This is one for the ‘No Shit, Sherlock’ files, but Anne Thompson has done some legwork on the whole ‘Superman franchise is in suspended animation’ thing we’ve all been talking about the last – I don’t know, 2 years? – and shed a couple of new lights on the whole thing.
According to Thompson it’s the pending lawsuit between DC Comics and the Siegel and Shuster estates, who will be getting full copyright over all material from Action Comics #1 in 2013, that’s stalled the return of the Man of Steel to your local cinema. Thompson says that Legendary Pictures is accepting pitches for the character while they wait for the legal business to clear up; later in the article, though, her sources do admit that Superman is just a tough character to make work in the modern age.
I’m surprised that the lawsuit is holding things up. Whatever happens in court, Warner Bros and DC Comics will continue to have Superman past 2013. They won’t part with their flagship superhero, and the Siegel and Shuster families would be foolish to take their aspects of the Superman character to another publisher; there’s already plenty of money being generated, and it’s all a matter of figuring out how to spread it around. It would be a total blindside if the families walked away from Warner Bros with the Action Comics #1 copyrights, sundering the Superman character forever. It reminds me of the Watchmen lawsuit in that everybody knew there would be a settlement, it was just a question of when and how much. The same thing is going on here, and I’m shocked that Legendary is supposedly hedging their bets and cooling the franchise because of that. I bet there’s a lot more The Incredible Hulk-itis (you can’t reboot a franchise too soon or people don’t go for it) than Thompson’s sources wanted to admit.
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