Richard Lester
Birth Name Richard Lester
Birth Date 19 January, 1932
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Directed Superman II
Superman III

Richard Lester is an American-born English film director and producer. He was a notable director of music videos for The Beatles in the 1960's.


Production on Superman II began before Superman was completed, and had to be halted to concentrate on getting the first movie completed. After the first Superman film was released in late 1978, the Salkinds went back into production on Superman II without informing Superman director Richard Donner; they placed Lester behind the camera for the completion of the film. Although Donner had shot a majority of what was planned for the film, Lester jettisoned or reshot much of the original footage so that he could claim sole credit for directing Superman II.

Gene Hackman, who played Lex Luthor, refused to return for the reshoots, so Lester instead used a stunt double and an impersonator to loop Luthor's lines onto footage of Hackman shot by Donner. Some of Donner's original footage was later integrated into television versions of the film. In November 2006, Donner's footage was re-edited into Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, consisting primarily of his footage with Lester's footage used only for scenes not shot during Donner's principal photography.

Lester later directed Superman III in 1983. The third Superman film was not as well received as its predecessors, yet was considered a box office success. The number of blockbuster sequels released that year (two James Bond movies, Octopussy and Never Say Never Again, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Jaws 3) made for stiff competition for Superman III. The film was a moderate commercial success, but not well received critically being labeled as too "campy".