"I have taken on the responsibility of trying to visualize Superman for people from eight to eighty, all of whom have their own concepts and fantasies about the Superman myth. It would have been safer and far less daring to do a movie about completely new characters, about whom people wouldn't already have preconceptions.
"Superman must be treated straight. The minute you lose the truth or make fun of it or begin to parody it, you destroy the line of tension, the honesty.
"I think the thing that fueled Chris Reeve a lot of the time was Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda, a lot of 'mams' and 'yups' and tripping over his sneakers and looking at his toes. But it's important to remember that Superman is so beyond our molecular structure that, in comparison to the rest of us, he really is a 'man of steel.'
"The psychological relationship between Superman and the rest of us is far more real than the physical. Given the contrast between the two, Superman knows that at this point in his life any love he may have for an earthling cannot possibly be fulfilled.
"I told Wally Veevers, our special effects wizard, 'I want you to think of all the crazy things you've always wanted to do since you've been in the business, and do them.'
"After the filming was finished, Marlon Brando told me that he had really enjoyed it. When you look at him up there on the screen, playing the role of Superman's father, Jor-El, the character really comes to life. Brando is incredible."
- Richard Donner, Superman the Movie director