Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Watchmen Prequels and Sequels

A videogame called “Watchmen: The End Is Nigh” is going to serve as a prequel to the upcoming film "Watchmen."

According to Rope of Silicon, "The game will serve as a prequel of sorts to the film in which Rorschach and Night Owl do their superhero work cleaning up the streets of 1972. The games are expected to earn a mature (M) rating and will be available for download on PCs, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

'Watchmen' co-creator, Alan Moore, has always been against the film adaptation of his acclaimed graphic novel, but since he doesn’t hold the rights to give the thumbs up or down to the go ahead he simply chooses to ignore its existence. One has to wonder what he thinks of a prequel story to his novel being written and then released in video game form no less. Then again, I guess that is nothing compared to what may soon become should the film adaptation become a major hit."

According to an article by the LA Times, "As Fox sees it, Warners infringed on Fox's rights, and 'Watchmen' producer Lawrence Gordon gave Warners rights he didn't possess. Warners says Fox's claim is baseless and, as one of its court filing says, 'opportunistic' -- a last-minute, backdoor attempt to cash in on another studio's potential hit.

In Warners' view, Fox repeatedly declined to exercise any purported rights to become involved in the film during its various incarnations over the years, and in an e-mail even bad-mouthed the script that Warners greenlighted. The 'Watchmen' case dramatizes the complex deal making that surrounds many high-profile projects and underscores how movie studios have grown addicted to comic-book franchises. In an era where 'The Dark Knight' can generate $1 billion in global theatrical revenue, the well-executed superhero story has turned into Hollywood's Holy Grail. It's not just the box-office returns that are so meaningful to these kind of properties. A hit film can also sell truckloads of DVDs, help launch a theme-park ride, or generate millions in television sales. Fox, which has suffered through a demoralizing string of box-office flops this year, could desperately use such a movie. It felt its case against Warners was so strong it had no choice but to take the matter to court.

'They are not just fighting over 'Watchmen,' ' entertainment attorney Mel Avanzado, who is not involved in the litigation, said of the duel between Fox and Warners. 'They are also fighting over sequel rights. Whoever controls the franchise probably controls quite a bit.'

As part of its legal strategy against Warners, Fox is trying to block 'Watchmen's' theatrical release, claiming that it would cause the studio irreparable harm. The case has been scheduled for trial in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in early January, but Fox and Warners are set to enter a non-binding mediation toward the end of November.

So far, though, the parties have not participated in any settlement talks, evidence that the legal skirmish -- just like the mysterious murders of key characters in 'Watchmen' -- could grow more brutal before it gets better."

More news to come! Catch ya' later!

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