Margot Kidder on Superman and Man Of Steel

News Simon Brew 1 Jul 2013 - 06:35

She was Lois Lane to a generation, and Margot Kidder has been chatting about big screen Superman, past and present...

It's little secret that Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the original run of Superman films, had her fair share of words over her treatment while working on them, and her views on decisions that were made. Specifically, she was no fan of the producters, the Salkinds, and didn't hold back about saying so. Hence, her virtual non-appearance in Superman III.

Kidder has returned to the subject as part of a new interview with WA Today that's well worth checking out. She reiterates her unhappiness over events surrounding Superman II in particular, when director Richard Donner was fired from the project. "It was very hard watching him go", she recalled. "Some of us made more of a fuss than others - me in particular ... It's really sad because he was a great director. He was terrific, and they broke his heart".

She continued, adding that "He put so much of himself into that and so at a certain point I guess they realised they had a hit and could make money, so [they thought] how can they make money cheap and fast? 'Get rid of this director who is getting us over budget and we'll get someone who will knock it off for us'".

And she's firm on her view on said producers: "well, yeah they were crooks", she alleges. To be fair, Kidder has kind words for Richard Donner's replacement on Superman II (and subsequently Superman III), Richard Lester, but just said he was "not right for the material".

A passionate advocate of the Donner cut of Superman II that she firmly credits the film's fans with getting released, Kidder also touched on her thoughts on the new Superman movie, Man Of Steel. And she's a fan. "I thought it was wonderful and I thought young Amy Adams was just terrific. I wanted a lot more of her. I wish they had more scenes for her".

Do take a moment to read the full interview, which includes Kidder looking back at her time working with the late Christopher Reeve. You can find it over at WA Today, here.

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Jesus it was more than three decades ago who cares!

Jesus, that is YOUR opinion. Who cares!

Yes it is, I never claimed it was a fact. Chill keyboard warrior.

it's still a huge geek movie even 30 years on, so I think its a fair story

I care for one, Manuel, the 1978 Superman movie remains one of my favorite films to date, it has such a big heart and wears it on it's sleeve without need for apology... there's no cynicism or post-modern winking at the audience, it's just a beautiful, moving, and unashamedly nostalgic film, and I love it!

The only downside with it is that Richard Donner didn't return to finish off the sequel, in fact, I hate calling it a sequel because its basically the third act of an epic three-act story that's as much an integral part of the larger story arc as the first film. The Salkinds' (who were crooks) say Donner acted like a diva and demanded final cut and the dismissal of producer Pierre Spengler, whilst Donner said he was waiting by the phone to re-start work on 'Superman II' when he recieved a termination-of-services notice in the mail (or something like that) in March 1979... clearly someone isn't telling the truth here, and I side with Donner on this, I would've fought for final cut too and likely would've wanted Spengler off the set because allegedly all he did was bitch to Donner for 18 long months about the schedule and budget!

Having watched the Donner cut of 'Superman II' is heartbreaking because of just how close we came to having a wonderful conclusion to the Superman story started with the 1978 film that was constent in both tone and content with that film, alas...

I think I need to re-watch the Donner cut, because I remember thinking it was pretty dire, and that the theatrical version was the better film. Part of that might have been to do with the quality of the test footage used for certain scenes, but does anyone else just prefer the theatrical version?

It's apple and oranges, the 1980 theatrical cut is a finished and polished film whereas the 2006 Donner cut was not a complete film because of gaps in what Donner hadn't been able to shoot. The theatrical cut runs 127 minutes and is a little baggy in my estimation that could use tightening (mostly the gags and slapstick) whereas had Donner finished that film back in 1979 it would have likely had a much brisker and tighter running time of about 112 or 113 minutes.

I have a soft spot for the theatrical version because of the great memories it has from my childhood but Donner's version would clearly have been the better film... at least I think so...

I'm not even a Superman fan (yet to see Man of Steel). but I find the stories behind the production of the first two films fascinating ; shooting two huge movies at the same time, firing the director...that's all pretty interesting stuff. So yeah, I care.

And since you stress that you don't, I don't really get why you clicked on the story in the first place...

If you guys and girls ever get a chance watch Brian De Palma's Sisters (it's on Lovefilm Instant). Margot is absolutely blinding in it.

I find it hard to objectively compare a film you've enjoyed since childhood with the Donner cut. Plus the restored Donner cut was not exactly how it would have been had it been the original released version. But with those caveats, I also prefer the cinema release "original", whilst liking several of the Donner cut elements, eg Marlon Brando's scenes.

Thanks for this article by the way.

I care, because of the same reasons mr. Bisley here gives. Den of Geek can't only feature articles of the stuff you personally like.

Famously nothing important or interesting happened that long ago.

Your mom cared.

Who wrote this? A monkey?

I'm also going to put myself in the "I care" column. Being four decades old myself (a full decade beyond the point where you would stop caring about me but that's fine by me) the Donner Superman were a massive part of my childhood (along with Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, et al but hey they are also decades old so you don't care about them either) and Margot Kidder interviews in particular generally are quite frank and honest . I would much rather read a interview in one of the key players in the decades old Superman movies than the latest publicity puff piece from one of the "Man of Steel" principals.
"Who cares" isn't a fact to be claimed but a question and you now have your answer- some people still do "care".

Margo for me IS Louis Lane. She had that perfect mix of needy innocence and savvy which made her a very likable character. She was more than just a pretty face, she was a memorable character for how she spoke, how she reacted, what she did. Any Louis Lanes since Margo have paled into nothing by comparison. The MOS version was instantly forgettable and had nothing about her whatsoever.

I do

man of steel very disapointing movie, thought superman returns brandon routh was way better.

So all ten of you care, good. I love STM too. But i always did think Margot was an awful Lois Lane though, uncharacteristically insensitive, air headed, not really attractive and annoying.

It did 'wink at the audience'. Superman winks at the audience at the end of the movie, looking straight at the camera as if to say: "this was all bs kids, ok" . When I was a kid I loved the movie, I ate it all up. Now I look back on it with fondness but also think it belongs in the past and all its campiness doesn't belong in today's times. Thank God for Man Of Steel that it finally gave us the best Superman movie of all time. The real estate thieving, muppet looking Luthor that surrounds himself with retards was never my cup of tea.

As one of the founding members of the "Margot Kidder Is Lois Lane" fan club formed in 1989 in North Platte Nebraska I would like to say how wonderful it is to see the great Margot Kidder talk about her days as Lois Lane. She was the essence of Lois and to most fans of Superman she is Lois Lane. Last year I dressed as Margot Kidder's Lois Lane for 4 of the Superman conventions we have in Nebraska and I must say how amazing it feels to just transform myself into Lois Lane star reporter of the Daily Planet!

Jesus was about 2,000 years ago, yet you feel the need to bring him up.

Margot was a great Lois Lane. Very interesting actress.

There was one moment in Superman II (Lester) that I preferred over Donner's original vision, I wish I could remember the scene... possibly due to Superman's reveal to Lois... but I overall prefer Donner's original plan for I and II. Including Ursa's chilling comment about the boy who would not grow up to become a man...

Lester's III is flawed but is at least original (pity they didn't get the phony kryptonite red, which would have been a nice nod to the comic that discussed what red kryptonite would do). IV was just a poor rehash of II, which is unfortunate as it was good to have the proper cast back.

Thanks for the review with Ms. Kidder and link - will definitely read it all.

Plenty of us care. If you don't, go back to watching Jersey Shore or Jerry Springer.

Your post infers the belief you treat it as a fact. What context can you add to dispel and allay other peoples' inferences?

Can't disagree with that. The 1978 movie nailed it with the cast.

Like Tobey MaGuire for Spider-Man or Lynda Carter for Wonder Woman, Margot Kidder is Lois Lane. (And, yes, I can watch other things she's in and not point and say "That's Lois Lane, I'm typecasting!")

Yes, by all means, never look back, one cannot be bothered with things that happened before one was born or had the first beer.

??? lol Are you completely mental?

Funny you say that about Tobey. I like Garfield but watching it with my wife, she said the first guy will always be Spider-Man. Well, he's certainly had more movies and more time to cement himself. We'll see

the 2006 flick was typically made for kids... so if you want a Shakespearean drama that wouldn't be it.

30 years later your kids will be calling this MOS campy- if its exists at all

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