Years before extended cuts were a commonplace re-release for movies, the original Richard Donner Superman movie received a bumper cut — nearly 40 minutes longer — when it aired on TV. Now, decades after its premiere, that cut of the movie is finally being released on Blu-ray.
Image: Warner Bros.
Back in February 1982, ABC America’s two-night broadcast of Superman: The Movie was an unprecedented extension of the theatrical release of the film. The three-hour-long version of the movie featured footage never seen before, giving fans longer looks at Krypton before its destruction, more time in Smallville, even more of John Williams’ iconic soundtrack, and more of Christopher Reeves in action as the Man of Steel.
Since ABC’s broadcast, some of the footage included in the extended cut has made its way into previous releases of Superman: The Movie as deleted scenes, but the full, 188-minute version that aired over those two February nights has never been officially released, until now. Warner Bros.’ Archive Collection has unveiled plans for a brand-new remaster of the extended cut as part of a two-film collection that will also include Donner’s definitive director’s cut of the film from 2000. On top of that, it will include new special features, including screen tests and documentaries looking at the creation of one of the most iconic superhero movies of all time.
No release date for the collection has been confirmed yet, other than it’s coming this year in the US. But fans have been waiting 35 years to see this bumper-sized edition of the movie again — what’s a few more months of waiting in comparison?