According to The Los Angeles Times, the federal judge hearing the lawsuit over the fate of the Watchmen film has moved the trial date back two weeks to January 20th, and has refused to make a pre-trial summary judgment, something that was requested by both sides in the case, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros.
Judge Gary Allen Feess said that due to the complexity of the contracts between Fox and Watchmen producer Larry Gordon, a trial is required.
The feud between the two studios dates back to February when Fox sued Warner Bros, claiming that Gordon, who assigned the Watchmen film rights to Warner Bros, did not posses them. Gordon did have an option to acquire Fox’s remaining interest in Watchmen, but that, Fox asserts, was never exercised. In Fox’s eyes, it held, and holds the film rights to the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel, dating back to a 1994 turnaround agreement. During the time Fox was exploring making the film, it spent over $1 million.
Warner Bros. countered, saying that Fox has no copyright on the movie, and admits that Gordon offered the project to Fox in 2005, before he took it to Warner Bros.
The movie, directed by Zack Snyder, is slated to open in theaters nationwide on March 6th, though Fox has requested an injunction that would keep the film from theaters until the case is settled.