I hate to deliver bad news on Christmas, but the judge running things on the Watchmen lawsuit between 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros has made a decision long before the expected January 20th trial date.
Watchmen Lawsuit Result: Fox Wins
While I was personally cheering for Warner Bros. in the Watchmen case -- as a fan, their victory represented the best case scenario -- that unfortunately isn't the case. Judge What's His Nuts has declared that Fox has a copyright stake in Watchmen, which likely translates into distribution rights.
"Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the Watchmen motion picture," judge What's His Nuts (forgive me, but I refuse to name him) said in the ruling.
What this means is a few possible outcomes. Here they are in order of best options for the fans:
1. Warner Bros. pays a lump-sum payoff to 20th Century Fox to distribute the film themselves.
2. Fox practically f*@ks over Warner Bros and handles at least domestic distribution.
3. Warner Bros. appeals and forces the lawsuit to remain in our slow-moving court system. Expect Watchmen to receive a minimum year push.
What I hope happens practically relies on Fox. The studio, who can't make a good franchise if their life depended on it (at the moment), has the spotlight on them. In short, it's their move. If they want to keep fans happy, they will do all in their power to allow Watchmen to be released this March, as scheduled. So the real question is: Does Fox care at all about the fans?