Fox vs. WB: The Ultimate Watchmen Showdown

Published 5 years ago by , Updated January 23rd, 2013 at 7:47 pm,

rorschach protesting Fox vs. WB: The Ultimate Watchmen Showdown

Wow, this Warner Bros./Fox brawl over the Watchmen movie is turning into a cage fight.

Just a few days ago, we reported that a judge ruled Fox does still own the rights to Watchmen. Most people figured, OK… now the back and forth will begin for just how much money Fox will be able to extract from Warner Bros’ release of the film.

Today, things got ugly.

According to the Associated Press, Fox is saying that it actually wants the release date of the film delayed.

“An attorney for 20th Century Fox says the studio will continue to seek an order delaying the release of ‘Watchmen.’”

Yikes!

In reaction to that, a representative for Warner Bros. had this to say:

“Warner Bros.’ attorney said Monday he didn’t know if an appeal was coming, but thinks a trial is necessary and a settlement unlikely.”

Double yikes.

Does Fox really want to delay the release of Watchmen? Does Warner Bros. really not want to reach a settlement? Only the lawyers and execs on both sides know for sure. This could be the real deal, or it could be both sides digging in their heels to each show the other they have more intestinal fortitude than the other guy.

Over at CHUD.com, they speculate that it’s probably the latter – with the very outside chance that the head(s) of Fox may be in fact, insane, and actually want to get their hands on the film.

Can you imagine Fox, the studio that’s brought us such recent gems as X-Files: I Want to Believe, The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Happening were to get their hands on Watchmen? (Shudder…)

Watchmen is currently scheduled to open on March 6, 2009 (but don’t hold your breath).

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  1. Ok…this is crazy. Isn’t Watchmen in the same boat as say 300, Constantine & V For Vendetta? Aren’t these all under the DC umbrella? Doesn’t Warners own DC which makes these properties and characters Warner Brothers? I heard something a few weeks back that there was an old Batman show or some DC character tv show that Fox was trying to get the rights to because of some clause… All these clauses and loopholes because Fox paid $10.00 back in 1931 to Bob Kane or some madness to produce a show that never came and they’re causing havoc 80 years later.

    I actually like Fox. They’ve done a lot of good for entertainment during my lifetime…from The X Files to Buffy The Vampire Slayer…giving Chris Carter and Joss Whedon their big breaks as directors, Martin, Mad TV (the early years), The Simpsons, Rescue Me, 24, Family Guy and plenty of great movies…so I don’t hate them completely, but this Watchmen fiasco has me siding with Warners and losing my respect for Fox

  2. @Matt

    Fox own the distribution rights. It’s as simple as that really, they acquired all rights to Watchmen over 20 years ago, long before Warners got DC. Even after Warner owned DC, rights to make and distribute Watchmen still lied with Fox. Fox forfeited the rights to make Watchmen and Warners bought them (after other studios bought them and unsuccessfully made a movie with them), but the distribution rights stayed with Fox.

    This basically means that Warners were allowed to make a movie, just not release it. Fox couldn’t legally start any court proceedings until Warners started attempting to release this movie, which is why they had to wait until February to put in a court order. And even then, Fox claims they contacted Warners about this before production began, and Warners just ignored them.

    As sad as it may seem, this is mostly Warners fault. Fox are just laying claim to what’s theirs, which they have every right to do, no matter how much we want to see this film.

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