Fox Tries To Shut Down Watchmen

Watchmen, one of the most anticipated movies of next year, is up against a villain no super hero has been able to defeat; litigation.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess, denied Warner Brothers motion for a dismissal of a lawsuit filed by 20th Century Fox, claiming Fox owned the exclusive rights to a Watchmen movie.

The basis of the lawsuit is Fox claims it acquired all movie rights to the graphic novel between 1986 and 1990. In 1991, Fox transferred some rights to producer Larry Gordon. Part of the agreement between Fox and Gordon was the option to shop distribution rights to other studios. If a studio were interested, Gordon would buy out Fox’s remaining rights to the film. Fox claims that Warner Brothers or Gordon has paid them for the rights. To make matters worse, according to Variety, Fox isn’t just looking for monetary compensation but to prevent Warner Brothers from ever releasing the movie. A crime to those eagerly awaiting the movie’s release on March 6, 2009.

What I want to know is why this problem wasn’t taken care of before production began? One would think with all the lawyers Warner Brothers has, anything relating to copyright would be an automatic red flag. Secondly, why didn’t Larry Gordon buy out the rest of the rights? The amount the movie is projected to gross is sure to offset the cost of buying the rights. And with the graphic novel being the second biggest seller on Amazon due to the trailer, those earnings will be quite a pretty penny. As for Fox, why are you trying to prevent the movie from being released? You’ll lose any compensation is due to you. Could it a case of arrogance, or intention to sabotage Warner Brothers? I don’t know. All I know is I’m eagerly awaiting this movie and if a bunch of lawyers prevent me from seeing it…lets just say I’ll be really pissed. In other words, SETTLE! For everyone’s benefit.

4 thoughts on “Fox Tries To Shut Down Watchmen”

  1. Fox is just being selfish and greedy. Just take one for the team and let WB make the movie. If this movie is canceled, I would be pretty damn pissed.

  2. I can't help but laugh at WB's fuck up. Now when I read about this I go back and remember all those times that I went to youtube just to read "This video has been removed for violation of WB copy right".

    And acting like Fox is the evil studio here. Be honest with yourself. Not a single movie studio out there is nice and cares about the fans as their top priority (Although Marvel is fresh and might change that). A few months ago, Fox would have been the hero for stopping a movie tons of people don't want to see made. Wonder what Allan Moore thinks about this?

  3. One word–Batman.

    If Fox succeeds in holding up Watchmen, they'll use the home video rights to the old 1966 Batman series as ransom. Remember, WB (Time Warner) owns DC Comics, which owns Batman. Fox produced the old series. They're currently fighting over ownership over the series for DVD sales.

    Of course, that's my guess. But a good one indeed…

  4. Fox is just making the threat as a beginning for negotiations. They will basically settle for being bought off with a huge chunk of the profits, but in the Rupert Murdoch world you have to threaten nuke the whole project so that WB will end up "happy" at parting with just 75% of their profits rather than nothing.

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