I first reported on Watchmen's legal troubles back in August, then opined on its voyage towards clusterfuckery in September. You'd think, that as its March 6 release date comes ever closer, 20th Century Fox and Warners would stop biting each other in the sandbox and play nice, but apparently, these multi-million dollar companies truly are run by children.
Recent news means, my fellow nerds, that Watchmen may be totally fucked. At the very least, short of a miracle, we won't be seeing it in March. Last week, the judge in the case handed down a preliminary ruling that states that Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the Watchmen motion picture. According to an article in the Hollywood reporter, this ruling could force Warners to settle for a hefty payday. Ouch.
But is that really the outcome Fox is looking for? Look, if Warners has to settle, then it coughs up a bunch of dough to Fox. Alternatively, if Fox holds out for actual distribution rights, then, should the film be a hit, Fox stands to reap a ton of dough.
But, according to an article in today's New York Times, neither side is considering settling. Now, while Warners is being a little douchey in not offering a quick solution to this mess, they have sunk a huge amount of moolah into this film, and it's only reasonable that they'd be reluctant to give up any amount of profit to a company that had the project in their hands for a decade, and couldn't make it work. Fox passed on the project, it was shopped around to other studios for almost five years, and then Warners actually made a movie.
So, Fox had it, gave it up, waited a few years while other studios tried to make it, watched Warners develop it, go into pre-production, start shooting, finish shooting, go into post-production and then release a trailer and announce a release date. That's when Fox filed suit. So, you know, as I've said before, fuck Fox.
This only shows a ton of disrespect to fans, Zack Snyder and the cast and crew that worked their asses off to make a movie.