Thursday, December 25, 2008
Fox Wins Watchmen Case
Doctor Manhattan is sad.
Bad news for "Watchmen."
According to Rope of Silicon, "The New York Times has just revealed that Gary A. Feess, 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. 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."
According to MTV News, "The theatrical rights to 'Watchmen' — the bestselling graphic novel of all time — have been mired in a series of complicated dealings dating back to the 1980s when Fox acquired the property for producer Larry Gordon. The studio subsequently abandoned plans to make the film, and Gordon began the search for a new partner.
After brushes with Universal and Paramount, 'Watchmen' eventually landed at Warner Bros., which began production on the film in 2007 with a budget reportedly close to $150 million. In an additional layer of complication, however, Paramount obtained international distribution rights through an agreement with Warner. That arrangement would presumably also be affected by this latest ruling.
In its long-standing lawsuit, Fox has argued that Gordon never exercised his option to acquire their remaining interest in 'Watchmen,' thus leaving distribution rights with the studio. Wednesday’s court decision would mean the judge now agrees with that position."
So...how will this affect the release of "Watchmen?" And if it is released, how will this ruling affect the final cut of the film? This is not good news for us "Watchman" fans, but if a settlement can be reached by March, the film will come out on time.
A sad day in history...