Even though we receive at least a half dozen superhero films on a yearly basis these days, the fact of the matter is that we owe a great debt to Richard Donner and all involved in the production of Superman: The Movie back in the late 1970’s. Before then, a blockbuster of that scale centered on a comic book character was simply unheard of, so to think that a genre was handily legitimized with such an effort is indeed commendable.
At the time, though, the home video market was very much in its infancy, and the majority of everyday folk were still relying on network television when it came to rewatching their favorite flicks once their theatrical runs had come and gone. As is the case even with today’s TV edits, some scenes were cut for time, but in others, more material was added.
Believe it or not, Christopher Reeve’s debut as Big Blue once aired as a two-night event, featuring nearly 40 minutes of footage not seen in theaters. Unseen in decades, those old enough to remember – or those of us who just admire the character – should be thrilled to hear that this three-hour cut is being released in tandem with 2000’s Special Edition Director’s Cut on Blu-ray via Warner Archive. Clocking in at 188 and 151 minutes, respectively, the set should make the perfect gift for any serious Superman collector.
Here’s a rundown of bonus content to be included:
Special Features (on Superman The Special Edition Disc): Commentary by Director Richard Donner and Creative Consultant Tom Mankiewicz; 3 Documentaries Taking Flight: The Development of Superman, Making Superman: Filming the Legend and The Magic Behind the Cape; Screen Tests; Restored Scenes; Additional Scenes; Additional Music Cues; Music-Only Track
Expect this Superman: The Movie two-pack to drop sometime in October. One can only hope that Superman II will soon be given similar treatment as well, especially knowing how many TV cuts existed for it.