Just as Zack Snyder wraps production on Watchmen and gets ready to bring it all together into an alternate universe, superhero showcase, 20th Century Fox is getting litigious. The Hollywood Reporter has posted that the company is preparing to battle Warner Brothers "over the rights to develop, produce, and distribute" the film based on the uber popular graphic novel.

On Friday, Fox sued, claiming it holds all the rights. They say that between '86 and '90 they "acquired all movie rights to the 12-issue DC Comics series and screenplays by Charles McKeown and Sam Hamm." In '91, there was a quitclaim to Largo Int., but Fox retained "exclusive rights to distribute the first motion picture." Then, Largo dismantled, and the rights went to producer Lawrence Gordon. "Under a 'turnaround agreement' between Fox and Gordon, the producer agreed to pay a buy-out price to Fox if he entered into any agreement with another studio or third party to develop or produce Watchmen, among other things." They say that neither Gordon nor Warners paid out.

Got all that straight? In other words, Fox said they had the rights and that producer Lawrence Gordon and WB didn't honor it like they should have. I imagine WB will do what they can to wrap this up quickly, and not let it interfere with the March 6, 2009 release date. At least, I hope so. Otherwise, they might get some masked vigilantes on their tails.
categories Movies, Cinematical