You know, if the Fox studio has put out a decent movie in the last decade or so that has been friendly to geeks across the globe, and not just products that they are hoping will clean out the wallets of clueless johns like a Sunset Strip prostitute who claims she’s a virgin rolling over her latest client in a motel while he’s in the bathroom trying to figure out how to put on a condom, I can’t recall. More recently, their geek-ish films have included the much maligned live-action adaptations of “Dragonball” and “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li”, both of which have been less than positively received by fans. But you know what has been generating good buzz with geeks everywhere? Zack Snyder’s live-action adaptation of “Watchmen”. Which stands to reason why Fox is now doing all it can to keep you from seeing the movie.
The big news came out last week, when the judge lording over the Fox/Warner Bros. dispute about just who exactly owns “Watchmen”, probably in a haze of what can only be term boneheadedness, decided that yeah, despite having allowed “Watchmen” to languish for eons and doing exactly squat with it, Fox does, in fact, own parts of the movie. Now Fox wants to stop the film’s March 6, 2009 release date as a result. Gee, thanks, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess!
THR has an update on your sordid legal wranglings so far:
In a defiant statement issued Monday, Warners said it was prepared to go to trial or to appeal last week’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess, who stated that the studio had infringed on Fox’s copyright in making the adaptation of the Alan Moore superhero graphic novel.
“We respectfully but vigorously disagree with the court’s ruling and are exploring all of our appellate options,” the studio said. “We continue to believe that Fox’s claims have no merit and that we will ultimately prevail, whether at trial or in the Court of Appeals.”
Both sides met Monday morning at the Los Angeles federal court, where Feess said he stands by the Christmas Eve ruling and also said he plans to hold a trial Jan. 20 to decide remaining issues such as damages, how far Fox’s rights extend, and if to actually block the release of the movie.
It used to be I thought Fox was just trying to get some free cash out of the deal, but now it really does seem like they’re just being total douches about the thing. Of course, being that this is the studio behind “Dragonball”, I’m guessing pissing on the geek fanbase is absolutely not something they’re against doing just for kicks. Or in Fox parlance, Mondays.
Which isn’t to say “Watchmen” will never see the light of day. I’m sure it’ll arrive in theaters sooner or later once the legalese have gotten the terms ironed out and Fox is guaranteed a nice pretty penny for its troubles. But hey, in the meantime, Fox has plenty of quality products to tie you over. By the by, have you had the chance to catch “Marley & Me”? Thank you, Fox. I always said what this world needed more of were movies about precocious dogs and their idiot human owners. You da man, Fox!
Below: Who needs “Watchmen”? Fox has you covered. In 2009, look out for “Marley & Me 2: The Bitch is Back”!