Superman heirs of co-creator Jerry Siegel may have lost a battle, but they’re not willing to concede defeat, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
On Monday, March 4, the Siegel family and attorney Marc Toberoff brought the case back to a lower federal court in California, claiming that, when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Warner Bros., parent company to D.C. Comics, in January 2013 after a decade-long fight, it did so under limited provisions.
In legal documents, the family of Jerry Siegel added that “D.C. [Comics] failed to perform or to even tender performance by March 31, 2002, the date agreed upon.”
Toberoff believes the comic book company “anticipatorily breached by instead demanding unacceptable new and revised terms as a condition to its performance,” THR noted.
“Accordingly, the Siegels rescinded the agreement, and DC abandoned the agreement,” Toberoff continued.
Toberoff is also basing the renewed fight on grounds the Copyright Act excluded anticipated transfer of terminated rights through contracts.
Considering that Toberoff has had some success with this defense before in the case of Lassie, there is reason to hope for Superman heirs.
Jerry Siegel died at age 81 in 1996 and had long lamented selling his and co-creator Joe Shuster’s most famous creation for the sum of $130, The New York Times noted.
The Man of Steel went on to become a billion-dollar franchise and a cultural icon that transcended the comic book medium.
Warner is expecting a final decision in their favor by the time its big-screen reboot Man of Steel hits theaters on June 14, 2013.
Last week, the company stated through legal filings, “After over eight years of litigation, the Siegel Superman and Superboy Cases can and should now come to an end,” adding that the fight should be resolved “in the next 60 to 90 days.”
Warner is also pursuing legal action against Taberoff for what it deems to be interference with rights and withholding information relevant to the case.
The fight has been a long and ugly one for Superman heirs, particularly Laura Siegel Larson, daughter of Jerry Siegel, who along with Toberoff was sued by Warner in 2012 for interfering with the company’s own rights to the franchise.
Siegel Larson penned a letter to comic book fans explaining her position in October 2012. In the letter, she said Warner had “fought us at every turn, in and out of court, aiming to make recovery of the money they owe us so impossibly difficult that we would give up and settle for peanuts.”
Do you agree with the Ninth Circuit’s decision in favor of Warner, or should the Superman heirs be allowed to grab back some of their rights?