Studios battling over film rights to 'Watchmen'
Comic geeks everywhere (including The Juice*) are praying for the fate of Watchmen, the Zack Snyder film based on the Alan Moore comic miniseries about angry superheroes. The Hollywood Reporter says a federal judge in L.A. has refused to dismiss a 20th Century Fox lawsuit that says it has the rights to the project and not Warner Bros., which is planning a March 6, 2009 release for the flick. Yikes!
Fox will ask the court to "enjoin the release of the Warner Brothers film and any related Watchmen media that violate our copyright interests in that property." That means the little movie with the reportedly $120 million budget could be in jeopardy, although warner Bros. said "the court's ruling simply means that the parties will engage in discovery and proceed with the litigation. The judge did not opine at all on the merits, other than to conclude that Fox satisfied the pleading requirements."
There's a complicated explanation of the legal issues here, but what it boils down to is that Largo Entertainment producer Larry Gordon may have failed to follow proper procedures in selling rights to the film to Warner Bros. after previously negotiating terms with Fox. We think Fox only cares because the promo stuff for Watchmen looks freaking awesome.