Jump to content

Watchmen out 3/6/09!

Recommended Posts

Okay, Batman's out, but it looks like the next big hitter's going to be one of my all-time favorites - The Watchmen. Here's the trailer:


Everyone's looking real good, especially Dr Manhattan. A guy painted up in a blue suit just wouldn't have done him justice, so this may be one of the only times I'm happy to see someone completely done in CG.

Link to comment
  • 5 weeks later...

Snagged from the ATT:

Fox attempts to block Watchmen release.

Film studio Twentieth Century Fox has applied to a Los Angeles court to block the release of Watchmen, based on the comic books written by Alan Moore.

Fox, which says it bought film rights to the series in the 1980s, has been given the go-ahead to launch an injunction against rival Warner Bros.

"We respectfully disagree with Fox's position and do not believe they have any rights," a Warners spokesman said.

Fox said it "will be asking the court to enforce our copyright interests".

More information including a timeline of legal activity.

Here's the fascinating chronology that the court laid out:

1986-90: Fox acquires motion picture rights in The Watchmen.

1990: Fox enters into a domestic distribution agreement with Largo Entertainment, a joint venture of JVC Entertainment Inc., Golar (Larry Gordon), and BOH, Inc. The “Largo Agreement” established Fox’s domestic distribution rights, through a license from Largo, in “subject pictures” as defined in the agreement.

June 1991: Fox enters into a “Quitclaim Agreement” with Largo International, through which Fox “quitclaims to Purchaser all of Fox’s right, title and interest in and to the Motion Picture project presently entitled Watchmen, which included specifically described literary materials. Notably, the agreement provides that, “if Purchaser elects to proceed to production, the Picture shall be produced by Purchaser and shall be distributed by Fox as a Subject Picture pursuant to the terms of the Largo Agreement ...” In consideration for the rights to Watchmen, Fox was to be reimbursed for its development costs ($435,600) plus interest plus a profit participation in the worldwide net proceeds of any Watchmen picture.

Nov. 1991: The Largo Agreement was amended; Watchmen was listed as a project quitclaimed to Largo.

Nov. 1993: Larry Gordon, through Golar, withdraws from the Largo Entertainment joint venture; Largo conveys any rights it has in Watchmen to Gordon/Golar. Based on the 1991 quitclaim, the Court may infer that Gordon now stood in the shoes of Largo with respect to Watchmen and held whatever rights it acquired through the 1991 Quitclaim, which left Fox with the distribution rights it retained through that agreement.

1994: Fox negotiated a “Settlement and Release” agreement with Gordon which contemplated that the Watchmen project would be put in “perpetual turnaround” to Lawrence Gordon Productions, Inc. The “turnaround notice” gave Lawrence Gordon Productions “the perpetual right . . . to acquire all of the right, title and interest of Fox [Watchmen] pursuant to the terms and conditions herein provided.” The turnaround notice then described the formula for determining the buy-out price in the event that Gordon elected to acquire Fox’s interest. Thus, the document suggests that Gordon acquired an option to acquire Fox’s interest in Watchmen for a price. In fact, the notice obligated Gordon to pay the buy-out price on the commencement of any production of a Watchmen film. The notice also provided that the agreement was personal to Gordon and that, “prior to payment of the Buy-Out Price,” he could not assign rights or authorize any person to take any action with respect to the project.

May 2006: Warner Brothers, allegedly with knowledge of the 1991 Quitclaim, entered into a quitclaim agreement with Gordon under which it claims to have acquired the rights to the Watchmen project. Fox alleges that these facts demonstrate that, at the very least, it retained distribution rights in Watchmen, that it performed all of its obligations under the relevant agreements, and that while it granted Gordon what amounted to an option to acquire its rights, neither Gordon nor his successors ever fulfilled their contractual obligations to Fox. Indeed, Fox contends that Warner Bros either knew or turned a blind eye to the fact that Fox had retained distribution rights in the project, and that Gordon had not perfected his interest in the Watchmen project before quitclaiming it to Warner Brothers. In any event, Fox now contends that it presently holds rights in Watchmen and that Warner Brothers’ production of the Watchmen film infringes on those rights.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Legal battle intensifies.

The legal battle between Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox over Warner's upcoming superhero movie Watchmen is heating up, according to a report in The New York Times.

Lawyers for Warner and for Fox have laid plans for a fight in a joint report submitted to the federal court in New York last week, the newspaper reported. At issue is Fox's claim that it still holds rights to the film's original graphic novel, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Fox has said it will seek an injunction blocking Warner's planned March release of the film. Warner has argued that Fox should not be allowed to stop the movie after standing by while Warner and its partners on the film, Paramount Pictures and Legendary Pictures, spent more than $100 million on the production, directed by Zack Snyder.

In a summary of its position, Warner said Fox "sat silently" as one of the producers, Lawrence Gordon, took the project "to studio after studio with Fox's express knowledge."

Fox claimed in its own filings that Gordon did not keep the studio apprised of his plans, as required by a 1994 agreement.

Link to comment

Trial set for January

A Los Angeles federal judge has set a Jan. 6, 2009, trial date for 20th Century Fox's lawsuit over Warner Brothers' right to make a film based on the graphic novel Watchmen, Variety reported.

Judge Gary Allen Feess set the date during a meeting between attorneys, setting the stage for discovery and deposition proceedings during the rest of this year.

Warner has not backed off March 6 as the opening for Watchmen, directed by Zack Snyder and starring Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley.

Two weeks ago, Feess denied Warner's motion to dismiss the suit, which alleges that Fox retained distribution rights to the graphic novel through a 1991 claim.

Link to comment

This could cut two ways, neither of them good. Either the case doesn't seem to be going well for WB and they have to settle in order to actually get the movie out, which would be disastrous for them, or the case drags on into the actual release date and they have to push it back, which will cost them money anyway.

I think Fox might have them by the short hairs here. :(

Link to comment
  • 4 months later...


Geeks can now rejoice.

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

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 boxoffice. 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.

A Warners spokesperson would not comment on the settlement. A Fox spokesman said no final deal had been reached.

Fox sued Warners in February, 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. During the course of the litigation, Gordon's then-attorney admitted that he negotiated Gordon's 1994 separation from Fox without knowing about a pre-existing 1991 agreement on which Fox has based its lawsuit.

The rare showdown between studios became particularly nasty in recent weeks, with Gordon and the film's other producer, Lloyd Levin, lashing out at Fox for making a claim on the film. Fox repeatedly has stated that it asserted its "Watchmen" rights before Warners began production on the film and that it sued only when its assertions were ignored.

With the settlement giving Fox a piece of "Watchmen's" revenue, the studio now has a rooting interest in the film's success.

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Yep, same date as the USA. Remember, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons were Brits, y'know :P

I knew Moore was, wasn't sure if Gibbons was. And I wasn't sure if, because of that, it'd be released in the UK at the same time, or if the Brits would need to wait like for any other American movie.

Link to comment

I'm boycotting this movie.

I found out how the film progresses and concludes. Personally, I'm frustrated with the ongoing trend among film studios completely altering the source material to suit the film. Spider-Man, Batman . . . the list goes on. What makes Watchmen so powerful is the conclusion, and changing it (and yes, the film ending does make Dr. Manhattan wholly inconsistent with his characterization in the film and in the series) changes Moore's underlying themes in the original text. I will not watch this movie and I will never watch another superhero again.

Also, it is not a graphic novel as it is promoted. Technically, Watchmen is a trade paperback or hardcover, depending on your copy.

There. My angry rant is over.

Link to comment

I couldn't disagree more. I traded shifts at work this week so I could catch the midnight opening, and I'm glad I did. I was thoroughly satisfied with this film.

I thought it was extremely well-cast, and exceptionally faithful to the source material. They took liberties with a few minor details here and there, but they didn't miss the point like the Wachowskis did with V For Vendetta. I walked out of the V movie screaming in frustration about how they left out the most important, most defining monologue in the entire book. There were no important lines from Watchmen I can recall that the film version left out. The sheer amount of story and background they were able to cram into the movie was nothing short of a miracle, and they used several skilled and elegant techniques for doing so (the opening credits montage particularly stands out in my mind). The aforementioned minor edits made for a tighter and more cohesive narrative, which is always necessary when adapting a written work to this medium. The change of method/source regarding The Big Event at the end worked because it emphasized even further the idea of Humanity being forced to take the next step toward Growing Up as a race. That "next step" being to cut the apron strings and start running our own lives without Mommy Manhattan holding our hand every step of the way.

Snyder definitely left his own stylistic mark on the film, but it still felt like a Moore story to me. Zack Snyder's "style," for the record, seems to be "make copious use of green-screens and speed-up/slow-down combat scenes, and ramp the graphic in-your-face sex and violence up to 11. In this case, I'm OK with that. I was worried that the sex and violence in the book would be downplayed, shied away from. I was pleasantly surprised. I do wish that Snyder's sex scenes weren't so heavily slanted toward appeasing The Male Gaze, but he's improved noticeably in that regard since 300.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...