Watchmen Movie in Trouble?

According to the New York Times, a federal Judge in Los Angeles concluded on Wednesday that he is intent to grant 20th Century Fox 20th Century Fox’s claim that it owns a copyright interest in the “Watchmen,” and “should prevail on crucial issues” in their lawsuit with Warner Bros over the rights to the comic book movie adaptation.

Feess says that:

“Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the Watchmen motion picture”

and that

“The parties may wish to turn their efforts from preparing for trial to negotiating a resolution of this dispute or positioning the case for review.”

A little back story, if you aren't caught up:

Fox acquired rights to the “Watchmen” graphic novel in the late 1980s for the producer Lawrence Gordon, but eventually dropped its own plan to make a movie from its story,about the underside of life for superbeings.

Mr. Gordon later pursued the project with Universal Pictures, and then with Paramount Pictures, before shooting it with Warner and Legendary under an arrangement that allows Paramount to distribute the film abroad.

So will this affect the release date of the movie? It sure can, as this ruling basically means that Warner Bros. has no right to distribute this film. And probably the only way to get this film out in theaters is to strike up a settlement deal with Fox. And depending how long all that court drama could take, one has to wonder if it'll make its March release date, or be even released at all. And with the fact that Paramount has a divvy of the share of this film, there might be very little payback at all.

No comments: