World Premiere at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood

Today, November 2, 2022, is the sixteenth anniversary of the world premiere screening of Richard Donner’s Superman II at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood. Below are text, photos and audio from that day. Enjoy!

My wife and I were fortunate enough to be invited by Warner Home Video to the world premiere screening of Richard Donner’s Superman II at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood on November 2, 2006. The evening was nothing short of spectacular, and one we shall never forget.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard Donner and Warner Bros. for releasing the Donner Cut. Seeing all of the new scenes with Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando and the other players, as well as new camera angles and takes of familiar sequences, was the best reason to see the film. We were VERY pleased to see that the film was dedicated to Christopher Reeve, THE person most missed by everyone at the premiere. Chris’ acting is splendid in this new version. The father/son relationship makes the Donner Cut a much more impactful drama.

Nineteen of our friends and family members joined us, making the evening that much more special. We sat next to Noel Neill and her book’s author, Larry Ward, during the screening. Brandon Routh, Tom Mankiewicz, Margot Kidder and Sarah Douglas sat at the opposite end of our row. From time to time I glanced over at them. Tom, Margot and Sarah smiled and reacted to the screen constantly. Brandon seemed glued to the screen, soaking up every moment.

Thank you to the late Tom Mankiewicz for creating some of the most clever and magical film writing in the history of motion pictures. Thank you friends Marc McClure, Noel Neill and Sarah Douglas for being at the premiere. It was so wonderful to see you again. You have always been so kind and gracious to my family and me. Ilya Salkind…it was super to finally meet you! We enjoyed drinking Kryptontinis with you and Marc. Thank you for coming up with the idea of bringing Superman to the silver screen. Your thoughts about Superman, and all that he stands for, will always stay with me. Brandon…it was a pleasure to finally meet you. As I said at the cocktail reception – have fun with YOUR Superman 2! Convince Bryan Singer to allow you to fully realize your own potential as an actor in order to bring back magic to the screen that will inspire a whole new generation of optimistic, hopeful Superman fans around the world (Henry Cavill has since been cast as the new Man of Steel).

Thank you Warner Home Video for organizing and executing this once-in-a-lifetime event. We are so grateful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to see the Donner Cut on the silver screen in the presence of many of its creators and stars.

Richard Donner…we will always Believe, thanks to you and Christopher Reeve. Michael Thau…thanks for your hard work finding and editing all of the Donner footage. Nice job prepping the HD video projection and sound in the DGA Theater. It was a stunning presentation.

Please enjoy this one hour audio file recorded inside the DGA’s Theater One. It includes an introduction of Richard Donner and cast members, a speech by Richard Donner, the opening and closing segments of the film, and, finally, the panel with Michael Thau, Sarah Douglas, Jack O’Halloran, Marc McClure, Richard Donner, Margot Kidder, Tom Mankiewicz, and the host, Pete Hammond. The occasional strange, high-pitched sound while the Donner Cut is playing is from the recording device due to the incredible bass inside the theater.

A fan by the name of Charlie McGrath responded to the premiere report:

“Dear Jim…I have been a Superman fan ever since I can remember, and I have Christopher Reeve to thank for that. He and Richard Donner brought the character to life. It is so exciting to have the release of the Richard Donner Cut approach in the upcoming weeks. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be at the premiere amongst people like Richard Donner, Tom Mankiewicz and Margot Kidder who have kept the spirit of Superman, and more importantly, Christopher Reeve, alive for so many years. However, they, too, should be honored to be in your presence, as you have kept that same spirit alive. Christopher Reeve was “the light to show the way”. We can only hope that his memory will live on and inspire generation after generation to live by example as he did. Thank you for all of your hard work and continue to keep the spirit of the man who made us believe a man could fly alive.”

Below are a few photos taken at the premiere screening. Photos by Jim Bowers, Sallie Haws, Julian Adderley, Skipper Martin, Sarah Douglas and Alan Berliner.