Richard Donner, director of the original Superman film starring Christopher Reeve, Lethal Weapon and The Goonies, has died at the age of 91. As reported by Variety, Donner’s production company confirmed the news of his death on Monday, July 5, although the cause has not been revealed.
According to IMDB, his first directing job was the Zane Gray Theater episode titled “So Young the Savage Land” en 1960. Later, one of his great successes saw the light: The Omen de 1976. And two years later the well-known Superman movie would arrive.
Later, he left Superman 2 after a dispute with the film’s producers, Alexander and Ilya Salkind. Richard Lester took over the direction, but Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut was released in 2006, the same day that Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, was released in domestic format.
Richard Donner continued directing the Lethal Weapon saga (1-4) and finally the last thing we can point to Donner as director was the 16 Blocks movie in 2006 starring Bruce Willis.
Look how the cast of Superman loved Richard Donner. pic.twitter.com/1kkD5ybMTU
— Jay Towers (@JayTowers) July 5, 2021
Donner did much more than direct. He founded a production company with his wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, that would produce X-Men movies like X-Men (2000) and the prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
A bigger influence than many imagine:
And if it did not seem to you that his influence is enormous, it will seem so when you know that one of the interns of the Donner production company is now president of Marvel Studios. We talk neither more nor less than Kevin Feige, one of the main responsible for having the UCM that we know today. Imagine what would have happened to the MCU if Donner hadn’t chosen Feige.
“Richard Donner not only made me believe that a man could fly, he made me believe that comic book characters could come to life on the big screen with heart, humor, humanity and verisimilitude.“Feige wrote. “Above all, it taught me that it can and should be done with respect, affection and kindness towards everyone in front of and behind the camera.
Dick and Lauren became mentors early in my career, and key supporters during the birth of the MCU. I owe my career to the way they took the time to care for and teach a boy from New Jersey who didn’t know how to use a fax machine or make coffee very well. I always thought that Dick was immortal. I still think about it. My thoughts are with Lauren and the whole family“.
Richard Donald Schwartzberg was born on April 24, 1930, in the Bronx. He attended Parker Junior College and continued studying at New York University, where he majored in business and theater. His acting career began, but ended up finding great success behind the camera.