We are still two months away from the release of Watchmen but the film is already being heralded as the Citizen Kane of comic book adaptations. That’s a hefty bill to live up to but since the comic book set the standard by which all comic books are judged, why should the same standard not apply to the film? Unfortunately, there is a good chance no one will ever get to see it.
Way back in February 2008, 20th Century Fox, the original owner of the film rights, fired up a lawsuit against Warner Bros. based on the fact that Lawrence Golden, the producer of films such as Predator, Die Hard and Hellboy, may not have observed the terms of their distribution agreement in taking the project to Warner Bros. for distribution. On December 24th, 2008, a judge ruled in favor of Fox, who is seeking an injunction that would block the release of this film. Permanently.
The fate of the film now rests on a January 20 court date, when a judge will rule on the injunction as well as the issue of damages. Fox’s demand for a permanent injunction may just be a power play for more money but there are those who think they are simply out for Warner Bros.’ blood on this. Unfortunately, comic fans and films fans alike are caught in the middle of this petty argument between two Hollywood powerhouses.
And what does the creator, who is notorious for his outspoken dislike of previous film adaptations of his work, have to say about all of this? In a September 18, 2008, interview with the LA Times, the UK-based Alan Moore simply said, “Will the film even be coming out? There are these legal problems now, which I find wonderfully ironic. Perhaps it's been cursed from afar, from England.”
For an update and details of the settlement, click here.