If you like Superman in red and blue while flying, you may want to enjoy next winter’s Man of Steel. If a strange legal case currently unfolding continues, it could be the last time we see many of the familiar elements associated with the Man of Steel all in the same project.
In 2013, certain right associated with the Man of Steel are set to revert back to the estate of creator Joel Siegel and Jerry Schuster. The rights include anything the duo created before they began working on the comic book Superman for DC. That includes things like the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound and the iconic Superman costume.
DC will retain the rights to things like Superman flying and Lex Luthor.
But here’s where things get interesting. Variety reports that theoretically, starting in 2013, the families and Warner Bros./DC could both proceed with their own Superman movies. However, a Siegel/Shuster movie would essentially be based around elements created in 1938, before they began working for DC, while a Warner Bros. movie would be based on what the article calls the “modern Superman.” A 1938 movie could not show Superman flying, while a “modern Superman” film would not have access to the classic costume.
Of course, there’s still a lot of time between now and then for both sides to come to an agreement on things.