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Fox watches the Watchmen

Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 9:24am

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Simon K Jones

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Twentieth Century Fox are attempting to block Warner Bros from releasing the Watchmen movie, claiming that they bought the film rights way back in the 80s. It's all rather suspicious, given that Warners have been trying to get a Watchmen film going for the last ten years, with Paul 'Bourne' Greengrass making it well into pre-production before Zack Synder took over. Why wait until now to cause a fuss?

The story over at BBC News is worth reading, mainly because Fox's spokesman is called Gregg Brilliant. A good friend of Mr Incredible, we presume?
Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 10:49am

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SketchWork

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Oh dear - bummer for Warner if Fox get it withdrawn.
Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 10:56am

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Simon K Jones

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There's been too much money, effort and hype invested for it to be totally blocked. I imagine what Fox are really angling for is a cut of the profits. They've kinda put themselves in a tricky situation by leaving it this late to do anything about it - smacks of trying to take advantage, rather than having a legit claim, in which case they'd surely have made a noise years ago?
Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 11:43am

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Atom

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Tarn wrote:

There's been too much money, effort and hype invested for it to be totally blocked. I imagine what Fox are really angling for is a cut of the profits. They've kinda put themselves in a tricky situation by leaving it this late to do anything about it - smacks of trying to take advantage, rather than having a legit claim, in which case they'd surely have made a noise years ago?
Fox is crafty, I'll give them that. And speaking of all these rights and the author, how do people feel about Alan Moore's complete hatred and distance from the comic-to-film world? I used to understand the man's argument; messing with his work and all.

But after hearing such a passionate and well-intentioned man as Zach Snyder is, and one who's trying to be especially faithful to the source: why won't he give the guy a shot? Or, at the very least- since it's going to get made without Moore or not- take Snyder up on a sit-down to discuss the movie.

Once I heard Moore hasn't even seen the films based on his works, and that he judged Snyder as a poor director because he was too exact to a comic that was mediocre to begin with, saying this:

“Zack Snyder may very well be a very nice guy, but the thing is that he’s also the person who made 300. I’ve not seen any recent comic book films, but I didn’t particularly like the book 300. I had a lot of problems with it, and everything I heard or saw about the film tended to increase [those problems] rather than reduce them: that it was racist, it was homophobic, and above all it was sublimely stupid."

I mean, none of that has anything to do with the director, and harsh comments on an equally if not more impressive comic visionary like Miller makes him look like a completely conceited, 'I'm-hot-sh!t' asshole.

Because of all this, I've lost nearly all sympathy for the man. I'm now tending to agree with the users on his IMDb page. Grow up and have some respect for some of the artists that are given a chance to work on something you wrote and big studios own. If they're trying to give you and the work respect and the proper reverence; when really anyone else could've butchered it- give people the damn courtesy of the benefit of the doubt. With his words of faithfulness and the Watchmen teaser trailer now out, especially for Snyder.

Anyone agree with me? I've always been so iffy on Alan Moore, even though his writing is great. Even at-one-point-visionaries can just go and f*ck things up after their prime creative years, even if it isn't them specifically making atrocities. *cough*George Lucas*cough*
Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 4:18pm

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No Respite Productions

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Tarn wrote:

Twentieth Century Fox are attempting to block Warner Bros from releasing the <i>Watchmen</i> movie, claiming that they bought the film rights way back in the 80s. It's all rather suspicious, given that Warners have been trying to get a <i>Watchmen</i> film going for the last ten years, with Paul 'Bourne' Greengrass making it well into pre-production before Zack Synder took over. Why wait until now to cause a fuss?<br><br><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7569770.stm">The story over at BBC News</a> is worth reading, mainly because Fox's spokesman is called Gregg Brilliant. A good friend of Mr Incredible, we presume?
God this makes my blood boil... and highlights my growing belief that the Fox company are nothing more than a collective of absolute f***tards.

The evidence is conclusive if you look back far enough.

* Cancelling Futurama
* Cancelling Family Guy
* This fiasco with Watchmen
* Aliens Vs Predator
* AvP 2
* Dicking around with Fincher on Alien 3
* Alien Resurrection
* Fox News (all of it)

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR burst

Sorry, bad day at the office and now this! Also I think I may have some hangups on the last 10 years of the Alien franchise.

I hope the Judge finds in favour of Warner and forces Fox to pay for all legal damages.

Gregg Brilliant? Well you can just call me Adam Spectacular then!

NR

EDIT: Firefly... cancelling Firefly! I knew i'd forgotten something!

Last edited Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 9:32pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 4:22pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, Fox does have a track record of some amazingly stupid and short-sighted decisions, even by corporate Hollywood standards.

You can call me Johnny Ebullient.
Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2008, 9:26pm

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SilverDragon7

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Tarn wrote:

You can call me Johnny Ebullient.
Alright, Johnny Ebullient.

But I do agree that Fox has made many obtuse decisions.
Posted: Wed, 20th Aug 2008, 12:24am

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Atom

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Lest we also not forget, guys, that Fox has also taken care of some great movie gems over the years for us; including backing Star Wars and Singer's entire, ambitious vision of the X-Men world.

But Fox News, uggh, there's a dealbreaker. My buddy Chase thinks it's real news. Heh. smile
Posted: Wed, 20th Aug 2008, 2:16am

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Frosty G

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The greatest sin was cancelling Arrested Development.
Posted: Wed, 20th Aug 2008, 2:42am

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Pooky

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Yeah, Arrested Development's cancellation was horrible. There they were with a multiple award-winning, brilliantly written show, and they couldn't market it? What the hell?
Posted: Wed, 20th Aug 2008, 4:24am

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Atom

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In Fox's defense it's a terribly hard show to market or even show promos for without it looking utterly childish and terrible. Scrubs is no different and faced the same problems, and it's terrific as well.

I mean, knowing the goofy complexities to each character's relationship with one another and the long list of hilarious events that go on- sure, it doesn't make a difference to us. But think of the people who've never seen it. To jump in, even to the first season, requires somewhat of a leap of faith with the show.

I remember seeing the first episode when it aired. An hour or two before, I had seen the first promo; one of George Sr. wearing gangster clothes in prison saying "I am having the TIME OF MY LIFE!" and clapping hands with 'T-Dog' in front of Michael Bluth, and then it said 'featuring Ron Howard in....Arrested Development'. It took even me giving them the benefit of a doubt to see the first show.

There's no way around it, the show looks incredibly odd and, without knowledge of it, isn't that funny on an individual episode basis. The genius of the writing and comedy- and why it works- is because it develops in arcs and multiple episodes and silly little flashbacks so well. Without those, I'm not so sure.

Still, I feel blasphemous for just saying that of my favorite TV show of all time. smile
Posted: Thu, 21st Aug 2008, 10:34am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

Lest we also not forget, guys, that Fox has also taken care of some great movie gems over the years for us; including backing Star Wars
Well, they've mostly only distributed rather than backed it. And the studio was a very different beast if you go back to the mid-70s when it supported the first Star Wars.

and Singer's entire, ambitious vision of the X-Men world.
Hm, not so sure about that. They gave X-Men 1 a ridiculously tiny budget that stopped it being as cool as it should have been, X2 then got lucky, and then Fox's greed for a quick buck made them force X3 through production at a stupidly fast rate, leading to directors coming and going and the eventual mess of a film.

I'd say the X-Men franchise is watchable in spite of Fox, not because of them. smile And only one of the X-Men films is a proper classic.


Meanwhile, AICN have their own thoughts on the Watchmen situation:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/38002

Edit: Maybe Warners can get out of it simply by pointing out that Fox refer to the property as 'The Watchmen' in all their legal gubbins, when it's actually just called 'Watchmen'. razz
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 1:46pm

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Simon K Jones

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An update courtesy of NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/movies/30watc.html?_r=4&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

It's not looking great.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 6:22pm

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Pooky

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Indeed, that login screen terrifies me.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 6:58pm

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SilverDragon7

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Pooky wrote:

Indeed, that login screen terrifies me.
Rofl.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Sep 2008, 7:38pm

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Simon K Jones

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Heh, bizarre. I must be randomly logged in at work, even though I have no memory of ever even signing up. smile
Posted: Wed, 3rd Sep 2008, 4:27pm

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no_hole

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Hopefully Watchmen will get released, it looks awesome.
Posted: Fri, 26th Dec 2008, 11:36pm

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Atom

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In an interesting and perhaps disappointing turn of events a few days ago, a judge has ruled in Fox's favor.

What this means is, likely, the 03/06/09 Watchmen movie release date will be pushed back- as the judge will put an injunction on it if negotiations aren't met based on the ruling.

I hate to say it, I feel for the Warner execs. Primarily because- they went through all this trouble, as did the artists and director of the film- to get what looks like a pristine and appropriate Watchmen adaptation out there, and now Fox will essentially be piggybacking on their work and reaping the profits.

Considering WB put out the most profitable movie of the year and decade and Fox ended up without a single moneymaker this summer, one might sympathize with them. But not me- let Warner keep the cash they earn.
Posted: Mon, 5th Jan 2009, 9:31am

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Simon K Jones

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Fox haven't done anything decent since X2, and prior to that it didn't really have much, either. The Star Wars movies don't really count. No wonder they're trying to grab this.

It's amazing that WB didn't spot this problem right back at the start, given how obsessed Hollywood is with legalities. It really doesn't make any sense...I suspect the producers involved won't be finding work easily in the future.

What I'm REALLY terrified about, though, is the prospect of Fox getting any kind of creative control over the film.
Posted: Mon, 19th Jan 2009, 1:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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In case people didn't know, this has at last been resolved and the film will be coming out on its originally proposed release date.

Slashfilm have some interesting follow-up info:

http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/01/18/the-aftermath-a-few-financial-details-about-the-foxwb-watchmen-settlement/
Posted: Mon, 19th Jan 2009, 9:13pm

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Great news. I'm glad Warner Bros. still have the distribution rights. I'm just relieved that the release date isn't changing.