to Daily Planet
- Trim the meeting inside Perry’s office once Zod arrives, eliminate flat jokes, improve pacing
- Insert Lester version of Superman arriving “Care to step outside?”
- Trimmed and slightly rearranged battle over Metropolis using both Donner and Lester Cut to remove Statue of Liberty.
- During Zod and co. flight to FOS, insert Lex saying “NORTH! NORTH!”
- In FOS, reduce Lex’s dialogue that establishes specific history between the two. He’s a known criminal and that is all we know.
- Delete Superman destroying the FOS
- Use rooftop as final scene, Lois delivers final line “There he goes kid. Up up and away.”
- Fade to black, transition to shot of Superman over Earth, cue John Williams.