And everyone exhale. Fox and Warner Bros. have come to terms on a settlement that will allow the Watchmen to hit theatre screens on March 6 as scheduled.
Warner Bros. will end up paying Fox a sum in the neighbourhood of $5 – 10 million to cover development costs from when Fox owned the rights and legal fees Fox incurred during the court proceedings. Fox will also receive a percentage of the worldwide gross revenues from the release as well as any future sequels.
Even though this phase of the legal action has ended, further legal proceedings are expected for producer Larry Gordon, the centre of the storm, and the legal team who allowed such an enormous oversight. Fox sued Warners in February, claiming copyright infringement based on agreements the studio had with Gordon. Judge Gary Feess ruled December 24 that Gordon did not secure proper rights to Watchmen from Fox before shopping the project and setting it up at Warners. But have no fear; any further legal action will not impact the release of the epic $130 million adaptation.
However, the mere mention of “future sequels” for the film adaptation of the iconic graphic novel probably just sent shivers up Alan Moore’s spine.