Fox sues Warners over Watchmen

MEANWHILEFox is suing Warners over the labyrinthine rights to the Watchmen movie:

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 dismantled, the rights were transferred to producer Lawrence Gordon. Under a “turnaround agreement” between Fox and Gordon, the producer agreed to pay a buy-out price to Fox if he entered into any agreement with another studio or third party to develop or produce “Watchmen,” among other things.

The project apparently bounced around to Universal and Paramount before returning to Warners. Now, Fox claims that neither Gordon nor Warners has paid the buy-out price or advised the studio of any other conditions required under the agreement, including procedures necessary to acquire the rights to “Watchmen” from Fox.


If you canfollow all that you should get a job as an agent for sure. ICv2 has some good analysis

Typically these sorts of rights disputes between studios are settled before any suits are filed and usually before a film goes into production (remember how rights disputes held up the production of decent Spider-Man movie for years), but perhaps Fox feels that it has Warners over a barrel with the fate of a potentially lucrative superhero film at stake.


Perhaps.

Comments

  1. brett says:

    You gotta just chuckle at all this between Fox and Warner.

    As if Fox and Warner didn’t have enough trash between them with the 1966 Batman TV Show that can’t come out on dvd (and all those missed sales)… now Fox wants to throw this monkey wrench out there?

    Will wonders… greed ever cease?

  2. Tommy Raiko says:

    Hey, mention of the 60s Batman show for DVD makes me hope that the way this plays out would be for Fox to drop their objections to Warner about the WATCHMEN movie in exchange for Warner dropping their objections to Fox releasing the Batman show on DVD.

    It’d be a inter-company deal that’d put the Al Michaels for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit trade to shame!

  3. michael says:

    actually, I found that fairly clear. And from that alone, it does sound like Fox has legit rights to what they are claiming. BUT of course, who knows what the actual wording of the agreements do state, which may make all of this insignificant.

    I just find it odd how such a large company as Warners would have not had the oversight to check all this out previous to venturing forth with the movie unless they are totally in the clear and Fox is just being dickish.

  4. goddard says:

    i’m for whatever prevents Watchmen The Movie from being made

    if it also involves the big movie studios throwing good money after bad on lawyers, all the better

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