Just when you thought the sequel Superman: Man of Steel was back on track and flying high... Are problems on the horizon?
Diane Garrett of Variety
The franchise future of comic book's most iconic hero looks to be in doubt after a landmark decision having come down last week in a seemingly endless legal battle over copyright of the character of Superman.
Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel sold the rights to the character to DC Comics for $130 back in 1937. Siegel planned to address the fact he had gotten so little from his creation - He passed away in 1996.
In 1999 his heirs terminated the earlier copyright agreement under a 1976 law, and now a federal judge ruled last week that they were entitled to claim a share of the U.S. copyright to the character.
For the moment, the ruling means nothing, as the studio responsible for MOS is expected to appeal the decision. If the suits lose though, the studio may owe the Siegels a large share of any profits from any domestic revenue generated by the Superman brand from 1999 onwards - such as the $200 million in U.S. box-office generated by 2006's "Superman Returns", the TV show Smallville, and DVD sales-just to name a few. It also means that rights to the character could revert to the Siegels in 2013.
OK-so this really doesn't mean MOS is in trouble per se but may cause the studio to rethink their plans...Let's face it though--Siegel's family wants the character out there just as much as the studio does. It's just a question of who will get a bigger piece of the pie...