Who’s watching the Watchmen? Maybe no one…
A couple days ago in my posting about Roy Scheider’s death, I brought up the rule of threes, explaining how things in life usually happen in groups of three. Yesterday was the day of Hollywood lawsuits. It started with the Tolkien Estate suing New Line over Lord of the Ring profits. Then The Passion of the Christ co-screenwriter sued Mel Gibson over being mislead into accepting a small payment for his writing services.
And now 20th Century Fox is suing Warner Bros over Watchmen, claiming they have the rights to develop, produce, and distribute a film based on Watchmen. Fox claims that between 1986 and 1990, they acquired all movie rights to the 12-issue DC Comics series. However, the studio gave them up in 1991 with the understanding that it held the exclusive option to distribute the first film based on Watchmen. It should be noted that DC Comics, who published and owns the rights to the Watchmen graphic novel, is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers Entertainment, which is also the company producing the film.
I’m not a lawyer, and don’t quite understand half of this. But it sounds to me like Fox could do some heavy damage and at least delay the release of the upcoming Zack Snyder adaptation. I have no idea if their case has merit, but I do find it very sleazy that they waited until the film was well into production to file this lawsuit. They could have easily filed such suit while the film was in preproduction.