In the 1978 film “Superman,” Marlon Brando was paid a whopping $3.7 million to play the role of Superman’s father, Jor-El. But what most people don’t know is that Brando refused to learn his lines and demanded that his lines be printed on cue cards and placed around the set.
It was a headache for the crew, they had to constantly adjust the cards to fit the camera angles. But it also resulted in some humorous moments, as Brando took his cue cards very seriously.
One of the most famous anecdotes from the set is the “not yet” line, which Brando improvised on the spot. With a cue card that read “I will see you again, but not yet. Not yet,” Brando added his own twist by quipping, “In the meantime, there’s a lot of work to do on the Earth. Farewell.” The crew reportedly couldn’t stop laughing, but director Richard Donner loved it so much that he decided to keep it in the film.
No one knows why Brando was so insistent on using cue cards, but he could have been simply too busy with other projects to dedicate time to memorizing lines. Others think that he enjoyed the challenge of performing with a script cheat sheet. Regardless of the reason, Brando’s cue card demands have become part of Hollywood lore, and his ad-libs on the set of “Superman” will be remembered for years to come.