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.