Superman in the public domain: "He'll be in lots of movies in 10 years!"

Superman in the public domain: “He’ll be in lots of movies in 10 years!”

DC superheroes will no longer be protected by copyright from 2034. A major problem that the studio Warner Bros. been trying to anticipate for a while now.

It was created in March 1933 by American screenwriter Jerry Siegel and Canadian cartoonist Joe Shuster. Supeman will celebrate its 100th anniversary in less than 10 years. And with this anniversary, Hollywood’s oldest superhero will pass a milestone: he will then de facto enter the public domain, according to American regulations.

What does it mean ? That any director can take, without paying anything, the character of Clark Kent – and even Lois Lane (created the same year at DC Comics) – to do exactly what he wants!

Disney lost the rights to the first Mickey, that of Steamboat Willie, last January. And 24 hours later, two horror comedies starring Mickey Mouse were announced. Superman will in turn be a public license on January 1, 2034, followed by Batman on January 1, 2035, then Joker in 2036 and Wonder Woman in 2037.

Obviously, a slew of out-of-the-box projects, not validated by Warner Bros. and unrelated to the current DC Universe, will be developed for the big or small screen. Chris Sims, comic book author, believes today in Variety that he “There will be 100! Lots of producers will have projects ready to launch from the official date! Producers will also be able to create their own versions, as they already do with public domain characters like Dracula or Robin Hood… “

However, not everything will be possible: “You will have Batman in 2035, but you will not have Robin”explains Sims, pointing out that the character was only invented in 1940.You can have Supermanbut you will not be able to use kryptonite (imagined in 1943 on paper)“. Moreover, Variety notes that the Superman initial could not fly. He was just jumping. All of its features are going to trickle into the public domain and DC has been preparing for this for years.

Indeed, the studio which owns DC and therefore the licenses around its characters, has evolved the visuals and the characteristics of its heroes. THE Superman Or Batman that the general public knows today are no longer exactly those of the 1930s. And these developments will always be protected by copyright. They will not enter the public domain and the use of the Superman image will still be very limited in 2034. However, this should not deprive us of some lunar projects, and the improbable uses of Clark Kent. A horrifying Superman? A Superman vs. Zombies ? A sitcom Superman? A Superman in costumes at the court of Louis XIV? Everything will be possible!

Until then, we will see the official Superman: Legacy in theaters in July 2025, at Warner Bros.

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