Warner Brothers Home Video has compromised the creative integrity of the Superman films. At least that’s the claim made in a new $20 million lawsuit filed against the studio last week.
The suit is being brought forth by Pueblo Film Licensing, the successor-in-interest to Alexander Salkind (who acheived notariety after firing Richard Donner from directing “Superman II”). The new lawsuit claims Warner Bros. promised in contracts not to exploit the third and fourth sequels of Superman in any new medium without the consent of Salkind or his successors.
“Salkind, having “fathered” the Superman Pictures, was determined to preserve their creative integrity,” the lawsuit says. For their release on DVD, the films were “re-edited and altered in a manner that would violate the Superman Picture Contracts and has done so unlawfully using materials owned by plaintiff.” (this likely refers to the additional footage in the first film). The suit does not explain how the film’s integrity would be harmed by its release on DVD or the Internet, and it is certainly also very interesting to note that the lawsuit has been brought forth at this point. The new DVD version of “Superman” had been in the makign for well over a year and the discs have been in stores for some time now. I can’t help but shake the feeling that Pueblo Film Licensing has deliberately held out with its claims to ensure maximum monetary returns in this case, which has very little to do with creative integrity.
Although no requests have been made by Pueblo Film Licensing to pull the DVDs from stores, it would not be an unexpected demand in a lawsuit of this magnitude. Any further information on this case will certainly be posted here.