Watchmen Beset by Legal Issues… Release in Doubt?

Fresh from the New York Times, it seems that Warner Bros., the movie studio behind the Watchmen movie (and parent company of DC Comics, publishers of the Watchmen comic on which it’s based) has been sued by 20th Century Fox for breach of contract, regarding distribution rights. From the article:

According to Fox’s lawsuit, however, Warner, in acquiring rights through the producer Lawrence Gordon, failed to acquire certain rights already owned by Fox, including the right to distribute any picture made by Mr. Gordon’s company.

The case, originally filed in February, echoes an earlier court fight that was resolved in 2005 when Warner agreed to pay the producer Robert B. Clark at least $17.5 million to settle claims that it had infringed his rights by making the “The Dukes of Hazzard” film with Johnny Knoxville.

Hm. If the Warners were willing to drop a measly $18 million on that pinnacle of the art of moviemaking that was The Dukes of Hazzard, somehow I don’t see them having a problem buying themselves out of this scrape, if it turns out that the lawsuit does have merit. Regardless, it’s worth keeping an eye on, especially considering that one of Fox’s tactics seems to be the filing of an injunction blocking the movie’s March 2009 release.

Oh, I can see an army of rabid comic-book geeks pounding down the doors to Fox’s headquarters now. Peanuts may not suffice this time, my brethren. I would suggest some perfume, but it seems that the Watchmen movie peeps already have that on lockdown.


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