Warner Bros. and DC Comics have won the rights to the Superboy character.
A federal judge ruled that the rights to the character belong to the studio and the comic book publisher. The ruling determined that the 2001 agreement made by the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel included the rights to Superboy.
Although Smallville and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel tackle the iconic superhero as a child, they were not allowed to reference him as Superboy. The recent ruling ultimately means that Warner Bros could move forward with a movie centered around the character at some point in the future.
DC Comics had previously extended the copyright on the characters several times in the past. The publisher extended the rights in 1976 for an additional 19 years. However, Siegel’s estate attempted to regain control of the property by issuing Warner Bros. and DC a termination notice in 1997.
Although everyone came to an agreement on the subject in 2001, the estate headed back to court to snag rights to Superboy and some character-related advertisements. The issue dragged through the courts for years, forcing the studio and the publisher to tread very carefully as they moved forward with ventures involving the character.
Should Man of Steel make a ton of money at the box office this summer, then Warner Bros. could move forward with some sort of Superboy project. However, there are currently no plans for a movie involving the younger version of Superman.
The future of Superboy essentially hinges on how well Man of Steel fares with moviegoers. Given that earlier buzz has been nothing but positive, fans of Superboy could see some sort of project involving the young superhero come together down the road.
Are you a fan of Superboy? What do you think about the recent ruling that puts the rights back in the hands of Warner Bros. and DC Comics?