Film giant turns Man of Steel into a Steel Man
THAT’S all, folks!
The planned 30ft artwork, which will sit on a hillside at Kimberworth overlooking the M1, will now be known as the Steel Man.
Lawyers from Warner Bros complained that the original name infringed on its DC Comics licence for the Superman films.
Steel man sculptor Steve Mehdi said: “We were looking at trademarking Yorkshire Man of Steel to protect the brand identity, because we were starting to sell merchandise.
“We’re registered as a charity, VAT registered, doing something to benefit local people, and we wanted to maximise the profits.
“I asked our legal team to prepare the trademark application.
“Then we had contact from Warner Bros, saying you can’t call yourself Yorkshire Man Of Steel because we own Man Of Steel.
“I had never even thought of the two together. It was quite a shock. Why would a big international entity be interested in our small project.”
The Steel Man project will include the Heart of Steel sculpture, a larger version of the piece in Rotherham’s Minster Gardens, engraved with up to 150,000 names, plus a visitor centre.
Officials from the movie-makers visited the Steel Man offices at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.
They agreed a three-year deal to allow Steve and his team to rebrand and sell the merchandise.
Steve said: “They were very supportive about our project but they said the team in LA were quite clear about this.
“They didn’t want to take us to court, but they would to protect their brand.
“We started talking about different names. We didn’t really want to depart too much from what we had.
“It was my partner, Jane, who suggested we use the Steel Man. It kept coming up in conversation and it was approved by our board.”
“In a roundabout way, Warner Bros have actually done us a favour. We’re happy with the change and it has given the project a clearer identity.”
Warner Bros did not respond to our request to comment.