Last week, Bleeding Cool reported that DC Comics was keeping quiet about the late Bill Finger, the man who helped Bob Kane create Batman, DC’s most lucrative character right now.
Marc Tyler Nobleman, who wrote the book Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, contacted DC in 2007 to persuade the publisher to credit Finger for his work somewhere in The Dark Knight film, and Nobleman was rebuffed.
Bleeding Cool reprinted their email exchange.
Could Bill’s name be included in the credits for The Dark Knight? Please don’t automatically delete! I know contractually DC can’t call him “co-creator” so I rather mean something along the lines of “Batman was first called ‘the Dark Knight’ in Batman #1, in 1940, in a story written by Bill Finger.” DC publications already regularly credit Bill for that story, so I see this as completely compatible, legally safe, and of course morally fair. After all, the movie’s title doesn’t even include the word “Batman”—it is wholly a phrase coined by Bill Finger. I look forward to your response.
Thanks for your passion for our creators and characters, but there are no plans to credit Bill on The Dark Knight,
To be clear, I am asking if Bill can be credited only for the coining of a phrase, in unambiguous language. … Isn’t that just as permissible (it seems even more so) as your regular practice of crediting him in reprints for entire stories he wrote?
With all due respect, I’m not having this discussion.
But curiously, DC did want to credit Finger at some point earlier. Nobleman uncovered a letter with an exchange between Lyn Simmons, Finger’s ex-wife, and her son Steve Simmons, where it seemed that DC and Warner Bros., DC’s owner, considered crediting Finger before the release of Tim Burton’s first Batman film.
But unfortunately, the corporate folks decided not to do it.