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DeathscytheX

[UPDATED] Watchmen Case Settled

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/business/media/25fox.html?_r=3

By MICHAEL CIEPLY

Published: December 24, 2008

LOS ANGELES — In a surprise ruling, a federal judge in Los Angeles said he intended to grant 20th Century Fox’s claim that it owns a copyright interest in the “Watchmen,” a movie shot by Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures and set for release in March.

The decision was disclosed in a five-page written order issued on Wednesday. Gary A. Feess, a judge in the United States District Court for Central California, said he would provide a more detailed order soon.

Fox has been seeking to prevent Warner from releasing the film. The superhero adventure, based on the “Watchmen” graphic novel, is being directed by Zack Snyder (who also directed “300”) and has shaped up as one of most eagerly anticipated releases for next year.

A Warner spokesman, Scott Rowe, declined to comment on the ruling and the studio’s plans.

At an earlier hearing, the judge said he believed that issues in the case could be settled only at a trial, which was scheduled for late January. On Wednesday, however, Judge Feess said he had reconsidered and concluded that Fox should prevail on crucial issues.

“Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said.

Fox acquired rights to the “Watchmen” graphic novel in the late 1980s for the producer Lawrence Gordon, but eventually dropped its own plan to make a movie from its story, about the underside of life for superbeings.

Mr. Gordon later pursued the project with Universal Pictures, and then with Paramount Pictures, before shooting it with Warner and Legendary under an arrangement that allows Paramount to distribute the film abroad.

In ruling on Wednesday, Judge Feess advised both Fox and Warner to look toward a settlement or an appeal.

“The parties may wish to turn their efforts from preparing for trial to negotiating a resolution of this dispute or positioning the case for review,” he said.


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Damn, they'll probably settle for a crapload of money and still release the film. But if they set the movie up to have a sequel, I'm sure Fox will be all over that or any other kind of franchise possibilities.


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you thin WB would have looked up that information before making the movie


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Bruce Campbell: '' This place has more security then the Batcave ''

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Lets hope they still release it. Fox has been very clear that it wishes the movie to die before the court case started. They just wanted it to not air. I hope their opinion on that has changed....if not then we're fucked and can only hope someone at WB leaks it on bittorrent :P.

@sledg - Fox would fuck it up if they made a sequel. Plus from the look of the latest trailer it looks like it's only going to be one movie. The last scene from the comic was in the trailer XD. Gotta love how Trailers spoil movies for everyone.


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All hail piggy, king of bacon ^)^

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well i hope it is leaked HD quality anways even if fox does release it, just to screw them


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Bruce Campbell: '' This place has more security then the Batcave ''

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http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=51577

An attorney for 20th Century Fox says the studio will continue to seek an order delaying the release of Watchmen, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess last week agreed with Fox that Warner Bros. had infringed its copyright by developing and shooting the film, scheduled for release March 6.

Feess said Monday he plans to hold a trial Jan. 20 to decide remaining issues.

Fox claims it never fully relinquished story rights from its deal made in the late 1980s, and sued Warner Bros. in February. Warner Bros. contended Fox isn't entitled to distribution.

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


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Wow. If it comes to being shelved, WB will be out some serious money from production costs.

If it does get shelved, I bet someone will leak the movie online somehow just out of spite.


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If it does get shelved, I bet someone will leak the movie online somehow just out of spite.

Thats what we're all hoping for.


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All hail piggy, king of bacon ^)^

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http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/14049.html

The two litigants in the fight over rights to the Watchmen film, Fox and Warner Bros., have agreed to let a judge decide whether Fox is entitled to an injunction blocking release of the film, instead of going to a jury trial. The hearing is currently schedule to begin on January 20th, unless the judge grants Warners’ request to move the hearing to an earlier date.

In addition to the agreement that the judge can decide the case, the two have agreed that neither will oppose requests to expedite an appeal.

The judge ruled in December that Fox had a copyright interest in the property (see “Watchmen Judge Rules in Fox’s Favor”), although Warners vowed to release the film (see “Warners Vows To Release Watchmen”).

Looks like a judge will decide by the end of the month or next month if the movie can go to theaters.


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http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117998665.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Warner Bros. and Fox have settled their very public battle over "Watchmen." A deal has been hammered out that that gives WB some face-saving points, but which gives Fox the equivalent of a movie star’s gross participation.

Warner Bros. gets the right to open its superhero pic on March 6 as planned, and Fox's logo will not be on the film, sources said.

The movie will hit theaters! Click the link for the rest of the article.


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http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=51975

Warner Bros. and Fox Settle Watchmen Dispute

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

January 16, 2009

Warner Bros. and Fox have resolved their dispute over Watchmen, with the studios scheduled to present the settlement to Judge Gary Feess on Friday morning and request that the case be dismissed, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Terms of the agreement will not be disclosed, but it is said to involve a sizable cash payment to Fox and a percentage of the film's box office. Fox will not be a co-distributor on the film, nor will it own a piece of the Watchmen property going forward. The studios are set to release a joint statement announcing the agreement Friday.

Fox sued Warners in February of 2008, claiming copyright infringement based on agreements the studio had with producer Larry Gordon. Feess ruled on Dec. 24 that Gordon did not secure the proper rights to Watchmen from Fox before shopping the project and eventually setting it up with Warners. Feess' decision prompted settlement talks to heat up because Warners faced the prospect of an injunction stopping its March 6 release of the $130 million comic book adaptation.

While Gordon is not a party to the case, Warners is said to be pursuing the producer and his attorneys to reimburse it for the costs of the settlement.

UPDATE: Here is the official statement from both studios...

Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox have resolved their dispute regarding the rights to the upcoming motion picture Watchmen in a confidential settlement. Warner Bros acknowledges that Fox acted in good faith in bringing its claims, which were asserted prior to the start of principal photography. Fox acknowledges that Warner Bros. acted in good faith in defending against those claims Warner Bros. and Fox, like all Watchmen fans, look forward with great anticipation to this film's March 6 release in theatres.


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