Watch Geoff Johns and Kevin Feige Discuss the Legacy of Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie

Image: Still via Youtube
Image: Still via Youtube

Superman: The Movie is still one of the most iconic and influential superhero films of all time, its legacy being felt in the superhero movies being made today. But it, and the man who swooped in to save it—the legendary Richard Donner—perhaps made their most important impact as inspirations for the careers of both Geoff Johns and Kevin Feige.


Today they’re the titans driving the superhero movie genre into blockbuster domination at Marvel and DC. But years ago, both Geoff Johns and Kevin Feige interned for Donner in the earliest phases of their careers in Hollywood—and speaking at an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tribute to Donner last night, the two recounted how the real impact Donner had on their careers wasn’t the internships, it was Superman: The Movie, which inspired them to get into moviemaking in the first place.

The video above sees the duo recount some touching tales—about how Feige strives to live up the the verisimilitude Donner championed when bringing Superman to life, or how Johns first saw the original, terrible script for Superman: The Movie that made Donner commit to the film in the first place (so he could rework the script and do justice to a character he adored)—that’s well worth the watch.


The rivalry of DC and Marvel at the box office might be entertaining to see unfold, but it’s nice to remember how both “sides” were inspired by a shared love of one of the best superhero films ever made.

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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I’ll get ripped a new one for it, but... I don’t like Superman: The Movie. It think it has aged very, very, very poorly. Even keeping in mind that the effects were amazing for the time, it’s corny, kitschy, ludicrous and kind of stupid. I really don’t think Gene Hackman’s Luthor is any good or in any way faithful to the character I like, and his plan is soooo lame. Also, the design of Krypton is really, really bad and New Age-y

That said, there are two gems hidden in it - Christopher Reeves’ Clark Kent is pitch perfect, and John William’s score is amazing. But these two elements alone don’t make the movie one I want to watch. So yeah, I know it was influential and all, but I think it is too dated to be enjoyable anymore.

Granted, I actually do not think any of the Superman movies did the character justice. The closest one was probably Superman Returns, when it was doing its own thing rather than remaking Superman: The Movie. The plane rescue was really great, and Kevin Spacey was n inspired choice for Luthor. He actually looked the part! Seriously, what is it with Superman movies refusing to make Luthor bald until the very end? If the actor doesn’t want to go bald, don’t cast him.