Thursday, January 8, 2009

bunch of stupid fox.

In case you aren't familiar with the legal fiasco that has erupted in regards to Zack Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen, here's the basic gist of it. Though Watchmen is pretty widely regarded as the best graphic novel ever made, the movie project has been stuck in development hell for decades. And with good cause, as a faithful movie adaptation would be rated R for language, graphic violence and sexuality, would be close to three hours long, and would take place in an alternate 1980's America where Richard Nixon is President for life of a bleak, dystopian USA. So, pretty much the exact opposite of the sort of movie that a big studio would ever want to finance. Yet remarkably, Warner Brothers has done the unthinkable and actually made a Watchmen movie that, at least on the surface, appears to be doggedly faithful to the source material, and has whipped up the fan community into a frothing, crazed frenzy (sort of like what would happen if you dropped a 1993-era Marina Sirtis into a pit of girlfriendless, mother's basement-dwelling Star Trek fans.) My point is that Watchmen has somehow become one of the most highly anticipated films of 2009, and is poised to make an absolute fuck-ton of money in a few short months.

The important thing to remember here is that this movie has been in development at Warner Brothers for over two years at this point. And yet it is now, a few months before the release of the movie, after Warner Brothers has spent untold millions on filming and promoting the film, that 20th Century Fox (otherwise known as the company that cancelled Firefly, Futurama, and Arrested Development, irreparably fucked up the Alien franchise and countless other great movies, pays millions of dollars to Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, and is owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of the biggest dicks in the entire universe,) decided to file a legal injunction against Warner Brothers, claiming that they own the rights to Watchmen, and have indicated that they will attempt to stop the release of the movie. I can only assume that their endgame is that they recieve a big settlement in order to make this lawsuit go away, or the unthinkable scenario is that they gain ownership of the movie and would be free to market, distribute and even (shudder) alter or re-edit it.

Anyways I could rant about how insane and ridiculous the whole lawsuit is, but I am a simple, uninformed Canadian - I have never, nor do I now work in the movie industry, and although I may feel strongly about these things, I am in no way qualified to give an opinion or comment on the legality of what Fox is doing, or whether or not Fox is comprised a bunch of giant douches (they are.) What I will do is link to this open letter from Lloyd Levin (via AICN and Hitfix.) Levin is one of the film's producers who has been trying for years to get this project off the ground, so it's safe to say that he has a decent amount of insider knowledge on the process, and he describes the entire scenario much more eloquently than I ever could.

Here it is.

If you have any interest at all in the Watchmen movie than you should check it out, but even if you don't care at all you should still read it, because as many people as possible need to understand that what Fox is doing is really not cool, and that the entire company is made up of a bunch of soulless monsters who require the blood of innocent children for sustenance.


ming-ming said...

I've been waiting for Watchmen for MONTHS!
I will DIE if it doesn't get released....


Shaun said...

Roos.. have you seen the Japanese trailer yet? its fucking awesome and scenes look like they're straight outta the book. check it out if you havn;t yet.. i think i saw it on BestWE

Grange said...

Rousseau, apparently Fox just won the case yesterday, so I would expect a delay on the release date, but let's hope that's all that happens. If they re-edit the film, I will lose it, Snyder looks like he has done a great job....I think Alan Moore is even happy with it, which is huge as the other film adaptations of his books, he has hated.

As well, if you haven't checked out the Japanese trailer Gillato mentioned, it's awesome.

later man

Bobbo said...

ive seen the japanese trailer and it looks awesome which is what makes me nervous about fox getting their grubby little hands on it. anyways the real trial doesnt start till jan 20th so hopefully they can figure out a resolution to all this before then. and unfortunately, alan moore doesnt approve of the movie, no matter how faithful to his original work it is. he has asked to have his name removed from the movie version and for his share of the profits to be given to Dave Gibbons.