The lawsuit Warner Bros. wishes would go away, just got a little more teeth yesterday when a federal judge refused to dismiss the case in which 20th Century Fox still claims to owns the rights to the film.
At the heart of Foxâ€™s suit, filed in February, is the contention that it never ceded rights to the property. And according to the federal Judge Gary Allen Feess, Fox retained distribution rights to the graphic novel penned by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons through a 1991 claim. Furthermore, Feess appears to agree that under a 1994 turnaround deal with producer Larry Gordon, Gordon acquired an option to acquire Foxâ€™s remaining interest in “Watchmen,” which was never exercised, thereby leaving Fox with its rights under the 1994 agreement.
What does all this mean?Â While I doubt the film will get shelved, it could mean Warner Bros. is once again going to have to shell out a lot of money to make this all go away.Â This is just one more reminder to the Warner execs why they should keep all their properties in house instead of signing things away willy-nilly just to make a few bucks.
Update: Actually Fox does want the movie from ever being shown.Â If that does occur, expect Fox to earn the Major Dick of the Century award from nearly everyone in the world.