When Warner Bros announced it was rebooting the Superman franchise, we all held our breath a little bit waiting to see what Gigantic News would come next. Of course, nothing happened. Last week, Omelete talked to Brandon Routh on the Scott Pilgrim set, who revealed that his Superman contract had expired, and that he had no idea when or if he would return to the character. (Pause for a moment and realize how much it has to suck to get the part of Superman, and have it go utterly sour.) That news suggested one of two things: that Warner Bros would let the franchise expire too, or that they were planning on picking out a new Man of Steel.
Now, Warner Bros and DC Comics have won a favorable ruling in the suit filed by Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson, the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel. If you're curious about the lawsuit in its entirety, ThinkMcFlyThink has a pdf of it, but the part that concerns Superman fans is this: Warner Bros president Alan Horn testified that he'd like to make another movie, but that the project wasn't currently in development at the studio. There isn't even a script being written. The earliest another Superman film could hit theaters would be 2012.
But they now have a pretty big incentive to do it, as the court ruled that if Warner Bros doesn't get a Superman film underway by 2011, the Siegels could sue for damages. Their lawyer Marc Toberoff gives every indication to Variety the Siegels will do just that. So, we could see the studio kick their reboot plans into high gear ... or they'll leave Superman in his Fortress of Solitude, and quietly go to court in 2011.