Update: In the aftermath of his awarding of distribution rights for the Watchmen film at the expense of Warner Bros. to 20th Century Fox, LA Federal Judge Gary Allen Feess has been agreed upon by both parties to make yet another critical decision towards the fate of the much hyped comic adaptation. On January 20, he will decide on whether or not to allow Fox the power to delay the March 6, 2009 release of the film.
According to a statement released by Fox on Tuesday:
"We are gratified by the recognition of our rights in the judge's order, which speaks for itself."
Not to be outdone, Warner released the following:
"We will continue to pursue all of our legal options to defeat Fox's meritless claims and remain confident that we will ultimately prevail."
Ooooh, the trash-talking is heating UP! It might be considered indicative of Warner's dilemma that they are left with little choice but to comply with putting the fate of the March 6 release date in the hands of the very Judge that after changing his mind on a delay, abruptly dropped a Christmas Eve bombshell on them by outright awarding those distribution rights to Fox. The options may be thinning a bit for Bugs Bunny and his pals.
Would another decision in Fox's favor be a deathblow to the set release date? Possibly, but it is more likely that Fox is NOT fighting for the ability to stick a middle finger in the face of fans by delaying the release of the film, but rather, is fighting for a bargaining chip (and a very valuable one at that.) With the threat of a very costly delay, Warner may find itself in the position of having to concede a great deal more of the profits from the film. (Even more so than the alleged 1994 agreement would have them collect.) March 6 is under two months away, and each day becomes more critical for the process.
The movie business is all about money! Who would have ever thought such a thing?!