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Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: "I got screwed"

Comic Books

Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: “I got screwed”

Alex Ross says he has stopped receiving payments from Warner Bros. for depictions of his work in live-action media.

Alex Ross was a recent guest on John Siuntres’ longstanding podcast Word Balloon, and had some choice words about how Warner Bros. has stopped paying him for his work clearly being used in their movies and television series. Over the hour and 31-minute interview, Ross discusses his art and new projects many of which fans will note are mostly Marvel Comics projects.

There’s a reason behind that, as Ross revealed he’s a bit sour when he watches Warner Bros. DC adaptations. “God knows I have to experience seeing my own work getting ‘interpreted’ from film and television on DC’s side these days,” Ross said, “Picking the bones of Kingdom Come and applying them to the DC television universe. It’s somewhat dishearting when you see it all broken apart as opposed to — just do a straight adaptation of that work Mark [Waid] and I did.” Ross’ comments start around one hour and six minutes.

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This lead to Siuntres bringing up Brandon Routh’s introduction in the CW crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” wearing the costume Alex Ross came up with for Kingdom Come. “The thing is they were borrowing my Superman costume but it was only to get him [Brandon Routh] in as his version of Superman. And then the truth of the matter was they must not have been able or willing to do a deal based upon the production he was part of with Bryan Singer — presumably, they didn’t want to have to pay out to them, so instead I got screwed. They didn’t pay me or Mark anything.”

Alex Ross Brandon Routh Superman Kingdom Come

Brandon Routh with the costume clearly based on Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come Design
Credit: Warner Bros.

After Siuntres laments how bad that is, Ross went on. “I don’t see any money for the Wonder Woman movie using my armor or, hell, I designed Batwoman for heaven sakes, and she’s got a whole damn show.”

Kingdom Come Alex Ross

Wonder Woman’s battle armor from Kingdom Come, art by Alex Ross, which appears to be making an appearance in the upcoming film Wonder Woman 1984.
Credit: DC Comics

“But you know these are some the issues that I have not working with Warner Bros. anymore. You know, they can recycle my content and they used to pay. And I’m not kidding, they paid like a year ago for different things that were kind of — “discretionary bonuses”, is how they called it. Where they give you a gift of money so that you’re not out there effectively complaining like I’m doing right now. Saying ‘Oh, I got taken advantage of.'”

“Basically, in a buildup of a lot of projects over time, particularly peaking last year with the Crisis thing, there was a lot of stuff of mine that was getting in there physically. And of course, the interpretation Mark and I did of the broken Batman we now saw portrayed by Kevin Conroy, and every fan knows where that was coming from. But we got no love from the corporation, and I have to feel, it probably revolves around the new ownership. It’s probably cut the budget of any kind of discretionary money given, so it’s a really rotten thing. I can’t root for what they did with this stuff. The most I can do for myself is [ask] whether or not I’m going to watch it.”

Siuntres made the point creators were getting paid as recently as a year ago, but Ross replied, “I think that’s dried up now.”

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