20th Century Fox is seeking an injunction to block the release of Warner Bros. “Watchmen” movie after a Los Angeles court ruled a copyright lawsuit against Warner can go forward reports Reuters.
The highly anticipated $120 million film is based on Alan Moore’s 1985 graphic novel. Fox acquired motion picture rights to the “Watchmen” graphic novel in the late 1980s, and even though it relinquished certain rights to the material in 1991 – it held onto the right to distribute the first movie.
Judge Gary Feess of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied Warners motion to dismiss the suit in a ruling last week, in essence concluding that Fox could hold some of the rights to the material. A Fox spokesman says that the studio “will be asking the court to enforce Fox’s copyright interests and enjoin the release of the Warner Brothers film and any related ‘Watchmen’ media that violate our copyright interests in that property.”
Things are still preliminary, but the decision has caused a lot of surprise. A similar event happened with Warner Bros. release of “The Dukes of Hazzard” film and the studio ended up having to pay a very hefty sum to release the project. A very detailed breakdown of the case and history of the property’s film development can be found at Deadline Hollywood Daily.