Watchmen watch: March release date still stands

The preliminary injunction sought by Fox over Warner Bros concerning film rights to Alan Moore's graphic novel has been refused by a US judge

The March release of comic book adaptation Watchmen is still on, despite a court battle over rights to the big screen version of Alan Moore's graphic novel, according to the Hollwood Reporter.

A US judge yesterday refused to grant an interim injunction to 20th Century Fox which would have allowed it to stop the film hitting cinemas early next year.

Instead, US district court judge Gary Allen Feess set a January 6 date for a full trial, in which Fox lawyers will contend that it, not rival Warner Bros, owns the rights to the comic. Feess said the issues in the case were so complex that Fox should forgo any attempt to get a preliminary injunction against Warners.

Warner Bros denies Fox's claim that it holds the rights to Watchmen under a 1991 agreement between the studio and Larry Gordon, who co-produced its (Warners') version.

Watchmen, which was written by Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, was originally published by DC Comics as a monthly limited series from 1986 to 1987. The later paperback, which collated all the issues, helped to popularise the graphic novel format and is the only work of its type to appear on Time Magazine's list of "the 100 best English-language novels" (in 2005).

Set at the height of the Cold War in an alternate 1985 in which the US and Russia are edging towards conflict, it centres on a group of ordinary people, most of whom lack what would usually be deemed traditional superpowers. The series has had a profound influence on the genre with its emphasis on its protagonists' neuroses and very human failings. It is seen by many comic book fans as the Citizen Kane of superhero stories.

Contributor

Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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