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Warner Bros. Hits Back at Claim It Stole ‘Batman’ Idea

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Hollywood giant Warner Bros. has won a countersuit against a creator who says it stole his idea for the blockbuster film, “The Batman.”

Starring Robert Pattinson as Batman, the 2022 film grossed almost $772 million at the global box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

Following its release, a former freelane artist at DC Comics—in which Batman first appeared—sued Warner Bros. and the comic publisher claiming they stole an idea of he came up with in 1990 to make the film.

still from 'the batman' movie
Robert Pattinson stars in the 2022 film, ‘The Batman’. A former DC Comics artists claimed he came up with the idea for the movie.

Warner Bros.

Both replied by countersuing him, with Warner Bros. seeking to have the lawsuit against them dropped.

Christopher Wozniak worked as a freelance artist for DC Comics where he claimed the company “consented to [him] … writ[ing] a story” about Batman, which the company denied happened in court documents. In 1990 Wozniak wrote The Ultimate Riddle, which was later retitled The Blind Man’s Hat.

He told the court he was “stunned” after watching The Batman and believed it was a near copy of The Ultimate Riddle.

But in a 45-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer said it was actually Wozniak who actually was guilty of “clear and blatant copyright infringement” because he was the one who had lifted material belonging to DC Comics who owned “various copyrights” to the Batman character.

The judge said in his ruling that The Ultimate Riddle “liberally exploits –indeed, is rife with Batman characters and story elements,” which he declared was “fatal” to Wozniak’s claims.

Engelmayer also ruled in favor of Warner Bros. countersuit to throw out Wozniak’s claims against the movie studio.

Newsweek contacted DC Comics and Warner Bros. by email for comment. We also attempted to contact Wozniak through a Change.org petition begun to build support in his legal claims.

In the petition he pleaded, “I am” asking BATMAN FANS AROUND THE WORLD to stop Hollywood from steamrolling yet another Comic Creator…. I think it’s safe to say the budget for a film of this magnitude is big enough to take care of everyone who contributes to it, especially when that contribution becomes the foundational Blueprint for the most successful BATMAN film of all time.”

But Wozniak’s lawyer said they were regrouping to figure out their next move.

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are considering our next steps,” Wozniak’s lawyer, Terry Parker, told Reuters.

The Batman tells the story of how the Caped Crusader is forced to question Gotham City’s corruption and his family’s involvement in it after a serial killer starts murdering key political figures in the fictional city.