Fox and Warner Bros. have reached a deal at long last to let superhero flick WATCHMEN go forward as planned on March, according to news reports. The two sides have been battling for almost a year on the rights to the film, directed by Zack Snyder and based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore.
Fox, according to VARIETY, will not have their logo attached to the film, but will receive a gross participation in WATCHMEN between 5 and 8.5 percent, depending on worldwide revenues. They will also receive an upfront cash payment of between $5 and $10 million (sources differ on the exact amount), which will cover the reimbursement of the $1.4 million Fox spent in development, as well as all legal fees they have incurred since February 2008, when they filed the original suit.
A joint statement said: Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox have resolved their dispute regarding the rights to the upcoming motion picture WATCHMEN in a confidential settlement. Warner Bros. acknowledges that Fox acted in good faith in bringing its claims, which were asserted prior to the start of principal photography. Fox acknowledges that Warner Brothers acted in good faith in defending against those claims. Warner Bros. and Fox, like all WATCHMEN fans, look forward with great anticipation to this film’s March 6 release in theatres."
The studios' attorneys met Friday morning with U.S. District Court Judge Gary A. Feess in Los Angeles to finalize the settlement.
Paramount, who signed the deal also, will still distribute the film internationally. The legal wrangling may not be over, however, as rumors are persisting that producer Larry Gordon, who has been at the center of the battle, might be sued by WB. Gordon took WATCHMEN to WB in the first place, after attempting to get the film made at Fox, Universal and Paramount. Gordon is set to receive a gross participation similar in size to the one WB will give Fox, sources tell VARIETY.