Warner Bros. has won another significant victory in its epic legal struggle over the commercial rights to the Superman comic franchise.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the heirs of Superman’s co-creator Jerome Siegel must abide by a 2001 agreement they made with the studio. The ruling overturns a trial judge’s decision in 2008 siding with the Siegel heirs in their attempts to expand their commercial control.
It’s the second significant victory for the studio in its years-long battle for control of Superman. Three months ago, heirs of the other co-creator, Joseph Shuster, also lost their legal bid to regain a share of Superman’s copyright.
Taken together, Warner Bros. now enjoys complete control of the Superman franchise. It plans to release the movie “Man of Steel” this summer.
With Warner Bros. holding the commercial rights, could we see a new Superman video game in the works? Warner’s other superhero IP includes Batman, and given that Rocksteady’s Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were huge successes, might we see Rocksteady take on the red-caped wonder?