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.
I think this is more of a failure of not knowing what you have in house. Technically, they would not even have to make a new production house, just keep everything under the WB banner. Thing is, they have no problem with pimping out their licenses to make money. They are really only concerned with their main two series, Batman and Superman. They don't think that the average person could begin to understand a crossover situation. I mean, how long has the whole Justice League thing been talked about? Instead of using it as a launch pad for less used heroes, they want to make sure they got a Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in it, thinking that no one is interested in any of the other characters. They have their licenses too spread out. That was the reason you never got to see Robin in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, despite the fact that Teen Titans Go! was pretty big at that time.
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...
Oh, of course. This property has been bouncing around Hollywood since 1986, for twenty-two year, usually never getting out of production hell. They had a pretty safe deal here. If the movie failed in pre-production, again, then they could try to wait a while longer. Wait until there has been film shot, and a you had passed the proverbial point of no return, and then you for either an out of court settelment, a court case, or a negotiation that forms a limited sort of partnership.
This could essentially screw the viewing audience, as any money paid out in settelments or law suits would go against the profit margin of the overall production. That would make it tougher to get other movies in the genre made later. All runs down to h
:-\ow the rights after the quitclaim defaulted would have run, I think.