Who watches the Watchmen? No one if Fox has its way. The writer’s strike cost Hollywood an estimated 2 billion dollars, and it looks like movie company is trying to recoup some of that lost revenue by suing Warner Bros. over the film rights to the Watchmen movie.
According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox holds the exclusive copyrights and contract rights to the Alan Moore inspired film.
Fox claims that between 1986 and 1990, it acquired all movie rights to the 12-issue DC Comics series and screenplays by Charles McKeown and Sam Hamm. In 1991, Fox assigned some rights via a quitclaim to Largo International with the understanding that the studio held exclusive rights to distribute the first motion picture based on “Watchmen,” according to the lawsuit.
When Largo folded, Fox said the film could be shopped around only when a buy-out price was paid. Now that the film is deep in production under the watchful eye of Zack Snyder, Fox decided it was time to pull its trump card claiming the company never received the fee.
I’ll say one thing about Marvel, creating their own movie company where they control everything is probably the smartest move any comic company could do. It’s a wonder Warner Bros., which owns DC, never came up with the idea to keep its properties in house to avoid this very thing.
While I have only seen a few select shots from the film, if someone like me has been in the know about the Watchmen film, it’s a sure bet Fox knew long before a single frame of film was shot, which makes me believe this lawsuit is nothing more than a way to extort money from the WB. Hurm…