Pow! Sock! Oooof! The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan is being sued… by Batman.
Batman is suing Nolan and production company Warner Bros. for royalties from the 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight, the mega-hit movie that re-chronicled Batman’s first encounter with the Joker. But why would Batman sue over his most successful movie ever? And do fictional characters even have legal standing in U.S. courts?
The twist in the case is that Batman isn’t the Caped Crusader at all, but rather a city in Turkey that goes by the same name, and Huseyin Kalkan, the mayor of Batman, claims Nolan and Warner used the name without permission. “There is only one Batman in the world,” Kalkan said. “The American producers used the name of our city without informing us.”
To bolster his case, and what will presumably be a demand for a hefty piece of the action, Kalkan is blaming the movie for several unsolved murders in the city, as well as a high suicide rate among the city’s females. He also claims that former citizens of Batman have had trouble registering businesses abroad, and is preparing evidence to prove that the city of Batman predates the creation of the World’s Greatest Detective, who first appeared in Detective Comics in 1939. Why the city waited until now to complain is unknown, although as Variety points out, The Dark Knight’s $1 billion box office take may have something to do with it.
Obviously, Kalkan’s efforts aren’t expected to go anywhere, but nonetheless the case is reportedly being closely monitored by civic leaders in the former Soviet republic of Spidermanistan.