Warning: This article contains a major plot spoiler for Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.
Newsarama today posted a brief interview with Michael Thau, the 2006 producer and editor of Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. The Donner Cut hit DVD on November 28.
On the re-use of the Superman “turning back time” sequence to conclude Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Thau said, “No one liked the idea of turning back time in this film.”
Thau, Donner, and creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz discussed the option of leaving in Richard Lester’s “magic kiss” scene instead, in which Clark kisses Lois and erases her memory of his true identity.
Thau felt it was the most “Donneresque” of the Lester footage but, as noted on the DVD, Mankiewicz felt Clark should never kiss Lois, that only Superman should do that.
With a miniscule budget, not to mention that thirty years had passed since the movie’s original filming, crafting a brand new ending was out of the question. “How do you (create a new ending) without shooting footage?” asked Thau.
Ultimately, Warner Brothers made Thau’s decision easier. “We had marching orders on this thing from the studio to put as much Donner footage as we could back in. After so many years there’s almost a parody in doing it again but I’m just trying to justify it. No one really wanted to do it.”