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Synopsis: A trio of Kryptonian criminals show up on Earth just as Superman comes to a decision about his love for Lois Lane.

Reaction: This is a great sequel to the first movie. The 'clash of the titans' concept works well here.

Personal Rating: 9/10

Richard Lester => Director
David Newman [II] => Writer
Leslie Newman => Writer
Mario Puzo => Writer
Tom Mankiewicz => Writer
Ken Thorne => Composer
Jerry Siegel => Characters
Joe Shuster => Characters
Antony Sher => Bell Boy
Christopher Reeve => Clark Kent / Superman
Clifton James => Sheriff
Don Fellows => General
E.G. Marshall => The President
Gene Hackman => Lex Luthor
Glenn Ford => Jonathan Kent in opening montage (archive footage)
Hadley Kay => Jason
Jack O'Halloran => Non
Jackie Cooper => Perry White
Jeff East => Teenage Clark Kent in opening montage (archive footage)
John Hollis => Krypton Elder
John Ratzenberger => Controller #1
Marc McClure => Jimmy Olsen
Margot Kidder => Lois Lane
Ned Beatty => Otis
Pepper Martin => Rocky
Peter Whitman => Deputy Dwayne
Richard Donner => Man Walking by Diner
Richard Griffiths => Terrorist #3
Richard LeParmentier => Reporter (as Richard Parmentier)
Sarah Douglas => Ursa
Susannah York => Lara
Terence Stamp => General Zod
Tony Sibbald => Presidential Imposter
Valerie Perrine => Eve Teschmacher

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • When Cosmonaut Boris ([?] Jim Dowdall) meets General Zod on the moon, the approximate Russian translation is, "What is your name? Identify yourself!"
  • The original script had the nuclear missile from Superman releasing Zod and companions from the Phantom Zone.
  • Actor Gene Hackman did not return for the second film and all his scenes were originally filmed by director Richard Donner. Existing scenes that required Hackman used a look-alike and a voice impersonator to add any lines needed.
  • In an early version of the script, there were four Kryptonian exile villains instead of three. The fourth member, Jak-El, was supposed to be an evil prankster and source of comic relief (a similar character to Riddler in the Batman series). In an early script, he is described as 'A psychopathic jokester, whose pranks and "practical jokes" are only funny to him when they cause death and suffering to others, this is JAK-EL.' The character was later dropped and never cast.
  • In the movie, when a power-less Clark Kent finds the Green Kryptonian Crystal at the Fortress of Solitude, he later returns with his powers restored as Superman and no explanation is given as to how he got them back. In the shooting script for the film, the Green Kryptonian Crystal is actually what gives Superman his powers back. When Clark grabs the Crystal, it glows and pulsates with a powerful energy that is stored within and Clark trembles as its Kryptonian power passes into his body, giving him back his powers. The scene with the Crystal's energy actually shown restoring Clark's powers, though, was never filmed and it is only implied at the Crystal restores his powers in the final cut.
  • In a 2004 interview, Margot Kidder claimed that there are indeed enough scenes shot for this sequel by Richard Donner "somewhere in a vault" to make his own cut of the film. A website therefore started a petition for Warner Bros. to allow and sponsor Donner with his own cut of Superman II. This claim proved to be correct and the footage was re-edited into _Superman II_. Giving credence to Kidder's claim, the 1984 ABC Television broadcast of the film used over 30 minutes of footage deleted from the theatrical release, almost all of it Donner-directed footage. Among the scenes deleted but used in the ABC print of the movie Superman flying past the Concorde (a scene intended for the first film). Extra dialog between Luthor and Otis in the jail. Extra dialog between Luthor and Eve flying to and within the Fortress of Solitude. The death of the young boy trying to escape East Houston, Idaho. The soufflé. A scene between Superman and Lois. Nearly fifteen minutes of extra footage with Gene Hackman, including a pivotal scene within the Fortress where Luthor begs forgiveness from Superman and The Man of Steel decides to risk trusting him.
  • US-born Director Richard Lester, an American expatriate living in England, claimed he had never heard of the Superman character before being hired to replace original director Richard Donner for the sequel as comic books had not been allowed in his house when he was child. Many critics believe that Lester's lack of understanding of the character of Superman bordered on disrespect, which was most apparent in the next sequel, Superman III, which he directed entirely on his own.
  • Originally, Richard Donner had filmed Superman talking to his father for Superman II, but Marlon Brando sued for (and won) a percentage of the profits of the first film, so the producers had his scenes removed, and they were replaced by those with Superman's mother instead. The lawsuit also resulted in him receiving a share of the proceeds from this movie - even though he doesn't appear. These scenes with Brando appear in Superman II and can be heard briefly during a scene in Superman Returns.
  • The scene where General Zod, Ursa and Non use their super-breath to create a storm in Metropolis was shot over three freezing November nights at Pinewood Studios in England. During that time, director Richard Lester improvised most of the jokes that you see in that sequence.
  • Tom Mankiewicz was hired to oversee the script originally written by Mario Puzo for the original Superman, which of course was to be made simultaneously with its sequel. Thus, the script had elements of both films in it. Mankiewicz eliminated most of the camp elements that Puzo had inserted in the original draft and went ahead with the filmmakers' decision to keep the religious allusions of the Superman story in the script. Specifically, there are elements of the Second Coming of Christ in the Superman saga ever since it first appeared in comic book form in the 1930s. Among the similarities to the Second Coming are: 1) Jor-El (God) casts out Zod (Satan) from Krypton (Heaven); 2) Jor-El's speech as he and Lara say goodbye to Kal-El "...The son becomes the father and the father the son...."; 3) The ship that brings Kal-El to Earth is in the form of a star (the star of Bethlehem); 4) Kal-El comes to a couple unable to have children "...How we prayed and prayed the good Lord see fit to give us a child...."; 5) Just as there is not much known about Jesus during his middle years, Clark Kent travels into the wilderness to find out who he really was and what he had to do; 6) "...You must live as one of them but always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be, they only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son." There would have been more religious references in the sequel if director Richard Donner would have been allowed to play out the story of Superman's fall and resurrection and his battle with evil in Superman II. Unfortunately, he was fired and replaced by Richard Lester, who did not respect the Superman character or the mythology.