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Watchmen Trial Date Set
Who will release the Watchmen?

03 September 2008  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  |  Source: Variety

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The Warners vs Fox wrangle over Watchmen continues, and while things are still on track for its March 6 release, someone, somewhere, is having a stress-relieving hot stones massage right this second purely as a result of tension occasioned by the entire thing. But with a trial date now set for January 6, the end is still some way off.

The crux of the matter is that Fox is arguing that it still has distribution rights to the film, based on a 1991 agreement. Warners, who has financed the new film, obviously disputes this. While neither side shows signs of backing down, it's in no one's interest to stop the film being released, so we're all optimistic that some sort of settlement will be reached in time for the release of the film.

In any case, the judge has ordered expedited discovery (a legal term which means "Show the other side all your paperwork already") but denied a preliminary motion to dismiss (in English, "I'll see you in court, Counsellor"), so the parties now have four months to examine each other's records, prepare for a case and work frantically on some sort of settlement on the side, before it all goes to court and out of their hands. Fingers crossed that it's all resolved, eh?


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Your Comments

A sly Fox...
I do hope that despite whatever legality this case boils down to, we still get to see Watchmen. There a lot of bad movies that are being shown out there, why not let us see one good one every now and then. More

Posted by coolieling at 21:45 on 27 December 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Never Mind That...
Hang your head in shame for speaking without knowing... The track was used deliberately by Snyder for the video as an ironic nod towards the campy style of superhero movie typified by Batman and Robin, using the slower, moodier track from the OST (not actually heard in the actual movie itself, iirc) accentuating the 'everything we know will change' tagline of the trailer... The track is superb in its own right and fits the trailer to a tee. Kevin Smith has seen it and had this to More

Posted by KeithM at 14:52 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Never Mind That...
... I noticed that the music on the trailer I saw had a remix of 'The End Is The Beginning Is The End' by Smashing Pumpkins as its BG music. That was the single they did for Batman & Robin! That doesn't bode well does it? 'Oo', 'Er' and, dare I venture, a 'Missus' into the bargain? More

Posted by Nicky C at 13:58 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Enough Already
This isn't a real news story, and I'm fed up of reading it. I was talking to a legal expert on the case, and he said that it would be a huge shock if WB didn't settle with Fox pretty soon. Fox is just trying to scare them into giving more by demanding more. Watch this space. More

Posted by AYBGerrardo at 11:09 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Helen
Although I'm 90% sure that I manage to understand all the legal mumbo jumbo in courtroom dramas well enough to comprehend what's going on, you have -no- idea how much I would love to watch something like A Time To Kill with a Law Lingo For Dummies alternate dialogue track written by you on it, those two comments in brackets cracked me up proper. More

Posted by sowasred2012 at 11:03 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

LEGAL SHMEAGLE
Seems as though whenever a big pot of money is in the offing, the suits in the high offices starting bleating. "Spiderman" went through the same crap all those years back when it looked as though James Cameron was going to direct.... Let's all hope that this particular legal tangle is resolved more quickly.... More

Posted by ROTGUT at 10:31 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: "What amuses me is that it took Fox so long to launch proceedings in the first place"
It's far easier to distribute a movie than it is to make one. No creative decisions to be made, it's an exact science. It's actually quite wily of Fox (pun intended) to have Warner Bros essentially make the film for them and then steam in and say "we'll have that thank you very much." The onus was on Warners from the start to ensure they had clear and unassailable rights to distribute the film before embarking on the project, especially since the history of bringing Watchmen to t More

Posted by albumental at 09:50 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Other distributors?
How does this affect the likes of Paramount, who were to distribute in the UK/Ireland (and other international destinations)? I assume their distribution rights are contingent on Warner Bros. being allowed to release it in the US first? More

Posted by Acho at 09:39 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Joint distribution?
What he said. I hope the judge makes a common sense judgement and awards Fox minimal 'damages' for the rights oversight and no more, because as the farewell dude says, WB financed the whole thing and to give Fox joint distribution rights or a major share of the profits would be grossly unfair and unjust, imo. More

Posted by KeithM at 09:30 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Joint distribution?
How about because Warners have financed the whole thing and therefore don't want to give away a big slice of the profits? More

Posted by farewelandgodnight at 09:08 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Joint distribution?
Why cant the two companies distribute the film? They could call themselves WarnerFox, Foxy Warner or something, and divide all monies equally between them. That way no party loses out, and we the audience certainly dont miss out. I just cant see why there has to be a legal wrangle over it. More

Posted by Kez at 08:52 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

Get on with it already
What amuses me is that it took Fox so long to launch proceedings in the first place! Why wait until the film was already in production? I just hope this gets resolved quickly so we can all watch the film we've been waiting for! More

Posted by keatsmeister at 08:31 on 03 September 2008 | Report This Post

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