On the subject of Luthor, Brainiac et al here's a piece on the current status of the Siegel heirs legal fight with Warners:
Superman Legal Fight Heats Up As New Appeal Sought
I'm 100% with the Siegels on this whole fight. Screw Warners; the big studios haven't earned any loyalty or the benefit of much doubt on either artistic or commercial grounds.
Frankly the idea of some creative folks having to craft a Superman moive from the "core characteristics" of the original conception has quite a bit of (pardon the pun) appeal. Dump Kryptonite and Luthor and you create new storytelling challenges - can't fall back on what's familiar to create peril. Without Lois Lane and Perry White the question of what kind of life this guy can live and what his relationships with normal people would be like opens up.
All idle speculation, though - in reality, of course, if the Siegels win this they'll simply accept a huge amount of money from Warner Bros in exchange for licensing Supes.