Henry Cavill In A New Still From Forthcoming Film Man Of Steel

Superman: Warner Bros Locks In Commercial Control Of Character In Legal Victory

With the summer release of Man of Steel looming, Warner Bros. have won a significant legal victory over the heirs of one of the co-creators of Superman, giving it total commercial control of the superhero.

The unanimous court judgment was handed down by a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit of Appeals, which stated that Jerome [Jerry] Siegel’s heirs must adhere to the terms of a 2001 letter that accepted Warner’s offer for their 50 percent share of Superman.

Even though the five-page letter was never actually formalised into a contract, the court decided it was still binding,BBC News reports.

Referring to both parties, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote:

“Statements from the attorneys for both parties establish that the parties had undertaken years of negotiations, that they had resolved the last outstanding point … during a conversation on Oct. 15, 2001, and that the letter accurately reflected the material terms they had orally agreed to on that day.”

The ruling effectively reverses a 2008 court decision that ordered Warner Bros. to share monies earned since 1999 with the heirs, and to give the family control of fundamental aspects of the Superman brand — notably, his costume.

Henry Cavill As A Captive Superman In Man Of Steel