The comic book movie industry has dealt with some tough losses over the last couple of years, most prominently from both Marvel Studios and DC Films. The MCU’s Black Panther Chadwick Boseman lost his battle with colon cancer in Summer 2020 while the DC universe recently lost director Joel Schumacher, who directed both Batman Forever and Batman & Robin in the '90s.
Fans are now coming together to mourn the passing of Superman director Richard Donner, who recently passed away at the age of 91.
Helping set the stage for modern superhero movies with DC before serving as an executive producer on X-Men and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Donner became one of the iconic figures in the industry. This came outside of other action movies he directed like the Lethal Weapon series and The Goonies.
In memory of his passing, one of his most prominent mentees shared an emotional tribute to the fallen titan of the industry.
FEIGE PAYS TRIBUTE TO DONNER
Following the passing of DC director and Marvel producer Richard Donner, Marvel Studios’ Twitter page released a statement on the passing from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
The Marvel executive praised Donner for helping him "believe a man could fly" and that "comic characters could be brought to life on the big screen" in a meaningful way. Feige continued to mention how Donner was served as one of his mentors "during [his] early career" and a staunch supporter "throughout the birth of the MCU."
Marvel's top man concluded by sharing his gratitude to Donner and his wife, Lauren, who both "took the time to nurture and teach a kid from New Jersey who didn't know how to use a fax machine or make coffee:"
"Richard Donner not only made me believe a man could fly, he made me believe that comic characters could be brought to life on the big screen with heart, humor, humanity and verisimilitude. Above all he taught me that it can and must be done with respect, caring, and kindness to everyone in front of and behind the camera. Dick and Lauren became mentors during my early career, and key supporters throughout the birth of the MCU. I owe my career to the way they took the time to nurture and teach a kid from New Jersey who didn't know how to use a fax machine or make coffee very well. I always thought Dick was immortal. I still do. My thoughts are with Lauren and the entire family."
A TOUGH LOSS FOR THE MCU'S LEADER
Kevin Feige has certainly dealt with a tough couple of years, both in the movie-making business and in the circle of life. The loss of Richard Donner seems to be hitting on a deeply personal level considering the influence Donner had on Feige's own brilliant career.
The Marvel Studios President credited Donner some time ago for opening many doors for him at the start of his career, giving Feige his first paid and unpaid jobs as well as his first producing credit on X-Men in 2000. This all came after Feige's first inspiration to go down this career path developed from watching Donner's work with Christopher Reeve on Superman in 1978.
While Donner certainly had an impact on many in the comic book movie industry, Feige's message is truly profound as he expresses his love and appreciation for the iconic film professional. Working together on early Marvel films from Fox helped develop the early beginnings for the MCU, and it's clear that Donner's impact cannot be understated in this regard.
The Direct continues to send our condolences to Richard Donner's family, friends, and co-workers through this time.