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Old 07-09-2011, 11:02 AM   #101
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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As soon as they got some momentum going, they wreck it. And how Elliot S! Maggin or Mark Waid is not the Superman editor is beyond me.
This is the heart of the issue. Superman has had some quality writers and artists, but they have not stuck around for reasons that are still unclear. Geoff Johns seemed very invested in Superman and staying on the title after Infinite Crisis, and things were looking great. The Superman mythos was beginning to evolve again, and there was a feeling that the Byrne continuity was going to be included to some degree, but largely erased.

Then Johns leaves to work on Secret Origin and other things, and never returns. Had he been committed (or perhaps, allowed to be committed?) to the title, he and Busiek could have put the Superman titles high in the sales charts each month.

But then both left; Busiek has commented vaguely over at the CBR forums that it was difficult to work for editorial at the time. Then New Krypton, which could have been phenomenal and really brought a lot of attention to Superman, ended up ousting Superman from BOTH of his titles and putting him in a limited series most folks wouldn't want to have to buy.

Then "Grounded" happened and here we are. The biggest mistake DC has made with Superman in the last ten to fifteen years has been passing on the Waid/Morrison proposal. The books would have been top sellers had they been allowed to go along with it.

When I heard about this reboot, I was hoping Mark Waid would be at the helm. Why does DC hate this guy so much? He should be spearheading this reboot, and using a retooled version of Birthright as the basis for a new era of Superman.

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:07 AM   #102
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Shuster worked as a courier for a while. Siegel ended up working as a mail clerk. The years of trying to sue National over Superman took their toll on both of them, and they were never able to come up with another character that caught on like Superman, although Siegel did create several successful second stringers like The Spectre and Star Spangled Kid. Siegel ended up back at DC in the 60's when he actually did his best work ever, writing tons of great Superman, Superboy and Supergirl stories and many great Legion stories as well, creating many of the Legionaires and their villains with Curt Swan. Toberoff isn't the first lawyer to manipulate the Siegel and Shuster families-Jerry and Joe were used and manipulated by attorneys when they were alive who promised them a better deal, one they never got.

If you read Gerard Jones' Men of Tomorrow, you'll get the story on Superman's origins and Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's lives. It's required reading for every Superman fan and comics/fantasy fan in general, along with Ronin Ro's Tales to Astonish, the Sternako History of Comics, and Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art.
Didn't they do the first imaginary tale? The Death of Superman issue #149?

This is the real death of Supes tale. Dead means dead. Superman doesn't come back to life. It was done at a time when tre weren't events - it is contained in one issue. If this had been done today it would have spanned many issues.

It's usually listed as among the top Superman stories ever.

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #103
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DC long ago decided they would be further challenged over Superman's rights and decided to make the rights-and-costs controlled Batman their centerpiece character. In fact, DC argued during the court case that Superman has lost popularity and therefore value, and that they should have to pay less as a result. Of course Superman lost value-DC tanked him on purpose by making him a Marvel-lite character and Batman's *****.

Clearly Superman's relative value as a franchise has faded over the past years with the rise of Potter, Batman, Spiderman, Star Trek, Ironman and others. I dunno if it even ranks in the top ten commercial franchises anymore.

Didn't WB/DC argue in the trial that it was equal in value to the Conan franchise? I don't know if the court affirmed that valuation but that gives you an idea that WB and DC don't see a lot of value in it. Horn it was I think who said there were questions about the franchies's viability.

Of course WB/DC have an agenda to get the court to place the lowest value possible on the franchise so the payout to the heirs is minimized.

Still, there is no doubt the Superman franchise has lost a lot of it's value.

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Old 07-09-2011, 01:22 PM   #104
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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moreover, I am strongly against inheritance past a certain point. Why should some dim wit, 3 generations later be allowed to profit from something they've made no contribution to? Sure, there should be some inheritance, ie. 1 or 2 generations, but it shouldn't go beyond that, unless like I said, they've made a solid contribution to the growth of the property. They must be worthy
I don't think it's so much about them being worthy or not, it seems like more of a way to avoid any one entity getting sole ownership and monopolizing. It forces at least two sides to negotiate over it.

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Old 07-09-2011, 09:01 PM   #105
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DC long ago decided they would be further challenged over Superman's rights and decided to make the rights-and-costs controlled Batman their centerpiece character. In fact, DC argued during the court case that Superman has lost popularity and therefore value, and that they should have to pay less as a result. Of course Superman lost value-DC tanked him on purpose by making him a Marvel-lite character and Batman's *****.



Yeah, this new revamp will the 5th new origin for Superman since 2000. There is no stability in creative teams or direction. Superman is in Wonder Woman territory at this point-he only has a comic because of his name. As soon as they got some momentum going, they wreck it. And how Elliot S! Maggin or Mark Waid is not the Superman editor is beyond me.
To your point my guess is that even if DC/WB worked out a deal with the heirs they would take a two-track strategy to Superman.

They'd continue with a rebooted version who is not "goody two shoes" so to speak. An in-your-face angsty type of superhero. One they own completely and have the copyright to for 75 years to come.

They'd have a classic Superman line based on the character we know. They'd do specials and produce products but I think even if this is resolved DC/WB would use the classic version less and less and work to build a brand new character.

Agreement with heirs or not, DC/WB and the heirs lose the rights in less than 20 years. I don't see them trying to re-build or heavilly invest in the classic Superman.

It makes sense from a business point of view but, to be sure, not from a fan's point of view.

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Old 07-09-2011, 09:32 PM   #106
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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Didn't they do the first imaginary tale? The Death of Superman issue #149?

This is the real death of Supes tale. Dead means dead. Superman doesn't come back to life. It was done at a time when tre weren't events - it is contained in one issue. If this had been done today it would have spanned many issues.

It's usually listed as among the top Superman stories ever.
It's in my top 5 Superman stories ever. A while later Edmond Hamilton wrote the incredible "Last Days of Superman" where Superman is dying and makes his bucket list of deeds for humanity. All-Star Superman is a modern update of that story. It also featured Superman's credo: "Do good to others and every man can be a Superman." That is Superman's message to humanity-that although man cannot fly or move mountains, they can offer compassion and assistance to their fellow man as best they can. It is transcendence through altruism and it applies to the real world just as it applies in Superman's world.

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This is the heart of the issue. Superman has had some quality writers and artists, but they have not stuck around for reasons that are still unclear. Geoff Johns seemed very invested in Superman and staying on the title after Infinite Crisis, and things were looking great. The Superman mythos was beginning to evolve again, and there was a feeling that the Byrne continuity was going to be included to some degree, but largely erased.

Then Johns leaves to work on Secret Origin and other things, and never returns. Had he been committed (or perhaps, allowed to be committed?) to the title, he and Busiek could have put the Superman titles high in the sales charts each month.

But then both left; Busiek has commented vaguely over at the CBR forums that it was difficult to work for editorial at the time. Then New Krypton, which could have been phenomenal and really brought a lot of attention to Superman, ended up ousting Superman from BOTH of his titles and putting him in a limited series most folks wouldn't want to have to buy.

Then "Grounded" happened and here we are. The biggest mistake DC has made with Superman in the last ten to fifteen years has been passing on the Waid/Morrison proposal. The books would have been top sellers had they been allowed to go along with it.

When I heard about this reboot, I was hoping Mark Waid would be at the helm. Why does DC hate this guy so much? He should be spearheading this reboot, and using a retooled version of Birthright as the basis for a new era of Superman.
DC doesn't want Superman to succeed unless they are sure they have total control. Now they they are reinventing him, they have put the best they have (Grant Morrison) on it.

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Clearly Superman's relative value as a franchise has faded over the past years with the rise of Potter, Batman, Spiderman, Star Trek, Ironman and others. I dunno if it even ranks in the top ten commercial franchises anymore.

Didn't WB/DC argue in the trial that it was equal in value to the Conan franchise? I don't know if the court affirmed that valuation but that gives you an idea that WB and DC don't see a lot of value in it. Horn it was I think who said there were questions about the franchies's viability.

Of course WB/DC have an agenda to get the court to place the lowest value possible on the franchise so the payout to the heirs is minimized.

Still, there is no doubt the Superman franchise has lost a lot of it's value.
It has, but that is DC's fault. They aimed the franchise at the wrong people and took Superman too far from what he was meant to be. DBZ's popularity alone proves that insanely powerful characters can be popular, so the idea that Superman is too powerful to be popular is a total canard.

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To your point my guess is that even if DC/WB worked out a deal with the heirs they would take a two-track strategy to Superman.

They'd continue with a rebooted version who is not "goody two shoes" so to speak. An in-your-face angsty type of superhero. One they own completely and have the copyright to for 75 years to come.

They'd have a classic Superman line based on the character we know. They'd do specials and produce products but I think even if this is resolved DC/WB would use the classic version less and less and work to build a brand new character.

Agreement with heirs or not, DC/WB and the heirs lose the rights in less than 20 years. I don't see them trying to re-build or heavilly invest in the classic Superman.

It makes sense from a business point of view but, to be sure, not from a fan's point of view.
Agree 100%. These are business decisions and good ones. It sucks for the fans but hard to argue with the success of the Batman franchise since they made it their #1. The disastrous failure of the GL movie is what is now keeping Superman as #2.


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Old 07-09-2011, 10:09 PM   #107
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DC doesn't want Superman to succeed unless they are sure they have total control. Now they they are reinventing him, they have put the best they have (Grant Morrison) on it.


Agree 100%. These are business decisions and good ones. It sucks for the fans but hard to argue with the success of the Batman franchise since they made it their #1. The disastrous failure of the GL movie is what is now keeping Superman as #2.
Yup, finally Superman gets some attention from DC. But there is a method to their "madness".

We don't know if DC is even going to be able to create a totally non-derivative character. Trexler thinks it will be hard.

But DC is moving forward to try to do this.

The alternative - drop the character all together.

I've always considered myself a purist re: Superman but when reality stares you in the face you think a little differently.

At this point I'd rather have a Man of Steel who doesn't wear red undies over his blue tights and isn't aka Clark Kent than DC drop the character altogether.

But that is the choice facing fans. Many fans disagree with me and would rather have Superman disappear rather than have DC create a "derived" character.

MOS is definitely the last classic Superman film. There won't be a sequel because of the legal issues.

But, as you noted re: the GL failure, this new DC character may be given the attention Superman never has in recent decades and may be on the fast track for a movie franchise of his own.

It's all about the bottom line, money. The classic Superman was doomed not only because of the lawsuit but, more significantly, because DC and WB had, under the best of circumstances, only a relative few years to exploit the character. They were never going to invest significant resources into a short term "classic" Superman franchise but rather they will direct the bulk of their resources into the longer term Batman and GL franchises. And others.


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Old 07-09-2011, 10:19 PM   #108
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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Yup, finally Superman gets some attention from DC. But there is a method to their "madness".

We don't know if DC is even going to be able to create a totally non-derivative character. Trexler thinks it will be hard.

But DC is moving forward to try to do this.

The alternative - drop the character all together.

I've always considered myself a purist re: Superman but when reality stares you in the face you think a little differently.

At this point I'd rather have a Man of Steel who doesn't wear red undies over his blue tights and isn't aka Clark Kent than DC drop the character altogether.

But that is the choice facing fans. Many fans disagree with me and would rather have Superman disappear rather than have DC create a "derived" character.

MOS is definitely the last classic Superman film. There won't be a sequel because of the legal issues.

But, as you noted re: the GL failure, this new DC character may be given the attention Superman never has in recent decades and may be on the fast track for a movie franchise of his own.

It's all about the bottom line, money. The classic Superman was doomed not only because of the lawsuit but, more significantly, because DC and WB had, under the best of circumstances, only a relative few years to exploit the character. They were never going to invest the resources into a short term franchise that they would into the much longer term Batman and GL franchises.

But they might invest those resources into a Man of Steel and....who knows?!
Yeah, it's really hard to say. The biggest irony would be if DC decided they couldn't legally continue with Superman and replaced him with Captain Marvel.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:27 PM   #109
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Oh for the love of...

WB and DC is not going to lose the rights to Superman. The heirs won't be able to do anything with what they get. Their parts of Superman, alone, are not profitable. They get one issue's worth of content. WB has 70 years of development. Do you think anyone will want a character that can't fly, can't shoot heat beams and doesn't have any of his rogues gallery? Marvel already has that character. Its called the Sentry. Oh, wait, no, he can fly.

If the heirs get exactly what they want, here is what will happen. WB will give them lots and lots of money. The heirs will take that money. Then both will profit on what Superman brings in. In reality, this case is not about who controls the character. Its about how much money WB has to pay the heirs to make them go away.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:28 PM   #110
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SMH. You said it yourself. To much money for them not to settle. Your crazy if you think they don't settle. Thats what this is all boiling down too. I mean its also ridiculous for you to say this is the last classic Superman film and their wont be a sequel. If WB wanted to they have could have just made a ****** movie like 90's Captain America or something. But nope they've gotten their boy Christoper "I swim in money" Nolan. Got their other boy Zack Snyder and have so far got a great cast. I just get the feeling from all your comments that you personally have no hopes for the film and you want it to fail.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:32 PM   #111
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Yeah, it's really hard to say. The biggest irony would be if DC decided they couldn't legally continue with Superman and replaced him with Captain Marvel.
Acccording to the owner of my local comic shop and his "connections" - such as he claims them to be - DC definitely will use the Man of Steel name for the new character. They may meld it with Captain Marvel but I think MOS carries more gravitas. We'll see.

As this friend of mine said, at least Routh won't be Superman's only George Lazenby. Cavill will own that title too.

Kinda like Singer is now feeling a little bit less heat after GL's disappointment. You know he has to be relieved the spotlight is off of him after these past 5 years.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:32 PM   #112
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Replace Superman with Captain Marvel?

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:33 PM   #113
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You guys are just...I have no words.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:38 PM   #114
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Oh for the love of...

WB and DC is not going to lose the rights to Superman. The heirs won't be able to do anything with what they get. Their parts of Superman, alone, are not profitable. They get one issue's worth of content. WB has 70 years of development. Do you think anyone will want a character that can't fly, can't shoot heat beams and doesn't have any of his rogues gallery? Marvel already has that character. Its called the Sentry. Oh, wait, no, he can fly.

If the heirs get exactly what they want, here is what will happen. WB will give them lots and lots of money. The heirs will take that money. Then both will profit on what Superman brings in. In reality, this case is not about who controls the character. Its about how much money WB has to pay the heirs to make them go away.
As I said, even if there is an agreement there is no incentive for WB/DC to invest heavilly in the classic Superman cause they lose exclusive rights to him in less than 20 years.

IMO WB/DC will continue to develop a "new" character they completely own for 75 years to come rather than throw good money after bad into a short term investment which is what the classic Superman is now. Both for WB/DC, the heirs and Toberoff.

If there is a resolution I expect DC will continue a classic Superman line but the focus will shift to a new, re-imaged Man of Steel for the new century. Financially that is the only way to go given how relatively soon the classic Superman goes public.


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Old 07-09-2011, 10:47 PM   #115
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They'll extend those public domain laws. Thats given. Money is all it takes. Sticking with a valuable property is whole lot easier than trying to make a new one. Thats simple. I mean hell they might as well start a new Batman since he's their most valuable asset. Wait I dont see them doing that so your point is invalid.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:49 PM   #116
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As I said, even if there is an agreement there is no incentive for WB/DC to invest heavilly in the classic Superman cause they lose exclusive rights to him in less than 20 years.

IMO WB/DC will continue to develop a "new" character they completely own for 75 years to come rather than throw good money after bad into a short term investment which is what the classic Superman is now. Both for WB/DC, the heirs and Toberoff.

If there is a resolution I expect DC will continue a classic Superman line but the focus will shift to a new, re-imaged Man of Steel for the new century. Financially that is the only way to go given how relatively soon the classic Superman goes public.
So...the theory is that WB and DC are throwing all the money and talent they have into one Superman movie...only to go in a completely different direction directly after? And they are rewriting Superman's origins...only to ditch the character in a little while because continuing to write him would be too hard?

Is it just me, or does everybody else see that this makes no sense whatsoever?

Also, Superman will never go public. All of your doom and gloom theories are just that. Theories. Like how the moon landing was faked.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:53 PM   #117
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Public Domain laws will get changed LONG before Supes goes public. You think a billion dollar corporation can't influence some Washington Politicians. Man get please. They'll at least do it for Batman.

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:15 PM   #118
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So...the theory is that WB and DC are throwing all the money and talent they have into one Superman movie...only to go in a completely different direction directly after? And they are rewriting Superman's origins...only to ditch the character in a little while because continuing to write him would be too hard?

Is it just me, or does everybody else see that this makes no sense whatsoever?

Also, Superman will never go public. All of your doom and gloom theories are just that. Theories. Like how the moon landing was faked.
Do you understand that the legal battle that's going on over Superman isn't a theory? As well as how messy and hostile it's become?

If the effects of the impending legal restrictions represent a 'doom and gloom' theory...I'd like to hear what sort of utopian theory sees everyone agreeing to play nice and have Superman continue like he's been without missing a beat. That oughtta be a deusie.

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SMH. You said it yourself. To much money for them not to settle. Your crazy if you think they don't settle.
Quite the contrary...it could very likely add more fuel to an already fierce fire. The more money that's involved, the less that people want to share..and the longer they'll sue, counter-sue, and appeal over it. Especially if you have a lawyer with ownership interest involved who's looking to build a production company. He's probably the single biggest monkey-wrench in this whole thing.

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Plus, is the infatuation that teenage girls have with pseudo-vampires any less sad than your infatuation with men in spandex and Heath Ledger? Its probably more justifiable for them. :)

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #119
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Oh for the love of...

WB and DC is not going to lose the rights to Superman. The heirs won't be able to do anything with what they get. Their parts of Superman, alone, are not profitable. They get one issue's worth of content. WB has 70 years of development. Do you think anyone will want a character that can't fly, can't shoot heat beams and doesn't have any of his rogues gallery? Marvel already has that character. Its called the Sentry. Oh, wait, no, he can fly.

If the heirs get exactly what they want, here is what will happen. WB will give them lots and lots of money. The heirs will take that money. Then both will profit on what Superman brings in. In reality, this case is not about who controls the character. Its about how much money WB has to pay the heirs to make them go away.
If Toberoff wasn't involved I'd expect an eventual settlement, but his presence is the problem. It's not JUST money, it's 45% ownership of the character. The heirs would own 55%, Toberoff 45% and they would license it to WB/DC for a fee. You know they'll never go for that, and it'll be years before a settlement is reached unless he is out of the picture somehow.

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As I said, even if there is an agreement there is no incentive for WB/DC to invest heavilly in the classic Superman cause they lose exclusive rights to him in less than 20 years.

IMO WB/DC will continue to develop a "new" character they completely own for 75 years to come rather than throw good money after bad into a short term investment which is what the classic Superman is now. Both for WB/DC, the heirs and Toberoff.

If there is a resolution I expect DC will continue a classic Superman line but the focus will shift to a new, re-imaged Man of Steel for the new century. Financially that is the only way to go given how relatively soon the classic Superman goes public.
Yeah, business wise it is hard to argue against what they are doing.

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So...the theory is that WB and DC are throwing all the money and talent they have into one Superman movie...only to go in a completely different direction directly after? And they are rewriting Superman's origins...only to ditch the character in a little while because continuing to write him would be too hard?

Is it just me, or does everybody else see that this makes no sense whatsoever?

Also, Superman will never go public. All of your doom and gloom theories are just that. Theories. Like how the moon landing was faked.
I don't think Superman will ever go public, but it is certainly not unprecedented that they take him in a new direction and then change directions...as this will be the 5th new origin in the last 10 years.

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #120
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MOS is definitely the last classic Superman film. There won't be a sequel because of the legal issues.
I keep seeing people write this, but if this MOS is a big success, there WILL be a sequel. Count on it. No way imo will WB/DC lose the rights. They may have to pay some money to the heirs, but I don't think those heirs will ultimately end up in control of anything. Also, I can't believe WB are treating this film as a one off, end of the line proposition. I'd like to know if they have optioned Henry & Amy for more than one film.

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:41 PM   #121
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WB/DC is not going to just let Superman go and create some other Bizzaro version of Superman. Why would they even being fighting with Toberoff and the fam if they were just going to create a different bastardized version of the character anyway?

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:49 PM   #122
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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Originally Posted by Stephen K. Hone View Post
I keep seeing people write this, but if this MOS is a big success, there WILL be a sequel. Count on it. No way imo will WB/DC lose the rights. They may have to pay some money to the heirs, but I don't think those heirs will ultimately end up in control of anything. Also, I can't believe WB are treating this film as a one off, end of the line proposition. I'd like to know if they have optioned Henry & Amy for more than one film.
If MOS is somehow a huge success, and it raises the value of the Superman brand...they'll be more money to fight over regarding settlements et al. That's the big irony about this whole thing.

I don't see it so much as WB treating this as a one-off with no desire for a sequel, it's just that they're prepared not to continue with it if things go the way they've been going. You could have appeals spanning the next 5-8 years...in which case no one would have full control over anything, but nothing would be produced because every effort would feed yet another lawsuit, counter-suit, appeal, and so on.

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Plus, is the infatuation that teenage girls have with pseudo-vampires any less sad than your infatuation with men in spandex and Heath Ledger? Its probably more justifiable for them. :)
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:54 PM   #123
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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WB/DC is not going to just let Superman go and create some other Bizzaro version of Superman. Why would they even being fighting with Toberoff and the fam if they were just going to create a different bastardized version of the character anyway?
WB doesn't want to make a new version of Superman as much they may just have to, or just stop altogether. The reason why they're fighting is to depower the other side as much as possible in case they do want to settle....force them to accept a low-ball basement offer with no alternatives. Look at it as a nasty custody battle in a divorce.

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Originally Posted by Matt
Plus, is the infatuation that teenage girls have with pseudo-vampires any less sad than your infatuation with men in spandex and Heath Ledger? Its probably more justifiable for them. :)
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:19 AM   #124
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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Originally Posted by KalMart View Post
If MOS is somehow a huge success, and it raises the value of the Superman brand...they'll be more money to fight over regarding settlements et al. That's the big irony about this whole thing.

I don't see it so much as WB treating this as a one-off with no desire for a sequel, it's just that they're prepared not to continue with it if things go the way they've been going. You could have appeals spanning the next 5-8 years...in which case no one would have full control over anything, but nothing would be produced because every effort would feed yet another lawsuit, counter-suit, appeal, and so on.
Obviously WB's wants to pay the heirs as little as possible, but I also think that while it is in litigation or is being appealed, WB would find a court that would allow them to continue using Superman as is. IIRC The guy that sued Ford over the intermittent wiper patent, didn't stop Ford from using that feature while that case was being decided.

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:38 AM   #125
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Default Re: Siegel & Shuster vs WB: Superman and Infinite Crisis - Part 1

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Obviously WB's wants to pay the heirs as little as possible, but I also think that while it is in litigation or is being appealed, WB would find a court that would allow them to continue using Superman as is.
What court would that be? And what would stop the heirs/Toberoff from finding another court to stop that court?

I think the federal court that handles copyright laws is pretty darn high up there....and if they tell you you have to do something, you pretty much have to or risk something much more severe.

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Originally Posted by Stephen K. Hone View Post
IIRC The guy that sued Ford over the intermittent wiper patent, didn't stop Ford from using that feature while that case was being decided.
Again, I think we're talking about something much bigger than small parts like wipers and a patent issue.

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Originally Posted by Matt
Plus, is the infatuation that teenage girls have with pseudo-vampires any less sad than your infatuation with men in spandex and Heath Ledger? Its probably more justifiable for them. :)

Last edited by KalMart; 07-10-2011 at 12:42 AM.
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