On Wednesday June 7, Richard Donner was given a special tribute at the Academy for his many years in film. For anyone that doesn’t know, Richard Donner was the man that essentially created the comic book genre in film with the theatrical release of Superman: The Movie in 1978.
The night was a star-studded affair with many of the people Donner has worked with in the past taking turns speaking, including Mel Gibson and Danny Glover whom he directed in the Lethal Weapon series. But most notably, Kevin Feige and Geoff Johns were also in attendance.
The two went up and spoke together and revealed that they both began their careers working with Richard Donner and they both had fun stories to share while working with him.
Kevin Feige mentioned a word “verisimilitude”, which Donner used a lot. It meant be true or real and in reference to comic book films, be true to the source material. Geoff Johns whose career began as a PA to Donner on Lethal Weapon 4, told his story about a 300 page Superman script that would have been an absolute disaster and how Donner took it upon himself to save Superman from that script.
While on stage, it was clear that Marvel and DC are not enemies, but just friendly rivals in a very competitive industry. The two both appeared very thankful to Donner, who not only gave them their first opportunities, but also inspired them both to steer the comic book movies of today. We as fans, should all be thankful to Donner for bringing us one of the greatest comic book movies of all time as well as inspiring the talented filmmakers of today.