While mostly known for his work on the Lethal Weapon films and The Goonies, Director and Producer Richard Donner, who left a mark on the world of superhero movies, has passed away at the age of 91.

What’s Happening:

  • Director of some of the most classic movies from the 70s and 80s, including The Goonies and Lethal Weapon, Richard Donner has passed away at the age of 91.
  • Despite a wide range of work for both the small and big screen, including The Twilight Zone, Gilligan’s Island, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, Srooged and more, Donner is widely regarded for helping to set the stage for the superhero movies we see today thanks to his adaptation of the DC Comic, Superman (1978) and its sequel.
  • Donner and his wife, producer Lauren Schuler Donner, have produced dozens of films under their The Donners’ Company banner. Notably, the X-Men franchise that has spawned 13 films over two-decades at 20th Century Studios.
  • Reportedly, X-Men Director Bryan Singer sought Donner out as a consultant on the first film, given his experience in the superhero film genre, and flew to Australia to ease on-set tensions during the filming of X-Men Origins, when the studio was lining up potential replacement directors.
  • Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment Kevin Feige reportedly credited Donner 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 that first X-Men film in 2000.
  • Feige issued the following statement responding to the news of Donner’s passing: "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."
  • Donner’s death was confirmed by a spokesperson from Warner Bros. but no cause has been disclosed. He is survived by his wife, producer Lauren Shuler Donner; whom he met during the making of the 1985 movie Ladyhawke.