Superman was created in 1934 and, under U.S. law, that means he will enter the public domain in 1934, barring some sort of lobbying on the part of Warner Bros. to prevent that from happening. But that will mark an interesting time as, theoretically, those early works depicting DC’s Man of Steel will be fair game for anyone to use. That’s why we’re getting a Winnie the Pooh horror movie this year. So what does the new co-head of DC Studios think of all this? During a recent press event (per ComicBook.com), James Gunn addressed the topic, saying the following:
“Number one, it’s a very complicated issue. It’s not cut and dry. There’s a lot of technical stuff around what pieces actually enter the public domain, which you may or may not know about. So there’s that. But there’s also that’s one of the reasons why we have Superman and that’s why we’re bringing the Authority into mainstream. I mean, who would’ve thought 11 years ago the two most popular rides in the world are Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Two most popular rides in the world are based on a comic that f******g 20,000 people knew. And so being able to try to create these other properties, use our diamonds, our Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, to prop up our Booster Golds or Green Lanterns or Plastic Mans or whatever is important.”
Indeed, the new DCU will have far more obscure characters, such as “The Authority,” out front trying to pave the way for the future, rather than relying on the big names to prop everything else up. Though Gunn does acknowledge that, despite the complications, this is something that will be an issue to contend with roughly a decade from now.