Superman Felled by Kryptonite-laced Lawsuit

| Mon Mar. 31, 2008 6:28 PM EDT

mojo-photo-supermen.jpgActually, to be honest, there's no proof of any Kryptonite contamination, but attorney Marc Toberoff may turn out to be Lex Luthor. He just won a case against Warner Bros. on behalf of the heirs of Jerome Siegel, one of the co-creators of Superman in the original Action Comics issue 71 years ago. Variety is reporting that this might put the franchise on hold:

Advertise on MotherJones.com

The federal ruling could put a serious crimp on future plans for one of the studio's most enduring -- and lucrative -- franchises, especially if co-creator Joe Shuster's heirs follow suit in five years, when they are eligible to do so. As it is, the studio has at least two Superman projects in development -- a follow-up to Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" and "Justice League" -- and it may end up paying tens of millions from the domestic haul of "Superman Returns" to Siegel's heirs under the ruling, which applies to domestic monies for Superman projects since 1999.
To the Siegels, Toberoff's legal maneuvers are nothing short of heroic. The family had been destitute for years after Siegel sold rights to his Man of Steel to Detective Comics for $130. DC Comics had started to pony up more monies after Warners made successful movies based on the character, but Siegel had long wished to redress the fact he had gotten so little from his creation; he died in 1996.

While some are worried this could spell the death of Superman, it seems like anybody with a stake in profits would actually want more movies and stuff, not less. Plus, as Vulture points out, putting Hayden Christensen in the role of the Man of Steel would be a far greater threat to Superman's legacy. Whatever, all I care about is the new Wolverine movie. Don't sue Wolverine! He can't help that he's indestructible!

Photo of supermen used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user Dogwelder.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.