Culture

Supreme Court Appeal Could Divorce Spider-Man and X-Men From Marvel

Andrew Garfield in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’/Image ©2013 CTMG

Editor's Note: Spider-Man and X-Men may be returned to Jack Kirby's heirs, Stephen Sondheim backpedals from Into the Woods decision, and more in today's roundup.

Decades ago, Jack Kirby helped create the X-Men, the Avengers, and many other superheroes who we still worship onscreen today. However, a case filed to the Supreme Court by his heirs is gaining traction, claiming that Marvel Entertainment doesn't actually have such an iron grip on the copyrights to those characters. The question comes down to what copyrights Kirby held when he worked as a freelancer back in the olden days, and Hollywood guilds like SAG-AFTRA are backing him all the way.

Following outcry last week over his comments about plot changes in Disney's version of "Into the Woods," musical legend Stephen Sondheim has reversed his course. Claiming that he screened a rough cut of the movie immediately after making those remarks, he stated: "I can happily report that it is not only a faithful adaptation of the show, it is a first-rate movie." (Also, the song "Any Moment" is still in the picture.) So what do we think: honest change of heart, or frantic Disney-induced damage control? I guess we'll find out for sure this Christmas.

As Tim Burton's "Batman" turns twenty-five years old (making the rest of us feel a hundred million years old), Forbes looks back at the film's "wonderful, terrible" legacy. The movie completely changed the way Hollywood produced and sold blockbusters, and it changed audiences' expectations in ways that are still felt today. Their reporter doesn't seem to have much love left over for the movie itself, but without it, we never would have gotten to see Michelle Pfeiffer in "Batman Returns."

The two-part "Mockingjay" adventure begins in November, but these propaganda-style posters celebrating Panem's various districts have me slobbering for a sneak preview. Or at the very least, a visit to the Transportation District. Note the heartbreaking twist when you get to District 12, Katniss's hometown -- a reminder that this entire war drama began as a contest between children.