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Superman, lethal weapon film producer Richard Downer dies at the age of 91 | Entertainment News

American film producer Richard Donner helped create a modern superhero blockbuster with “Superman” in 1978, and mastered the partner comedy with the franchise “Lethal Weapon.” He is 91 years old.

Downer died in Los Angeles on Monday, his family said through a spokesperson.

Downer gained fame with his first feature film, “Omen” in 1976. A proposal unheard of at the time followed: $1 million to guide Superman in 1978. Downer used his love for this character in the production of this movie, and confronted the producer many times, because special effects are needed to make the audience believe that superheroes can really fly. In the opening role, Donner played Christopher Reeve, who spent the rest of his life with Superman.

By the 21st century, this genre will dominate the box office in the United States and is booming overseas. The heads of Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment — the producers of most superhero movies today — worked for Downer when Hollywood started. Downer’s own career spanned five years.

Steven Spielberg (Steven Spielberg) made the 1985 movie The Goonies, which tells the story of a group of unsocial children looking for pirate treasure, directed by Downer.

In a statement, he stated that Downer “has talent in many genres. In his circle is like being with your favorite coach, the smartest professor, the strongest motivator, the loveliest friend, the most Staunch allies and of course the greatest Goonie hang out together,” he wrote in a statement.

“He is still a child. With all my heart. Every moment. I can’t believe he is gone, but his hoarse and hearty laughter will always be with me.”

Director Kevin Smith wrote on Twitter: “Richard Downer turned the devil into a child in “Omen”, invented the modern comic film with Superman, and reinvented the partner police film with lethal weapons. Last year I met him on a project. Guy is born a storyteller. Thanks for all the movies, Dick!”

Downer also added his political beliefs in his films, inserted “Free South Africa” ​​posters in many of his works during the apartheid period, and inserted “Stamp Out the NRA” in the deadly police station. (National Rifle Association) Poster weapons.

“I’m making a comment. If you see it, you will see it, and if you don’t, you don’t,” Downer said in an interview with the Television Academy in 2006.

Director and producer Richard Donner (Richard Donner) and his wife and producer Lauren Shuler Donner (Lauren Shuler Donner) met when they co-produced the film Ladyhawke [File: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner]

Downer followed Superman in 1980 and 1982 indie games “Inside Moves” and 1982’s The Toy with Richard Pryor. In 1985, he produced the children’s adventure classics The Goonies and Ladyhawke, which would introduce him to his future wife Lauren Shuler Donner.

The two got married the following year. In 1993, they founded The Donners Company, which produced popular titles such as Deadpool, Wolverine and X-Men series. After adjusting for inflation, his movie box office revenue exceeded $1 billion.

In 1987, Downer selected Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as unmatched police partners in the action film Lethal Weapon. The movie became a sensation, spawning several sequels and a TV show.

“He is a master of storytelling,” Gibson said in 2017. “He is very humble. He has a sign on this door that says “Leave your ego at the door”. There is no ego around him. Actually, it is difficult for me to walk into the room.”

Downer followed up with Bill Murray’s hit song Scrooged in 1988 and Lethal Weapon 2 the following year.

His other works include Maverick, Conspiracy Theory and Radio Flyer.

Donald was born in New York City on April 24, 1930. His original name was Richard Donald Schwartzberg (Richard Donald Schwartzberg), who changed his name when he started to become an actor.

“Without the great director Marty Ritter, I would now be an unemployed actor,” Downer said.

He remembered Ritter telling him, “Your problem is that you can’t accept the direction,” and suggested that he switch to director work.

“Because I have been with him, he said,’You are my assistant for my next show,’ which changed my life,” Downer said. “I never returned to the showbiz.”

He started working on television and directed episodes of Gilligan Island, Perry Mason, and Twilight, which included a 2,000-foot nightmare starring William Shatner in 1963.

Away from the camera, Downer is known for his extraordinary kindness and generosity. He paid college tuition for one Goonies star (Jeff Cohen, now an entertainment lawyer) and another (actor Corey Feldman). ) Pay for life-saving rehabilitation expenses.

Downer told the Associated Press in an interview in 1985 that the young actor helped him complete the production.

“I never had children of my own, they became like my family,” he said.

Along with his wife, Downer is also a passionate animal advocate, saving dozens of dogs over the years and fighting the captive breeding of killer whales.

Although some of Donner’s films received Oscar nominations, he was never nominated. But he had the opportunity to thank the college-and many of his friends and colleagues in the tribute.

“This industry is my friend, and it is the greatest gift to me in the world,” Downer said. “You are all my Oscars.”

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