December 26, 2008

Will We Even Be Able to Watch the Watchmen?

Perhaps's the latest on the legal trouble for the flick, curtesy of the New York Times:
In a surprise ruling, a federal judge in Los Angeles said he intended to grant 20th Century Fox’s claim that it owns a copyright interest in the “Watchmen,” a movie shot by Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures and set for release in March.
The decision was disclosed in a five-page written order issued on Wednesday. Gary A. Feess, a judge in the United States District Court for Central California, said he would provide a more detailed order soon.
Fox has been seeking to prevent Warner from releasing the film. The superhero adventure, based on the “Watchmen” graphic novel, is being directed by Zack Snyder (who also directed “300”) and has shaped up as one of most eagerly anticipated releases for next year.
A Warner spokesman, Scott Rowe, declined to comment on the ruling and the studio’s plans.
At an earlier hearing, the judge said he believed that issues in the case could be settled only at a trial, which was scheduled for late January. On Wednesday, however, Judge Feess said he had reconsidered and concluded that Fox should prevail on crucial issues.
“Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said.
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.
In ruling on Wednesday, Judge Feess advised both Fox and Warner to look toward a settlement or an appeal.
“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,” he said.
-This makes me nervous...hope it gets solved


  1. I honestly cannot overemphasize how infuriating it would be to have the release delayed. March still seems far enough away as it is, we don't need legal matters impeding the release of the movie.

    As nervous as I am to see how the adaptation is handled, I can't deny how much I am seriously looking forward to this.

  2. You have to love copyright law. Given my rudimentary knowledge on CR law, I'll limit my thoughts. The best away around this is through settlement. Perhaps Warner Bros. can offer Fox a certain amount of money for the rights. I'm not sure how much that will be of course. But, if Fax has a legitimate right in the distribution of Watchmen, then Warner will inevitably lose in court. I think Warner Bros understand the implications of losing in trial, so look for them to settle for X amount of dollars. If they presume they will make a butt load of money off the film, then they are better off just settling for a price that is below what they presume they will make off the film. Or they can just offer Fox an percentage of the total gross of whatever they make from Watchmen.

  3. as long as they don't stop the movie, i'll be this point, i just want to see it lol