Watchmen in Peril

Brian Ruckley has written a delightful blog featuring the Bart Simpson blackboard about the forthcoming movie version of the classic graphic novel The Watchmen.  Like Brian and many others, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this movie.

But this report shows that there is a real danger the movie will never get released at all.  There’s a copyright dispute between two studios – Warner’s, who just made the film, and Fox, who claim they owned the darned rights.

And chillingly, Fox have said that if the judge rules in their favour, they would prefer to kill the movie entirely rather than take a share of the profits.  This would be a shocking waste of creative talent. Come on guys!  Can’t this be settled amicably?

I’m reminded of a previous incident where a great film wasn’t released because of copyright issues – Luchino Visconti’s Ossessione, an Italian language version of the James M. Cain roman noir The Postman Always Rings Twice. Stupidly, Visconti made the film without even trying to acquire the rights – I suspect he didn’t realise you had to – and the film was lost to audiences for decades.  When it finally surfaced, it turned out to be one of the greatest film noirs ever made. 

So let’s just hope we don’t have to wait twenty years to see how The Watchmen comes out…

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