UPDATED: Watchmen Lawsuit Settled!
We've received word that a settlement has been reached between Warner Bros and Fox. There will be a joint announcement Friday!
Our sources say that there will be continuing suits filed against producer Larry Gordon and the legal team that botched the deal, but that Warners and Fox will be set straight sometime today.
A "Notice of Settlement Status and Request For Further Hearing" has been presented to the court by Warner Brothers and FOX attorneys regarding the Watchmen case, IESB reports. The "further hearing" is requested for January 15 (today) at 3:30PM to discuss the settlement between the two parties, or, if the court rejects it, how to proceed with the scheduled January 20 hearing.
Stay tuned right here for more as it comes in...
More news now coming via the Hollywood Reporter...
Warner Bros. and Fox have resolved their dispute over "Watchmen," with the studios scheduled to present a likely settlement to Judge Gary Feess on Friday morning and request that the case be dismissed.
Terms of the agreement will not be disclosed, but it is said to involve a sizable cash payment to Fox and a percentage of the film's boxoffice. Fox will not be a co-distributor on the film, nor will it own a piece of the "Watchmen" property going forward. The studios are set to release a joint statement announcing the agreement Friday.
A Warners spokesperson would not comment on the settlement. A Fox spokesman said no final deal had been reached.
Fox sued Warners in February, claiming copyright infringement based on agreements the studio had with producer Larry Gordon. Feess ruled on Dec. 24 that Gordon did not secure the proper rights to "Watchmen" from Fox before shopping the project and eventually setting it up with Warners. Feess' decision prompted settlement talks to heat up because Warners faced the prospect of an injunction stopping its March 6 release of the $130 million comic book adaptation.
While Gordon is not a party to the case, Warners is said to be pursuing the producer and his attorneys to reimburse it for the costs of the settlement. During the course of the litigation, Gordon's then-attorney admitted that he negotiated Gordon's 1994 separation from Fox without knowing about a pre-existing 1991 agreement on which Fox has based its lawsuit.
The rare showdown between studios became particularly nasty in recent weeks, with Gordon and the film's other producer, Lloyd Levin, lashing out at Fox for making a claim on the film. Fox repeatedly has stated that it asserted its "Watchmen" rights before Warners began production on the film and that it sued only when its assertions were ignored.
With the settlement giving Fox a piece of "Watchmen's" revenue, the studio now has a rooting interest in the film's success.
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