Last night at the A Tribute To Richard Donner event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took the stage together to celebrate legendary director Richard Donner and his 1978 classic Superman: The Movie.
The Academy held the tribute which saw many of Donner’s friends and colleagues in the industry come together to celebrate the director and producer and his career which helped pave the way for the superhero blockbusters we have in cinema today.
Both Johns and Feige recalled their experience working with Donner and his efforts to save Superman: The Movie from a potentially bad script as they shared their love for the film and the influence it continues to have on them to this day.
You can watch the video below.
According to the Academy website, Johns and Feige also recalled a disastrous moment when Feige attempted to take Donner’s Suburban off the Warner Bros. lot to be gassed up, leading to a catastrophic turn that still leaves a mark at the Hollywood studio.
The event also saw Donner’s wife, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, recall falling in love with her husband which she referred to as the “defender of the underdog” during the production of Ladyhawke (1985). She went on to add that “Dick Donner directing is the sexiest man alive.”
In addition, the tribute saw The Goonies stars Ke Huy Quan and Corey Feldman, as well as Radio Flyer star Joseph Mazello, celebrate the director. Quan credited himself “personally responsible for some of those gray hairs” on Donnor’s head. Feldman recalled bonding with Donnor when the project transitioned from Steven Spielberg as director and Mazello revealed that the director is the reason he loves to make movies.
Lethal Weapon stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover also were also in attendance. The duo proved Riggs and Murtaw still had their incredible chemistry when they argued about a 30-year-old issue of a shirt they both wanted and which sent them into a banter that had the audience cracking up. A series of clips from Lethal Weapon 2 and 3 rolled before Rene Russo and Donner himself joined Gibson and Glover on stage. The reunion itself had the filmmaker visibly touched as he tossed away his speech and told the audience, “I’m the luckiest person in the world. This industry is my friend.”
Donner went on to explain how much it meant to see the friends he had made over the years of his career which he explained began with a suggestion from the Martin Ritt when he was starting out as a young bit actor telling the audience, “You can’t take direction. You ought to be a director.”