Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, looking to raise the prominense of Bill Finger and his contribution to the creation of Batman.
He writes about contacting DC Comics in 2007 over whether Bill Finger deserved a credit in the Dark Knight film. He wrote… and a DC representative replied;
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 as part of his research, Marc uncovered that at one point, DC Comics and Warners were one having that conversation about giving Bill Finger credit, before the release of the first Tim Burton Batman movie, involving Lyn Simmons,Bill’s second wife, and her son Steve Simmons.
Sadly, Warners decided against it. But there is a new regime at DC and at Warners. Maybe one day it can be revisited again?