Friday, July 10, 2009

Pyrrhic Victory In Superman Case

The heirs of Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster (the creators of Superman) filed a suit against both Warner Bros and DC Comics, seeking compensation for the use of the character. According to Variety:

In a decision announced Wednesday, U.S. Judge District Court Judge Stephen G. Larson found that the license fees the studio paid to corporate sibling DC Comics didn't represent "sweetheart" deals as they weren't below fair market value. That means the heirs will be able seek profits only from DC Comics -- which earned $13.6 million from Warner Bros. for the 2006 release of "Superman Returns" -- rather than from Warner Bros. as well.

The judge, who conducted a 10-day bench trial, also noted that Warner Bros. chairman Alan Horn had testified that he hopes to make another "Superman" movie but added that the property wasn't under development at the studio, that no script had been written and that the earliest another "Superman" pic could be released would be in 2012

So the current situation is this: the copyright to Superman defaults to the Siegel and Shuster families in 2013. Meaning that Warner Bros. have until 2011 at the latest to start up a new Superman project under the current deal with DC; after that, the movie will be released after the copyright changes hands and they will owe damages to the families.

Considering the nightmare around getting the last film released (not to mention its subsequent dismal reception), it doesn't look good for Warner Bros., and the families of the creators of Big Blue may just have the last laugh after all.

So what do you guys think?

1 brain pickings:

  1. I think I want another damn movie already! And I want Routh back. Still, I'm glad Joe and Jerry will finally get their due, the suckered young talents rarely get such chances, even after they're dead.


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