Twentieth Century Fox is trying to stop Warner Bros. from releasing the Watchmen. In a lawsuit, Fox says it acquired the motion pictures rights to the graphic novel in the ’80s, and when it gave up some of those rights in 1991, it held onto the right to distribute the movie.
Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles agreed with Fox’s claim and said there is enough evidence to keep the lawsuit moving forward. As a result the film’s March 16 release is on hold until the two sides or a judge settles the dispute. Fox has announced that instead of seeking a share of the sure-fire hit, it is intent on stopping the movie from being released.
The complaint states that when Fox teamed up with producer Larry Gordon in 1991 to develop a Watchmen movie, the rights were transferred to them and so was due payment if the film was ever made. Things didn’t work out in developing the movie so Fox and Gordon went their separate ways. In 2006, Gordon made a deal with Warner Bros. to make Watchmen and Fox is saying they never got paid.
Zack Snyder, director of 300 and Watchmen, has finished shooting the movie with stars Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino and Billy Crudup, and is continuing post production. Watchmen is based on the groundbreaking graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.