Attorneys: 'Watchmen' Settlement Talks Productive

Comic Book Virgin: Watching the Watchmen

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Moviegoers may get to watch the "Watchmen" after all.

Attorneys for rival studios fighting over the release of the superhero flick told a federal judge on Friday that they're having fruitful settlement talks.

Attorneys for 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. asked the judge to delay a hearing Friday so those discussions can continue over the weekend.

U.S. District Judge Gary Allen Feess agreed to continue the hearing but says a trial over whether to block the film's March release is still set for Jan. 20.

Lou Karasik, who is representing Fox, told Feess that the delay would be "very, very helpful" to settlement discussions he deemed "productive."

Friday's revelation surprised Feess, who noted that Warner Bros. had been seeking to move up the Jan. 20 trial to next week, citing the film's marketing campaign and its March 6 release date.

An injunction barring the film's release also jeopardizes the $150 million Warner Bros. has invested in the "Watchmen" movie, the studio's attorneys argued in court documents filed this week.

Fox sued in February to stop the release of "Watchmen," claiming Warner Bros. violated its interests by filming the tale. Feess agreed last month that Fox appears to have the right to distribute the film.

Since then, the two sides have made concessions and according to court documents, conducted settlement talks last weekend.

Fox claims it never relinquished movie rights it acquired in the late 1980s to "Watchmen," the popular graphic novel of the same name. Warner Bros. has argued Fox lacked the right to stop the movie's release.

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