Superman 1978 Richard Donner recast

My version of the entire 1978 Superman cast starting from director, lead actors, and maybe even composer.

The first Superman film has been loved and adored since its release and was first considered to be only comic book movie that was not only good but great before Tim Burton's Batman. The film had stared a legend in film making in Marlon Brando and an unknown actor that would become an icon to many comic fans and a hero to those who saw him in the films release. After seeing the film for the first time I was amazed at how well the movie still stands out. It may be my favorite Superman film and it even beats that crappy Superman Returns. I decided to take a look at the old 1978 film and try to do the best I can in recasting the movie. Which is a difficult challenge since each part was cast perfectly. However, before I start with the cast, I decided to look at see how did this iconic film get started in the first place.

The idea for a live action Superman film started in 1973 where Illya Salkind wanted to start on the process of making a Superman film. In 1974 after a very long fight with DC Comics Illya finally obtained the film rights with his father Alexander Salkind, and partner Pierre Spengler. DC had a huge list of actors to play the role of Superman starting from Muhammed Ali, Al Pachino, James Caan, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, and Dustin Hoffman.

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The filmmakers thought that it was best to film both Superman and Superman 2 both at the same time to make a pick up deal with Warner Bros. William Goldman writer of Marathon Man was approached by Warner Bros. to write the screenplay and Leigh Brackett writer of Empires Strike Back was also in the consideration. Illya hired Alfred Bester a novelist to write a treatment for the film. However, Alexander thought Alfred Bester wasn't famous enough so decided to hire Mario Puzo of The Godfather to start writing the screenplay. Francis Ford Copplola, William Friedkin, Richard Lester, Perter Yates, John Guillermin, Ronald Neame were in negotiations to direct. Illya also approached Steven Spielberg but was already commited to Close Encounters of The Third Kind. George Lucas was also offered but turned down the offer due to his commitment to Star Wars. Pazo turned in his 500 page script treatment for Superman and Superman 2 in 1975. While Guy Hamilton the director of Goldfinger was hired to direct. The script treatment from Pazo involved Jax-Ur as one of General Zod's henchman and Clark Kent as a television reporter. Dustin Hoffman who was considered for Superman, then turned down the chance to play Lex Luthor. In 1975 Marlon Brando was signed on to play Jor-el while Gene Hackman signed on to play Lex Luthor. Yet, after after Marlon Brando was facing a lawsuit in Italy for Last Tango in Paris, and Hamilton was unable to shoot in England cause he violated his tax payments. Illya hired Richard Donner to direct the film. Donner not a huge fan of Pazo's script decided to hire Tom Mankiewicz to rewrite the script giving it more serious tone with Christ-like overtones. After going through a number of A-list actors for the lead of Superman the producers decided to go with an unknown. Christopher Reeve auditioned for the role in 1977. Reeve stunned the director and producers.

Reeve would then get the role in the first live action Superman film. The film would have success both critically and financially and is still touted as one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.

1978 Recast

Music Director and Composer:

Criteria: What Superman the movie had to me beside just a great story alone was the incredible theme by John Williams. Which in my opinion is the best superhero theme song of all time because its simple, easy to remember and fits perfectly with the character of Superman. It may just seem impossible to even compete with John Williams score. Which is one of the things I'm curious about the new MOS movie. You just can't be using Lord of the Rings and Gladiator for your soundtrack especially for Superman. What I want is for the composer to have songs that really help set up the tone for the movie. A score that helps give the audience a huge sense of emotion in the movie when the music starts playing. I also want the composer to give us a sense of adventure and fun. Basically everything Superman represents and can give us that feeling the same way John Williams did with his theme song.

John Barry is a legendary music composer. Who is most famous for doing the soundtracks for the early James Bond films. I'm a huge James Bond fan and pretty much listen to the soundtracks of all of the films back to back each year. I love it because each one fits well for that particular James Bond movie. Each one that he has done are different and are not retreads of previous soundtracks. I suggest listing to the soundtrack of Goldfinger, which is my favorite out of the 23 films so far. Its very recognizable and very true to James Bond. Which is what I think he can do to Superman. If you can just close your eyes and listen to that soundtrack without even looking at it you can tell that's James Bond. He has everything that I would want in a Superman composer. He may not beat out John Williams ,but i think he can come pretty close.


Criteria: Superman is the most recognizable figure in modern history. People who don't even know the character's history can just look at the symbol and go that's superman. He is a character who is not really complex or all that interesting as a Batman, Spider-Man, or even Green Lantern. He is simple character with a very simple name. However, it's within that simplicity that makes him one of the most hardest characters to write on the screen or on the page. This man has no weakness other than magic and kryptonite, and can pretty much do anything that is possible. What makes this man so interesting isn't really much in his villains or his powers. What makes him so great is his humanity and how he will always do what he feels like is right no matter what. Which was so great about the first movie and how well they were able to capture that so well. What I want is the screenwriter to get that and make Clark Kent the real star of the movie. I sort of want him to take the same approach as Superman For All Seasons which is a great interpretation of Superman origins. I also want him to write a real menacing Lex Luthor and cut out some of the camp that was in the original movie.

David Zelag Goodman was a very talented writer back in the 70's. He wrote the original Straw Dogs. A very critically acclaimed psychological thriller that was more famous for its infamous rape scene in the movie. Now hearing that you might be thinking how come I choose this man to write for Superman. Well I'm a huge fan of Logan's Run which was a very cool sci-fi film back in the 70's. That crossed elements from Planet of the Apes and a hint of Blade Runner. While i have to say that it's not the greatest screenplay ever it was mainly campy and didn't take much of the elements seriously. I think that David will have a mix of the similar dark tones in Farwell, my Lovely and campines of Logan's run to do a very interesting take on superman's origin. We know that he can definitely write a serious movie. I would love to see his take on a Superman film in the vein of Superman For All Seasons which fits perfectly for him with a mix of heavy drama and very light comedy.

Director and Co-Writer:

Criteria: What Richard Donner did in both of those Superman films was really taking the fun and Christ like tones that Superman has to the screen. Which is very hard to do without immediately beating it over the head with your audience. Hence Superman Returns. He did it in a way that felt so organic to the story. He also help bring in the fun of actually seeing a man fly. With special effect people thought they never seen before. Even though they look like crap today they were really great back in the day. Yet i always felt that they could have done better with those effects. I look at a film like 2001 with amazing special effects that no one has ever seen before. That even compete with films today. Twilight can make billions of dollars yet can't even compete with the special effects in 2001. I want a director to give us that kind of visual perspective. That can really blow us away. I look at star wars were the scenes with the Millenium Falcon are amazing and still hold up today. Which is the main reason why I picked this guy to direct.

Stanley Kubrick is and will always be one of the greatest directors in cinematic history. He has changed film directing in the way we shoot films and also in his visuals. 2001 a Space Odyssey still stand as one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time if not the greatest. Stanley Kubrick has touched almost every genre from comedy to drama to thriller/horror. Stanley has been known for his making of The Shining a very dark film. Yet has also done some really funny and genius comedies. I suggest you take a look at Dr.Strangelove and very smart comedy/sci-fi that is an argument for his best film. I think that him working with David they can not only come up with some amazing visuals but also an amazing story as well. Just think of the planet krypton in the style of Logans Run with the visual mind of Stanley Kubrick. You thought Star Wars was amazing you ain't seen nothing yet. He is also great with actors and can get great performances out of anyone. So I think he can do a great job with this film.

Casting Members List:


Criteria: Not seeing Christopher Reeve in that costume is the hardest thing in the world for me or any other Superman fan. There isn't a person in the world that can compete with Christopher as far as his charisma and old school mid western charm. Not Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, Dean Cain or anyone. Dean Cain probably came the closet but is still not the best. I really like Henry Cavill wearing the cape and maybe he could be the superman. Yet the things that I would love to see in this version of Superman is for the actor to portray him as a person who is truly lost in the world and has fear over his powers. A mixture of both Superman Birthright and Superman for all seasons. I also want a very strong presence from Superman. Where I see him truly fighting for the greater good. I also want him to relax like the Christopher Reeve Superman and Dean Cain's interpretation. Where his winking at girls who see him flying by and not posing just up there sitting on the clouds smiling. And i think I have the actor who can do that job.

Ryan o Neil was one of the best young actors back in 1970s and early 80s as well. This hot blonde was their Ryan gosling. He starred in a great Walter Hill movie in Driver and was in another Stanley Kubrick film in Barry London. He also starred in another comedy a famous one in Paper Moon. He has the experience as a comedic actor to play a charismatic Clark Kent and he has the seriousness as an actor to play the strong willed Superman. Now I know that he is a blonde but I can defiantly see Stanley Kubrick putting some make up on him to make him more like superman than he already is. This seems like a perfect fit to me it was hard choosing other actors but I felt like he was the perfect choice in my mind.

Lois Lane:

Criteria: Margot kidder was the first big on screen interpretation of Lois Lane or at least the most well known. she stole Superman's heart and probably the hearts of many young boys growing up watching the first Superman movie. She brought Lois Lane with such grace and ease. Portraying a strong female character that females can look up when growing up. The hardest thing about Lois Lane is making her likeable. She had a good balance of banter with Clark and having a love for Superman at the same time. While she wasn't the best Lois Lane in my opinion. She did an amazing job with her performance and it will stand the test of time. What I hope an actresses can bring to Lois Lane is to make her not argue much with Clark but play around and treat him as more of a brother in a way. Which is why I love Teri Hatcher so much is that she sold that so well and you truly believed her emotions for Clark and for Superman. I also want a more sexier Lois Lane Margot Kidder not really the most attractive person really. That doesn't mean I want Lois Lane to be a Victoria Secret Model but I want her to be a sort of smart sexy like seeing that hot chick in your office type of way. Which is why I picked this actress for the role.

This girl to me seems like the perfect Lois Lane in my opinion. I had been looking forever to find the right person for the role ,but I just hit the jackpot with this lady right here. I remember her mostly for the 007 James bond film in Moonraker which is one of the worst James Bond film ever made. Yet i felt that she was the standout in the movie not only for her gorgeous looks but I also liked how she played the Bond girl in that movie. Unfortunately she took a break from actin and didn't continue to make more James bond films. I'm also a fan of the novel The Great Gatsby while the original isn't great it still is a pretty good film in my mind. I think with Stanley Kubrick she will be able to truly show her acting skills in this movie. The ultimate choice for this recast.

Jimmy Olsen:

Criteria: Jimmy Olsen was really not much of a prominent character in both of Richard Donner's Superman movies. What I really want is for him to truly be the ultimate sidekick and fan of Superman. Sort of how he was portrayed in Grant Morrison's All Star Superman. I want Jimmy to be full of life and fun. Jimmy Olsen to me has always been Seth Green but a lot more funnier. I hope I have the right man for the job.

Ron Howard was a very famous child star back in the day with The Andy Griffin Show. Where he definitely showcased some of his acting chops in that show that I'm a huge fan of. I has the look of the old school Jimmy Olsen and is in the right age group for that role . He I think can bring Jimmy Olsen with a lot of personality in my mind. Making him more of a prominent character in the movie.

Perry White:

Criteria: Perry White is a combination of every boss you ever hated and the fat guy who is always drunk at the bar trying to talk to you. He is Superman's J Jonah Jamerson. What I saw in J.K Simmons was an ability to create his own comic book character. He was just full of excitement and energy that J.K would always pop up on the screen with his great personality. What I would like in a Perry White is for him to have that kind of excitement and energy just toned down so it won't be a complete copy of him. The way Frank Langella did was that he brought a sort of calmness to the character himself. Making him not the most hated boss in America. I also want an actor to have more Comedic range as an actor as well. And I think I go the actor for it.

This man Peter Boyle is probably right now most remembered for playing Raymond's father on Everybody loves Raymond. Back in the day this man worked on great comedic films such as Young Frankenstein which I'm a very huge fan of. He also had worked on the great Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver. Which is one that you should also check out. He has also done an amazing job in drama as a racist factory worker in Joe. So you definitely know he can bring out the asshole in perry white. He also has the comedic range shown not only on Everybody loves Raymond and Young Frankenstein. He also has the look as well. So I think he can do a great job in my mind.

Lex Luthor:

Criteria: Every single hero in comics history has a multitude villains to fight on a day to day basis. Yet each one has that one definitive villain that is the hero's number one enemy. Peter Parker has Green Goblin/Norman Osbourne, Batman has The Joker, Captain America has Red Skull. Superman of course has Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor has been there almost as long as Superman. He has gone through changes just like the character of Superman himself. He was an evil scientist at one point, to an evil business man, to being president of the united states. Gene Hackman is a brilliant actor and to me did a great job as Lex Luthor. However he was a bit to goofy at times and really did present all that much of a treat to Superman. Which was a problem that was in Superman Returns with Kevin Spacey. This version of Lex Luthor will be a lot more menacing and terrifying as a villain. Which is why I think I have the right man for the job.

This man, this really great actor is the man who played Norman Bates in the original Psycho. He played probably the best villain in cinematic history or at least the most influential. He can bring that menacing Lex Luthor to the screen the same way he did with Norman Bates. With a script from Stanley Kubrick who also brought jack Nicholson to screen with The Shining just think of what he could do with Lex Luthor. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Johnathan and Martha Kent:

Criteria: Johnathan and Martha are the Aunt May and Uncle Ben of the DC comics. They have shaped the values of Clark Kent to become the man that we all know and love. They've always wanted what was best for Clark and thought that he was always meant for greater things. In All Star Superman where Superman relives Johnathan Kent's death his mother still pushed him to believe that his life and his powers were always meant to be shared by the world. I want to see that kind of family bond between Clark and his parents. What made Superman For All Seasons so great seeing both sides of the parents and how much it took to raise such a special young boy. Which is why I think i have the perfect pair to do so.

This too are in the right age group that I want for a Johnathan and Martha Kent paring. They both look really good together and can really sell us on the kindly couple of Johnathan and Martha. This is a perfect paring in my opinion.

Lana Lang:

Criteria: Lana Lang is Clark Kent's first love. She is the MJ of Superman's world. Where he could have the happy life with Lana but decides to stick with Lois Lane instead. What I hope in this fan cast is to find an actresses who has that girl next door feel of MJ. And i think I have the actress who can pull it off.

See has the look of a Lana Lang can definitely pull off being the girl next door attitude and being Superman's first crush. She seems like the perfect choice in my mind.
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