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‘Watchmen’ in Jeopardy Despite Super Trailer
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WatchmenAt an audience with Dave Gibbons, Watchmen‘s co-creator, yesterday at the British Film Institute, the upcoming film adaptation was described as a “very sexy, very violent movie.” The British comic book artist, writer, and sometime letterer, has seen a rough assembly of the film, running at 2 hours 45 minutes.

But if 20th Century Fox has their way, we might never get to see the Watchmen on the big screen.

Judge Gary Allen Feess has denied a motion by Warner Bros. to dismiss Fox’s lawsuit, claiming that WB have breached copyright in moving ahead with production on a property that Fox hadn’t ceded ownership too. (News of the lawsuit was reported back in February, see Lawsuits Put “˜Watchmen’ & “˜Hobbit’ Films in Jeopardy.)

“Warner Bros.’ production and anticipated release of “˜The Watchmen’ motion picture violates 20th Century Fox’s long-standing motion picture rights in “˜The Watchmen’ property,” Fox said in a statement. “We will be asking the court to enforce Fox’s copyright interests in “˜The Watchmen’ and enjoin the release of the Warner Bros. film and any related “˜Watchmen’ media that violate our copyright interests in that property.”

Fox isn’t just trying to acquire a share of the profits from the film, currently in post production and being directed by Zack Snyder, they’re hoping to prevent its release entirely. “When you have copyright infringement, there are some damages you never recover,” said a source close to the litigation.

And from what little I am aware of the law, it does seem like Fox has a case. This is backed up by the fact that Judge Feess not only denied WB’s motion to dismiss, but agrees that under a 94 deal, Fox have never handed over the rights it acquired in 1991.

WB on the other hand seem to be living in a quiet land of make believe. “It is our company’s policy not to comment on pending litigation and thus will not comment on the specifics of this case,” Warners said in statement. “That 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. We respectfully disagree with Fox’s position and do not believe they have any rights in and to this project.”

Either way, this is definitely going to be something to watch, to see how it all plays out. It would be an absolute tragedy if this movie were to never see the light of day, based on the trailers we’ve seen.

And speaking about trailers, returning to that Dave Gibbons Q&A, a 10-minute long “super-trailer” was shown. Count the days until it rocks up on the internet somewhere, we’ll find it!

[Source: Variety]

7 Comments »

  1. It would be retarded if fox denies WB, Although they do have the rights to. (somewhat) BLASPHEMOUS!! ^_^

    Comment by JoJo — August 19, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

  2. NOOO I was looking forward to this movie! Whate do they expect us nerdy types to do, go out and protest, because we will…. oh yes.. we will…

    Comment by Dr. Scientist — August 19, 2008 @ 5:29 pm

  3. oh please if it happens the movie will be found on torrents sites within hours….. some pissed off staffer will upload it

    Comment by mo — August 20, 2008 @ 3:07 am

  4. I see a total geek war happening if Fox shuts down this movie. Fox execs may be kidnapped and tortured….

    Comment by .sean — August 20, 2008 @ 7:24 pm

  5. […] 22nd, 2008 at 3:37 pm  |  Trackback In light of the news that 20th Century Fox has filed suit against Warner Bros. regarding the production of the upcoming […]

    Pingback by ‘Watchmen’ Fanboys Versus Fox — August 22, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  6. Everything else I’ve read about this same story shows no indication of halting or pulling release. The end result, if Fox wins, would be some profit going to them for distribution. Save the drama fer yo mama.

    Comment by Mikull — August 23, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

  7. […] 27th, 2008 at 9:05 am  |  Trackback As you may have heard, some legal battles have arisen involving the much-anticipated movie adaptation of the comic book, […]

    Pingback by ‘Watchmen’ Lawsuit: The Dirty Details — August 27, 2008 @ 9:05 am

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