In 2005 Gordon and Levitt brought Warner Bros into the picture and that’s where things finally came together – in June 2006 Zack Snyder (300) was offically announced as the director of the Watchmen movie, with a script by Alex Tse which would be based heavily on David Hayter’s screenplay. On a side note, although it’s well known that Alan Moore has always been against a movie adaptation of his graphic novel, he did say at one point that Hayter’s script “was as close as I could imagine to anyone getting Watchmen.”

Comparison of a scene from the Watchmen movie with the Comic

It remains to be seen how much of Hayter’s script survives in the final film.

Which brings us, finally, to today and this whole ugly lawsuit where everyone (including our site) has labeled Fox as the bad guy. Now there is no love lost between Fox and myself. They’ve mucked up a lot of potentially great superhero movies (Daredevil, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, X-Men 3, Fantastic Four), not to mention the grief they gave me about a Day the Earth Stood Still post here at Screen Rant.

The latest information that’s surfaced indicates that while Fox filed their lawsuit in February of this year, they claim that they had tried to contact Warner Bros via email, phone and postal mail since before the production even started, to no avail.

Now I’m not a legal-minded guy in any sense of the word, but here’s what it looks like may have happened:

It seems that Lawrence Gordon gave Warner Bros. the go-ahead to shoot the film. WB figures he owns the turnaround rights, so they’re golden (of course this doesn’t explain why they didn’t do some due diligence on the situation with a crack team of lawyers).

Gordon didn’t cross the t’s and dot the i’s on the Fox side of things, and assigned rights to WB incorrectly or incompletely in regards to his agreement with Fox.

Now Fox is taking Warner Bros to court, and it looks like the date may be as late as June 2009 (three months after the target release date for the film) and the trial is set to begin on January 6th, 2009 (two months before the release date).

Now what I find unusual (or maybe not) is that Fox isn’t going after Gordon in this lawsuit at all – when it seems that HE is the source of all these problems and the confusion. Of course Warner Bros. has much deeper pockets than Gordon, plus they have the film in the can – so maybe it makes sense after all. What’s interesting is that they’re not targeting Paramount, which also made an attempt at the film and had gotten the green light from Gordon before it went to WB.

The cast of Watchmen

However it looks like Warner Bros. will bring Lawrence Gordon into the middle of this legal battle, and rightly so as far as I can tell.

Will this affect the release date for Watchmen? Does Fox really want to keep the movie from being released or are they just playing this situation to the hilt in order to extract maximum coinage from Warner Bros. in an out of court settlement?

However this turns out, it seems to me that the real bad guy here may be Lawrence Gordon and NOT 20th Century Fox.

Sources: IESB, NY Times, Andrew Steven Harris

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