Things are looking pretty grim for the Man of Steel, at least when it comes to his future on the silver screen. As you might remember, Warner Bros, DC Comics, and the Siegel family have been tied up in court over who is entitled to what when it comes to the Man of Steel. While Warner Bros tentatively won the first round, they only have until 2011 to make a Superman movie before being sued for damages.

But a new ruling has cost Warner Bros and DC Comics pieces of the character. Superman is literally chopped into pieces between the Siegels, DC Comics, and Warner Bros which will do nothing but hurt in the long run. According to Variety, the Siegels have recaptured the rights to the first two weeks of the daily Superman newspaper strips, and portions of Action Comics and Superman comics. They apparently now control all depictions of Superman's origin story, which means they now own Krypton, its fiery destruction, Jor-El and Lora, and Kal El. In 2008, the Siegels recaptured the rights to the Superman character (which includes his costume and his alter-ego of Clark Kent), Lois Lane, the Daily Planet, its gruff editor, and their love triangle. DC still owns Jimmy Olson, his ability to fly, Lex Luthor, kryptonite, and Superman's expanded powers and origins.



I can't imagine the legal knots this has spawned, or what it means for that 2011 movie deadline. If you thought Superman's prospects were ugly then, just wait until 2013 when things get really serious. All rights revert to the Siegel and Shuster heirs. That will allow them to shop Superman to whatever studio and television outlet they want, and it will deprive DC of all but Jimmy, Lex, and some of his powers. Who knows what'll happen (probably a huge payoff from DC to the family), but it's a sad day when a superhero is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but unable to escape legal dismembering.