In a recent interview, Superman: The Movie director, Richard Donner, stated that he and writer Tom Mankiewicz had originally planned to introduce Brainiac to the film series.
In the interview, Donner talked about his work on the Superman films, their legacy and what he would have done with them if he had remained on the franchise. Interestingly enough, Donner’s original plan was to allow uncredited screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz to direct a prospective third film that would have focused on the iconic villain:
Well, Brainiac. There was a little bit of Brainiac that was going to be in it, but no. Tom and I had some really great thoughts. Because he was also a good director. And what we were going to do was, we would write the next one [II] and I would direct that, and we’d do the third one and Tom would direct that. And so on, for as long as it lasted. But the producers [Alexander and Ilya Salkind] didn’t see our relationship to the films as we did, so I was not brought back.
He later stated that the idea of having Superman battle such an intelligent villain was exciting and was one of the villains that he wanted to tackle:
Well, one of the villains, yes. I mean, I felt there was a different way of approaching it, but the intellect of Brainiac was very exciting.
From the look of things, we may have missed out on something special.
The story of Superman: The Movie‘s production is easily one of the most tragic in terms of the producers battling against the director. The film was originally meant to be a much longer, roadshow attraction with the film encompassing parts what eventually became Superman: The Movie and Superman II. Eventually, the producers scrapped this idea, making Donner put together a feature film out of what was essentially the first half of a much longer movie. The result was something that is now considered to be one of the greatest superhero films ever made and the only indisputable great Superman film in existence.
Unfortunately for Donner, the film’s cost reportedly went to high for the producers and the director was taken off the franchise. Director Richard Lester then took over, using the footage that Donner had already shot, added additional scenes and finished the second film. The end result is generally considered to be a good film but not nearly as iconic as the first. The franchise was then run into the ground with Superman III, only to be topped in sheer awfulness with Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. But from the look of things, had Donner stayed with the franchise, we would have gotten something truly special. It’s a shame how these things sometimes work out.
What do you all make of Richard Donner’s comments? Would you like to have seen his version Brainiac come to screen? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Source: 13th Demension