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Watchmen Movie Dispute Settled: Fox Gets Payoff
January 16, 2009

Variety is reporting that the Fox/Warner Bros. dispute over the rights to make the Watchmen movie has been settled with a large payoff to Fox. In addition to a cash payment between $5-10 million, plus payment of Fox’s legal fees,

Fox will get a gross participation in “Watchmen” that scales between 5% and 8.5%, depending on the film’s worldwide revenues. Fox also participates as a gross player in any sequels and spinoffs, sources said.

When the settlement is finalized this morning in front of a judge, I imagine more details will be available. If the movie becomes the next superhero blockbuster, that’s an awful lot of free money for Fox.

This means that the movie will still open March 6, as planned. Also, Warner is likely to go after the producer who first took the movie to Fox years ago and then to them:

The next chapter in the saga might come when WB seeks some redress from producer Larry Gordon, who has been at the center of the maelstrom and who has a gross participation comparable to the one that WB will be giving to Fox, according to sources.

His non-participation in the first hearing caused the judge to release a note saying the judge wouldn’t be listening to anything further from Gordon. Gordon then released an open letter about how Fox passed on the rights, further fueling the whole mess. I imagine WB isn’t happy with his behavior, and their lawyers might make a claim against him as a result, since in Hollywood, money fixes unhappiness.

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