The Lois Lane controversies


Superman just got his Lois Lane — and none of the experts called it.

Amy Adams, who received Oscar nominations for Junebug, Doubt and The Fighter, joins the upcoming Superman movie opposite Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Man o’ Steel. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner play Ma and Pa Kent. Although I will never, ever be able to think of Lane as “Ma” anyone.

As expected, everyone on the whole Internet has an opinion about the casting. Amy Adams is too old. Amy Adams is not sexy enough. Amy Adams is too cute. Amy Adams is not badass enough. Amy Adams is a redhead.

Three things: Makeup, hair color, acting. Objections answered.

Personally, I think Adams is a good choice. My concern is more about who cast her: Zack Snyder. The director of Superman: Man of Steel is not exactly on a roll. Sucker Punch, which debuted over the weekend, is the third highly anticipated Snyder movie that didn’t live up to expectations. (Watchmen and 300 are the other two.) I’m not at all confident that Snyder can deliver on this film.

The day after the Lois casting announcement, Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood released an unfortunate bit of back-story about Warner Brothers’ rights to Superman.

Joanne Siegel, the widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and, according to Mr. Siegel, the RL inspiration for Lois Lane, was in the midst of a long dispute with the studio when she died February 12 at age 93.

Most Superman fans know the sad tale of Jerry Siegel and co-creator Joe Shuster, who sold their rights to Superman in the 1930s for $65 each. Mrs. Siegel and the estate of Mr. Shuster filed suit to recapture the original copyright after 40 years of receiving no royalties. The Siegel heirs were awarded half the copyright in 1999 and the Shuster heirs are to receive their half in 2013. After that, DC Comics and Warner Bros. cannot use Superman without permission and payment.

Warner Bros. thus wants to get the movie out by 2012, hoping that they can establish a financial stake to use in fighting the copyright dispute. The studio also has filed countersuit after countersuit against Mrs. Siegel, with increasing levels of hostility.

Finke printed a letter written by Joanne Siegel to the Chairman/CEO of Time Warner, dated December 10, 2010. It outlines the history of the families’ dealings with the studio and its methods of delaying payment to the Siegels. Read the entire letter over at Deadline.

I don’t know how the story strikes you, but knowing that a huge corporation bullied a 93-year-old widow, much less the real Lois Lane, doesn’t exactly make me want to rush to see the movie. I hope exposure of the story results in a happy ending for the Shuster and Siegel families. Truth, justice and the American way, right?

What do you think? Share your thoughts on casting Amy Adams and the sad story of the woman who inspired Lois Lane.

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