After a delay due to a procedural matter, the Superman lawsuit is back on. This case is more complicated than a DC crossover event, but the bottom line is that depositions by the heirs of Siegel and Shuster — Joanne Siegel, Laura Siegel Larson, Jean Peavy and Mark Peavy — are now taking place.
For those of you keeping score at home, the motion to end the delay was made by Warner Bros.
The case — stemming from the filing of copyright termination notices by both families — has become a marathon, with Warners lawyer Dan Petrocelli getting very aggressive with Marc Toberoff, who is representing the heirs, by slapping a lawsuit on him.
Now, as Warners fast-tracks its planned Christopher Nolan-produced, Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot, Toberoff is fighting back agressively against that lawsuit, filing a host of motions attempting to have the case dismissed and Warners punished for targeting him personally. Now, thanks to this ruling, Warners will soon have its chance to ask questions of Toberoff’s clients.
Warners lead attorney Dan Petrocelli tells THR that the depositions, which were initially scheduled for Nov. 15, will be rescheduled immediately. We’ve left word for Toberoff and will update will his comment.
Previous ruling have generally gone for the Siegel family, with rights to various elements of the Superman legend going back to them. (Shuster’s heirs will be eligible for copyright reassignment in 2013.)
Warner’s has fast-tracked a new Superman movie with Zack Snyder directing, doubtless part of the reason they want to speed up the legal matters. If the current legal rulings stand, Warners would owe the SIgeel family part of the profits from the character from 1999 on.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.