Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank God! Superman is Safe!

Late to the party with this:

In a crucial legal victory for [Warner Bros.], a federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday denied an effort by the heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Shuster to reclaim their 50% interest in the world’s most famous superhero.

Superman is one of Warner's most valuable characters, having generated more than $500 million at the domestic box office with five films and billions of dollars more from television series such as “Smallville,” toys and games, and 74 years’ worth of comic books.

Had Warner and its DC Comics subsidiary lost the case, they would have soon been unable to continue using certain key elements of the Superman mythos -- including his super strength and speed, secret identity as Clark Kent and girlfriend Lois Lane --without reaching a costly new agreement with the estates of Shuster and co-creator Jerry Siegel.

Just imagine. One of our fine entertainment conglomerates having to pay cash money to the heirs of the guys who created the character. The mind reels. I get the vapors just thinking about it. ...

Praise the long green! New and exciting cash flows can be developed.

... The studio is [now] expected to accelerate development of a planned "Justice League" movie that would join Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and other characters, according to a knowledgeable person not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Warner hopes to shoot the film next year and release it in the summer of 2015. The studio already has a "Justice League" script in the works. Next it needs to attach a director and then cast the lead roles.

Corporatism now! Corporatism forEVAH!


Howdy Geddin said...

On the upside, it means more VFX work done the pipe for workers.

My "Give a damn" meter is barely registering a blip on this, it seems like the creators heirs every decade or two go through this song and dance to rewrite the agreement they had back in the 1990's.

Diablo said...

I guess I'm the only one that thinks that the heirs hardly could claim more than what they're already getting. They were not the ones who created the character. But, what the hell do I know....

David said...

In terms of what's morally right the Shuster family should get to share in the profits, but as we know what is LEGAL vs. what is RIGHT or WRONG is not always the same thing. Legally as I understand it Siegel and Shuster were like many other naive young artists who gave up their rights to the character by doing it as work-for-hire.

That's the take away from this story. If you create characters for a big company read the contract and don't sign it if it gives away all future rights to the company , but none for you. License your characters to a company for a set period of time, but after that time the rights revert to you (or your heirs) . Work for hire means just that. You do the work and you get paid for it at the time, but you have no future rights to the work you created.

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