Questions about Superman and Superman II Donner cut

darthgordon

Sr Member
Okay... so maybe someone can explain the ending of these two movies... the infamous "spin around the Earth" endings. I ask these, because I recently showed these movies to someone who didn't understand what was going on. I could venture some guesses, but the truth is that from what I saw on the screen, these endings make no sense.

Now, the impression I got from this was that Superman actually travels fast enough around the Earth to travel backward in time.

In the motion picture, Superman either goes back in time himself or turns back time... whatever... after Lois dies. So he goes back to the point that Lois is in the car and the car dies. Yet, the fissure created by the earthquake appears to have stopped behind her car. There doesn't appear to be any apparent reason for this.

In Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman once again flies around the Earth and it appears stops anything from happening. Why wouldn't things progress normally once time resumes? Wouldn't everything happen again? And what is up with that ending with the guy in the diner? If he had gone back in time and changed everything, that fight never would have happened.

Knowing that there are some hard core fans of these movies on this site, I thought I would ask.
 

dbuck

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Stolen from Wiki. They were filming both movies at the same time......

It was decided to stop shooting Superman II and focus on finishing Superman. Donner had already completed 75% of the sequel. The filmmakers took a risk: if Superman was a box office bomb they would not finish Superman II. On the original ending for Superman, Lex Luthor and Otis were put in prison, with the nuclear missile that Superman did not counter against flying in outer space. The missile would strike the Phantom Zone, freeing the three Kryptonian villains. The original climax for Superman II had Zod, Ursa, and Non destroying the planet, with Superman time traveling to fix the damage. Donner commented, "I decided if Superman is a success, they're going to do a sequel. If it ain't a success, a cliffhanger ain't gonna bring them to see Superman II."


So, they stole their own ending.

And yes, the fellow in the diner is a time travel mistake, but when I saw it in the theater it was a crowd pleaser. Now I just see it as a mistake.

Oh yeah, if he went back in time he'd still have to stop the missiles, again.

Not a fan of the 'amnesia kiss', either.
 

darthgordon

Sr Member
Yeah, I knew that the endings are the same in the Donner cut because of this reason... however, watching them is still very confusing to people. Most seem to think that he's reversing the rotation of the Earth.
 

micdavis

Master Member
Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Sups 2 is a trainwreck and the Donner DVD has to viewed as a historical document more than anything else.

Even the Donner magic can't help it.
 

dbuck

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
At first, sure, the Earth spins backwards, but then they show time going backwards, water going back into the dam, rocks rolling uphill, and so on before he spins it back in the correct direction.

The danger of the missiles was just kind of .....forgotten...... Even as a young teenager I went, huh? Perhaps that the part that goofed your friends up. if time went backwards, it just resets and starts over. So where did the danger go?

When I saw II it was the amnesia kiss that threw me. I missed that completely and wondered why they acted the way they did after the kiss. She forgot he was Superman?

BTW, there is some great commentary from Donner on his DVD version of II, although we have to read between the lines because of his lousy relationship with the Salkinds. Donner had a pretty good feel for Superman, and Lester treated Superman more like an episode of Batman.

Edit: II is a what if. Too bad we can't have Superman spin the world (warp field?)
and have Donner get to finish both movies the way he wanted. It's hard to show the Donner cut to people who don't have the backstory of how it came to be.
 
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Jet Beetle

Sr Member
Gone but not forgotten.
I know what you're saying - after Superman pulls a Harlem Globetrotter on the Earth and lands outside Lois's car and says "don't bother I think it's dead" - the Earthquake never takes place - even though it should. It never made sense to me until I realized the answer is pretty evident - Earthquakes are afraid of Superman - when he's around they choose to sit and not move.
 

Westies14

Master Member
Couldn't he have just gone back far enough to stop the missles, and we just catch up with him when he gets to Lois? It seems likely that he'd want to go back far enough to prevent their damage. I'd have to watch it again to be sure; maybe the way it's cut excludes that possibility.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
He went back in time and stopped the other missile while his previous self stopped the first one. Luthor sent up two missiles thinking Superman couldn't be in two places at once. Well... he didn't know Superman.

However... if that is the way it happened, it should have happened that way the first time it happened and not seeing all that damage and the death of Lois, so... who knows what really happened. All we know is that Superman saved the day. And doing it the right way would just have been excruciatingly boring.
 

Treadwell

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The earthquake DID happen the second time, because Lois complains about telephone poles falling on the road, and Jimmy was still stranded out by the dam.
 

Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
Sticking strictly here to Sup I first: I never had a problem with the time reversal because I knew he wasn't reversing the spin of the earth in order to turn back time, he was turning back time thus the earth appeared to spin backward. He had the knowledge imparted to him by Jor-El from the "twenty-eight known galaxies" and somewhere in all those eons of knowledge had to be the secret to meddling with time, even if in a small way. He reversed time back to the point before the second missile impacted the fault and he COULD have dispatched that missile from space with the aid of his heat vision...even though we never actually see that happen, which would explain why the earthquake had stopped. HOWEVER, it does NOT explain why Jimmy Olsen showed up out on that desert road. If the quake had never happened then he would still have been at the Hoover Dam.

Sup II: Amnesia kissed sucked. Too convenient. I liken that to the heretofore unknown ability of Kryptonians to shoot power beams from their fingers or the infamous "wall-building vision" in Sup IV. Silliness.
 

Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
Ah, Treadwell is right, I'd forgotten about Lois mentioning the poles. Maybe she was suffering from latent memories of what had previously happened before Sup turned back time. :lol
 

neosporing

Sr Member
.. he was turning back time thus the earth appeared to spin backward...
then why did he have to fly back the other direction to get the earth to spin in the correct direction again?

lol i never thought about the diner guy... you guys ruined it for me lol

or it could be similar to Bill and Ted's excellent adventure... where they make mental notes to go back in time for specific events... hiding keys etc...

perhaps, supes wanted to exact revenge on the diner guy, being in control of time, he goes back and pretends to get beat up so that he can feel the gratification of making the diner guy sit on his mashed potatoes and have pinball machine parts crammed up his.. nethers...

so for editing reasons, we don't witness all of the little stops he makes before reuniting with lois...
 

Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
then why did he have to fly back the other direction to get the earth to spin in the correct direction again?

I don't know, Dude, I don't have the knowledge of the 28 known galaxies! :lol Maybe it has something to with the fact that he's turning back time just in that small area of space, he has to fly super light speed in one direction to get it to go backward and the other direction to get it to go forward again. Valid question though. Because there are questions to be asked...and now is the time to do so.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
He had to get back to the starting point, which was in the future and instead of waiting those few minutes on the side of the road he just flew forwards in time. He gets easily bored.

But yeah... in the second one there are residual memories and sounds being remembered by the various characters... some even acknowledge they should be remembering something that happened. Perry White goes out to check chatter in the writing area that doesn't match with the activity of what he's seeing, but no one's talking. So, the fact that Jimmy and Lois remembers the earthquake could be part of that... and when it happens the second time in the second movie, Superman is a bit more efficient and it erases their memories as well. To a point.
 

Jeyl

Master Member
That time travel bit is the only thing that destroys the first film for me. And it also disappoints me that the semi-better version of the film, the Donner Cut, totally gets rid of Superman's mother Lara. When I was a kid, even I asked why Jor-El didn't make these recordings with Lara until I saw Superman II thinking "Oh, he did!".

"What does the mother send him?" indeed.
 

Wes R

Legendary Member
In the director's cut of both Donner says that the world spinning was supposed to be the end of II but they used it and figured they would come up with something new. The Donner cut of II has it back in there because they didn't want to use the ending the other director came up with. I honestly think the Donner cut is far better than the original Superman II that they had the guy reshoot even if they had to use some of the other guy's footage because there was nothing else available for the restoration.
 

hankey01

Sr Member
It's because Doc HAD to leave the Delorean in the cave for it to be there in 1955 for Marty to...

Oh oops.

Not that it clears it up at all but I read one person's theory that Superman isn't rewinding time..but he is going so fast he goes back in time. The earth doesn't start rotating the other direction, but from Superman's perspective it does because from his point of view time is rewinding. I guess since he reverses and starts moving time forward, that doesn't make sense. Oh well..I tried.

As for the guy in the diner...since the earth spinning back moves over less distance at the poles...the diner was virtually unaffected by the rewinding of time...as time and distance are related in space. :p
 

Rupert_Angier

Sr Member
I love that in the Donner version of II, even though he reversed time and none of the events took place, he still went to go beat the crap out of that trucker at the diner. :lol:lol:lol:lol It just proves superdickery.com is right!
 
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