Warner Bros has retained commercial control on the Superman franchise by winning a legal battle against Jerome Siegel’s heirs, one of the co-creators of the superhero. Writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster created the legendary superhero character in 1932.
According to the judgement passed by Judge Stephen Reinhardt of 9th US Circuit of Appeals, Siegel heirs must abide by the 2001 letter which ‘accurately reflected the material terms’ though was never formalized into a contract. The five-page letter had the Warners offering the Siegel heirs a 50% share of Superman.
The co creators of the superhit comic had always battled for higher compensation for their creation. The Shuster heirs will also appeal a different court decision, which in October 2012 had given all rights of the Superman franchise to Warner Bros.
The five films of the Superman series have earned Warner Bros more than $500m only at the US box office. Besides the revenue from the films, throughout its 74 years the franchise has generated billions of dollars through its comic books, toys and games.
The latest Superman movie – Man of the Steel, is due to be released across the world on June 14, 2013, where British actor Henry Cavill and Amy Adams play the role of Superman and Lois Lane respectively.