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WATCHMEN talks “fruitful” and “productive”

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According to the trades and blogs, Warners and Fox are busy talking behind the scenes to resolve the WATCHMEN spat, and talks are getting…somewhere. Nikki Finke rounds up the news and gossip:

According to court documents, Fox and Warner Bros have conducted the settlement talks since last weekend and made concessions. This is surprising since WB lawyers announced they would continue to fight immediately after Feess announced his intention to rule in favor of Fox for copyight infringement and distribution rights
[snip]
Insiders tell me that this is the first time both sides are trying to hash out a settlement. Of course, Fox has been complaining all along that its approaches to WB have been rebuffed since long before the movie was even made. But I also heard that WB wouldn’t even engage after federal judge Gary Feess recently announced his intention to rule in Fox’s favor on the copyright infringement and distribution angle. Now, sources tell me, “Warner Bros is finally freaked out.”


Finke also mocks a letter from producer Larry Gordon — it was Gordon’s inability to remember ANYTHING about his dealings which prompted Judge Feess to make a special ruling stating that he wouldn’t pay any attention to anything Gordon said from here on out. However according to THR:

Larry Gordon is tired of being the villain in the “Watchmen” dispute. In an unorthodox move, the veteran producer has fired off a lengthy letter to U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess blaming Fox and his then-lawyers for the debacle and offering his version of events that led to the court’s ruling that Fox owns distribution rights to the Zack Snyder-helmed comic-book adaptation.


Reading between the lines of all of this, it’s evident that Fox and WB are finally figuring just how much it is going to cost WB for WATCHMEN to come out in March. Frankly, if we do get BATMAN TV show DVDs out of this mess, it will all be worth it.

  1. So, Fox pulls a (Oswald the) rabbit out of its hat? How do the Batman TV rights figure in all this? What does Warners give Fox? No satires of Fox properties in MAD Magazine? Six cover articles a year on both Entertainment Weekly and People?

  2. So, Fox pulls a (Oswald the) rabbit out of its hat? How do the Batman TV rights figure in all this? What does Warners give Fox? No satires of Fox properties in MAD Magazine? Six cover articles a year on both Entertainment Weekly and People?

  3. Torsten,

    Fox owns the footage to the ’60s Batman TV show, but Warners owns the characters. Neither has budged in giving the other anything on the issue, but rumor is that Fox is using this Watchmen case as a means to get the rights to release it on DVD. If this is the case, and it’s solved as such, sounds like a win/win for fans!

  4. Oh, if only it were that easy. From what I’ve heard (and I think its safe to say that everything is unsubstantiated at this stage), the true complications are in relation to permissions necessary from so many guest stars or their estates.

  5. I’m not worried about this. Never have been. There’s so much money expected to be made from this film that both parties would be sued by their stockholders if they failed to make peace and release it.

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