Thursday, December 25, 2008

Who Watches the Watchmen? Fox apparently.


“LOS ANGELES — 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.

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.”

Huh. Last time I checked:

"Watchmen" graphic novel = DC Comics
DC Comics = Warner Bros.

Apparently now, some California judge says:

"Watchmen" graphic novel = DC Comics
DC Comics = 20th Century Fox + Warnerz teh suck biznatch!

UPDATE: Yay Fox for screwing with the fans and not getting into a settlement with Warner Bros. and throwing the March 6th date into doubt.

For more info on this recent development:

UPDATE 2: Maybe Fox got the fear of... Rorshach in them because ComingSoon reports that Watchman release date talks are "productive". Don't make us have to go after Wolverine, FOX! Cause we will...if we have to.

For more info on this recent development:

UPDATE 3: Maybe they've finally put things together.

For more info on this recent development:

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