Stan Lee Media has filled out a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Disney for screen rights to the majority of Marvel’s characters(See article here).Â This situation is extremely complexed, Lee hasn’t been involved in the company since 2001. When Stan Lee Media filed for bankruptcy, several officers were filed for stock manipulation. In 2007 the company even filled out a lawsuit against Stan Lee himself and his new company POW! Entertainment.Â And SLM also has a lawsuit with Marvel Entertainment, now based at Disney. Essentially the same claim that the contract Lee signed with them in 1998 supersedes the contract he signed just a few weeks later with Marvel, and the rights to all his characters belong to SLM, not Marvel. Lee has made this statement about the 2007 suit, “I do not support this action and believe the suit to be baseless.” And Disney is making the same claim this time around, telling the Times “This lawsuit is without merit, it arises out of the same core facts and legal claims that have been rejected by three federal district court judges.” Stan Lee Media has not yet won a case they’ve filed against the heavyweights like Marvel Entertainment and POW! Entertainment, and it seems unlikely they’ll win this time, especially with a bigwig like Disney in the picture.
This goes back to everyone wanting a piece of the pie. To me it looks like Stan Lee Media is trying to stay a float by filing lawsuits, there is probably a good reason why Lee left SLM and created POW! Entertainment. But to go up against a multi billion dollarÂ corporationÂ that probably have the best lawyers in the world is foolish, it’s a waste of time and money. This contract that Lee signed in 1998 with SML has either ran its coarse or has a loop-hole. Disney would have made sure it was safe to use certain characters before even thinking of making them go on the silver screen. This situation is like that german case company that is trying to sue Marvel Studios for using a simularÂ miniaturized brief case which will be sold in the Avengers Phase 1 box set. Its childish, the reasons are not valid enough. To put its simple they are pissing up a rope.