Christopher Reeve believed Richard Pryor’s cast and SUPERMAN III’s comedic tone were the reasons for its failure – GeekTyrant

If you have a movie franchise, there will inevitably be stronger and weaker movies in the series. Some will make more money than others, some go down as fan favorites, and some are sort of the duds of the lineup. As far as that superman Movies from the 70’s and 80’s with the late leads, great Christopher Reve, the first two are great and the last two are controversial. According to Reeve, the third film has a casting choice and a comedic direction to answer for.

The plot of the film reads:

Computer programmer Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) is hired by financial magnate Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) to take control of a weather satellite and destroy Colombia’s coffee crops. When Superman (Christopher Reeve) manages to thwart the plan, Webster orders Gorman to use the satellite to locate kryptonite, the man of steel’s deadly weakness. But a missing unknown element in the kryptonite – replaced by tar by Gorman – causes an unintended side effect when presented to Superman.

According to /Film in his 1999 autobiography still meReeve wrote about the fact that the film’s director, Richard Lesterreally wanted to do Superman III funny and felt at the casting Richard Prior was a blessing. Reeve wholeheartedly disagreed. He said comedian Richard Pryor was only hired because he asked to be in the film while he was on a talk show:

“One night on the Johnny Carson show, Richard Pryor was raving about the Superman movies and saying how much he’d like to be in one. when they heard about it [the film’s executive producers] were excited about the idea that they could get Pryor to play some sort of comic book villain in Superman III. They approached him and immediately got a yes. David and Leslie Newman, the only writers left from the original group, were hired to write what became more of a Richard Pryor comedy than a proper Superman movie.

Reeve went on to describe a scene in the film that was just overly cartoonish in the book:

“The Newmans wrote a scene where Pyror, on skis and wearing a pink tablecloth as Superman’s cloak, rushes off a small ski slope to the top of a skyscraper. He falls down the side of the building and, miraculously unharmed, lands in the middle of traffic on a busy street, then waddles toward the sidewalk, ignoring all the horns and staring pedestrians. I personally found it all distasteful.”

Reeve then added how much he missed work Richard Doner. He did add that though Superman III had at least one notable scene. The Kryptonite cigarette eventually splits Superman into separate good and evil beings, and the two fight. Reeve liked this and wrote:

“I missed Donner very much and what we had created just two years earlier. I liked the sequence where Superman has become an evil version of himself and is trying to kill Clark Kent in a junkyard. That scene stands on its own, I think the rest of Superman III was mostly a misunderstanding.”

While it’s not the strongest of the Superman films, it hasn’t tarnished fans’ imaginations of Reeve as the Man of Steel. He is still considered one of the best, if not the best, to ever wear the cloak.

What do you think of the Superman film series? Which is your favorite movie?

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