I’ve been lucky enough to have an ongoing conversation with Richard Donner for the last twenty years, starting with an evening when I was a studio guide for Universal Studios, and he has always been one of those guys who tells it like it is. I admire that, especially after two decades in Los Angeles. I am no longer surprised at how completely full of crap people are in this city. Instead, I am surprised when someone isn’t full of crap, especially when they’re an iconic member of the creative community. That almost seems like permission for some people, like being talented gives you the right to be a total phony.
Not Donner. He always strikes me as a guy who simply isn’t wired that way and who couldn’t be phony even if he tried.
The occasion for this conversation was the release on Blu-ray of all five “Superman” feature films, and that’s as good a reason as any to sit down with the man again. After all, his two “Superman” films set the template that people are still following closely with superhero movies, and the “X-Men” franchise that he helped produce, along with his wife Lauren Shuler Donner, helped kick off the new wave of superhero movies.
Over the course of our conversation, we covered a lot of ground, and yet, I feel like we just barely got started in our time together. That’s how you know you’re enjoying an interview. There are times where I stretch to fill that ten minutes, and then there are times where they signal you that the interview is over, and you can’t even believe it’s been ten full minutes.
I’m not sure how many more times I’ll get a shot at chatting with Donner, so it was nice to do so once again, and I hope you guys enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed doing it.
In the meantime, we’ll be featuring the Donner “Superman” films in an upcoming Film Nerd 2.0, so look for that in the weeks ahead.
“Superman: The Blu-Ray Anthology” is available now.