Thursday, August 4, 2011

Superman, by Cavill and created by ????

I remember seeing Henry Cavill in The Count of Monte Cristo as the young Albert Mondego. Great movie with Guy Pierce being his evil foster dad [unbeknownst to him] and Jim Caviezal as the Count [ the former Edmond Dantes who was utterly betrayed by his friend and shipmates].

Good looking kid. Now a good looking man. I think he'll do well, if the script is worth a plug nickel.

Cool pic, huh?

Sort of sad though. The reason they are working so hard on this film is because of some litiginous mess created by the families of Shuster and Siegel keeping the rights to the very very FIRST presentation of Superman and Warner Bros. owning all the rights to what was developed over the years.

Long story short: it'd be like owning the rights to the pilot episode of a TV series, but none of the characters or developments that happened later.

And you KNOW how much changes over the years, but some of the essentials remain?

So frankly, Superman as we know him will probably be changed only in certain ways - like kiss the red trunks good-bye and maybe lose the spit curl. Maybe lose even the blue body suit??!

But Shuster and Siegel's original creation could not fly, only "leap tall buildings in a single bound."

So he still can fly - legally. And to keep this and other rights, the studio had to get out a Superman film ASAP.

The reason this is depressing is not that the families of the creators want their rights, but rather they never were paid PROPERLY in kind for the amazing contribution of their forefathers and so they are suing. Essentially, for "back pay."

[Edit: according to Wikipedia, they got some from other arenas - Like the TV show Smallville for instance.
A July 9, 2009, verdict on the case denied a claim by Siegel's family that it was owed licensing fees. U.S. District Court judge Stephen G. Larson said Warner Bros. and DC Comics have fulfilled their obligations to the Siegels under a profit-sharing agreement for the 2006 movie Superman Returns and the CW series Smallville. However, the court also ruled that if Warner Bros. does not start a new Superman film by 2011, the family will have the right to sue to recover damages.
Now, this is tricky, because I am certainly for creator's rights - and right now ANOTHER comic related property, my favorite RPG is in litigation to see who owns the right to publish it.

But I am not in favor of non-creative control. And if Warner Bros / DC Comics dodges this "right" by making some minor cosmetic changes to the character we know and love, and keeps making millions, the Siegel and Shuster families did nothing but screw around with the character and waste everyone's time. They are not going to get the money they want.

They aren't going to get anything but a 'right' that ends up being useless. Superman has had his origin re-told and so MUCH was added to the mythos AFTER that initial page of origin, almost nothing will be impacted.

Well, we can only hope.

Shall We Create What We Can Lose?
See there is a weird thing in creating something. You create - but you must have an impetus to do so. And someone to take you further. You spark an idea - but if you don't carry the ball, you tend to see others run with it.

It is humbling to realize that letting go of creative control MAY be the best thing for your creation, but the downside is others may profit more than you ever will.

It's a dangerous marriage, contracts and creativity; too much control and your creation may die.

Too little control, and you may lose your creation to some greedy jerk.

Great Creations that Owe More to Those Who Came After
Bob Kane created Batman, right?
He created the one with purple gloves and a gun, bunky. Originally, he was red with a domino mask. We owe writer Bob Finger a LOT - like the COOL Batman with a cowl. Like Robin, the Batmobile, the Batcave, Gotham City, the Joker, Two-Face, etc. Need I go on?

Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek, right?
Yeah - with the monotone uniforms and NO Klingons. Compare the first pilot and ST:TMP and you will see Gene wasn't really that good at drama. His idea of the future was too idyllic. We owe Gene Coon a LOT. The Prime Directive, Starfleet Command, Klingons, etc.

You see, when you have a REALLY good idea, others WANT to join in, pitch in & help and if you are humble enough and wise enough, you let them. You listen hard. You say "That will work!" as often as you can. Why?

Because your Good Idea needs others to live. By all means, keep control by Leading the Way, but not by micro-management. Stay in the mix and be diplomatic, learn to play well with others. Stan Lee knew how to do it, even though he became simply the High King of Marvel Comics, not involved in day to day business affairs.

Otherwise you can sit with your Great Idea alone in the "My Way or The High-way" box you made.

And if you owe your success to someone with a Great Idea, you had better keep them on good terms. If they want $$ - not $$$$$$$$$$ - but if it is something reasonable, give it to them.

You won't be keeping that cash anyway. 'Cause lawyers and judges do not create; they dissect.

And a beautiful idea dissected is a bloody mess.

This blog is as much to me as to anyone out there - 'cause I'm trying to create a TV series with a bud. I need his input and encouragement with my idea. As long as my name is in the credits and I get paid $$, I think I will be happy. I need to write a lot of episodes to keep my vision alive. But if I wear more than just the "IDEA" hat and work hard on it, I think I will have served not just my family but humanity - and the Creator of All Good Things.

Let us all Create and keep the Edits to a minimum, OK?

And pay your opponent instead of your lawyers.

It is cheaper.

You betcha.


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