Thursday, July 9, 2009

Warner Bros. & DC Wins 'Superman' Case

Variety have news that Warner Bros. and DC Comics have won back the rights to 'Superman' in the suit filed by the heirs of "Superman" co-creator Jerome Siegel. One of the interesting highlights of the hearing is the judge ruled a 'Superman' film has to be made by 2011 or the Siegels will be able to sue for damages, could this ruling finally get the proposed 'Superman Returns' sequel made?
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.

Toberoff also asserted in a written statement that the Siegel heirs and the heirs of co-creator Joe Shuster will own the entire Superman copyright in 2013.

"The Court pointedly ruled that if Warner Bros. does not start production on another Superman film by 2011, the Siegels will be able to sue to recover their damages," Toberoff added.
CBR have kindly posted up the whole decision on there site so if you have the head for it check it out here.