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.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Warner Bros and Fox settle Watchmen dispute
Zack Snyder's hotly-anticipated adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel set for release on March 6

Ben Child

16, Jan, 2009 @3:04 PM

Film review: Watchmen

Dark wit and vivid characters abound in Watchmen but the film falls far short of the brilliance of Alan Moore's graphic novel, thinks Philip French

Philip French

08, Mar, 2009 @12:01 AM

Article image
You review: Watchmen

Ben Child: Did you catch Zack Snyder's big-screen transfer of Alan Moore's epoch-making graphic novel? Was it a super spectacle or an almighty mess? And more importantly, did you know what you were letting yourself in for?

Ben Child

09, Mar, 2009 @5:26 PM

Film trailer: Watchmen

Zack Snyder's hotly-anticipated adaptation of the seminal Alan Moore graphic novel about superheroes in an alternative postwar universe

20, Jan, 2009 @2:26 PM

Watching out for Watchmen

Actors are being sought for Watchmen, the film version of Alan Moore's multi-faceted comic book. I know how I'd cast it - how about you?

Sean Dodson

19, Jul, 2007 @2:55 PM

Paramount takes its eye off Watchmen

After weeks of speculation, Paramount has officially confirmed that it has pulled the plug on its film adaptation of Watchmen, Alan Moore's celebrated graphic novel.

Staff and agencies

07, Jun, 2005 @11:30 AM

Article image
Why Fox is licking its lips over Watchmen

Phil Hoad: A Christmas Eve ruling on the disputed rights to Alan Moore's graphic novel has left Warner forlorn and the film's release date up in the air

Phil Hoad

30, Dec, 2008 @10:00 AM

Watchmen - the hype machine begins

Ben Child: Warner Bros has kickstarted its viral hype machine for what's being billed as the ultimate superhero movie

Ben Child

11, Feb, 2009 @10:58 AM

Article image
Hollywood poised to pull the Watchmen out of Britain

Paramount's fears about the rising costs of producing big budget films in Britain may cause the production company to cancel plans to shoot Alan Moore's superhero epic at Pinewood studios

Staff and agencies

07, Apr, 2005 @10:01 AM

Article image
Batman's Killing Joke, and its 'edgy' rape storyline, is not a comeback I want to see
With graphic sexual violence, and scant attention to its victim, the story has been disowned by creator Alan Moore and there is no excuse for its revival

Will Brooker

15, Jun, 2016 @3:41 PM