The mayor of a city in southeastern Turkey plans to sue director Christopher Nolan for unauthorized use of the name “Batman.”
You see, that’s the name of the city: Batman. It’s the the capital of Batman Province, an important oil-producing region. It rests on the banks of the Batman River.
I’m not making this up.
“The royalty of the name ‘Batman’ belongs to us,” Mayor Hüseyin Kalkan tells a Turkish news agency. “There is only one Batman in the world. The American producers used the name of our city without informing us.”
He tells Hürriyet Daily News that after a media spotlight was cast on the city last year because of an increasing suicide rate among women, a columnist asked why the mayor hadn’t sued the producers of the Batman movies for royalties to aid the struggling economy.
With that, a light bulb went off.
But there is, apparently, another issue at play: Residents of Batman who live abroad can’t use “Batman” in the names of their businesses because of trademark infringement.
Curiously, though, Kalkan’s wrath is reserved solely for Nolan. He doesn’t plan to sue DC Comics or Warner Bros.
Bizarro update: A commenter points to this 2007 article that states Kalkan “was awarded damages by DC Comics after a lawsuit over the use of his town’s name for the superhero Batman.” In February 2008, the mayor was sentenced to 10 months in prison for “spreading terrorist propaganda” in a newspaper interview.