Warner, Fox Work to Settle Watchmen Suit

Once in danger of being shelved, Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of the beloved DC Comics graphic novel Watchmen is likely to make its March 6 theatrical opening after all. Daily Variety reports that lawyers for Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox are in talks to settle a lawsuit filed by Fox over rights to the property. The matter was set to go to trial on Jan 20.

Both sides agreed to postpone a hearing scheduled for last Friday in order to continue negotiations. U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess in Los Angeles was to rule on Warner’s request for an expedited hearing on Fox’s demand to block the Watchmen release. In December, Feess agreed that Fox held Watchmen distribution rights dating back to 1994 when the film was in development at the studio.

Warner Bros. has already spent a lot of money promoting Watchmen, a big-budget film directed by Zack Snyder. The studio has even funded an animated companion film titled Tale of the Black Freighter, which will be released on DVD in conjunction with the theatrical release. Rather than risking a cease and desist order, Warner is likely to give Fox a good chunk of the action, which could reach blockbuster proportions.