By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Warner Bros, LA Times
Now here's an interesting move. Though U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess has been favoring 20th Century Fox since the beginning, Warner Bros. has decided to leave the fate of Watchmen in his hands. Considering that the other option was likely to be a prolonged jury case, this at least means we still have a chance of seeing the film come March 6th.
Judge to Decide Watchmen Fate
It all comes down to January 20th, when 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Judge Feess will meet to discuss if Fox could block/delay Watchmen's theatrical release; something the studio has been going for this whole time.
Though Warner Bros. acts like they still have something up their sleeve, Feess was the same judge who gave a preliminary ruling stating that Fox owned the right to distribute Watchmen, not Warner Bros. He did, however, follow that statement with a request that the two studios settle. So far no deal has been reached.
Though Fox allowed the project to be passed between every studio including Universal Pictures and Paramount, the studio didn't balk until Warner Bros. got production successfully rolling. Fox purchased the movie rights to the graphic novel back in 1986. Since nothing has been created by the studio by now, you think they would have ever gotten around to it? And, if they have, you think it would be as remotely as good as Warner Bros' version? I give it 1-in-50.
There is obviously some confusion, as the project did at least look to be in limbo when Warner Bros picked it up. But, some seriously fine print has kept the project tied to Fox.
Fox issued a measured response, saying, "We are gratified by the recognition of our rights in the judge's order, which speaks for itself."