EXCLUSIVE: 'Superman' Lawsuit Delay Lifted; Depositions of Siegel and Shuster Families to Begin Immediately
A federal judge has just lifted the delay in the long-running Superman litigation, setting the stage for Warner Bros. to proceed with key depositions of the families of Man of Steel creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.
As we reported last month, the judge overseeing the high-profile Superman case delayed the matter indefinitely as lawyers for Warner Bros.' DC Comics and the heirs of Shuster and Siegel awaited an appeal of a procedural ruling that could have taken many months. Warners challenged that ruling, and now U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright has modified the order, allowing the studio to restart its information-gathering and "proceed with full discovery of [heirs] Joanne Siegel, Laura Siegel Larson, Jean Peavy and Mark Peavy."
The Nov. 16 order is the latest in the cartoonishly nasty battle between Warners and the Superman heirs over rights to the lucrative character. After a judge ruled a few years back that the studio might lose certain copyrights associated with the Man of Steel, Warners sued Marc Toberoff, the attorney for the families, claiming he improperly convinced them to back out of deals and terminate their copyright assignments relating to Superman.
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.