Lordy! This Watchmen mess between Fox and Warner Brothers just goes on and on, doesn't it? Back in September, it looked like everyone had been placated when Fox said they didn't want to tank the project and got Adam West's Batman in return. But no, the mess continued and Judge Gary Feess decided Fox does, indeed, have the right to distribute Warner Brothers' Watchmen. Now the latest scuffle has the producers and Feess trading letters and barbs on the Internet and beyond. I can't help but think this would be so much quicker (not to mention more amusing to watch) if everyone just got into the ring and took turns slapping the crap out of each other. Last person standing wins!
We here at the Moviefile been following the Fox vs. Warner Bros. Watchmen legal drama for the last few weeks, holding our collective breath and hoping the March 2009 release date doesn't get pushed back. Or wiped off the calendar completely. Zach was waiting for a "massive, shocking resolution to this conflict" -- I don't know how much of a resolution this is yet, and I don't know if it's massive or shocking, but Comic Book Resources has reported on a pretty surprising development. According to the exclusive, Fox doesn't want to scuttle the project, or make its own Watchmen movie, or even to "[hold] up a rival". As it turns out, what Fox reportedly wants is... the 1960s Batman TV series. See, I told you it was surprising.
Babylon A.D. is terrible. That's not my opinion -- it's the opinion of one Mathieu Kassovitz. If the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, he's the director responsible for Crimson Rivers and Gothika. [He also acted in Amelie! - Zach] Oh, and he also directed the terrible movie in question. It's not often you hear a director badmouthing his own movie, but Kassovitz has more venom to spew than the Reptile House at the San Diego Zoo. He tells the AMCtv.com blog that he's "'very unhappy with the film.'" He goes on to talk about a script that wasn't respected by producers and partners. "'It was a terrible experience.'"
My Great Aunt Muriel's old excuse for holding onto her VCR -- and eschewing the purchase of such "new" technology as a DVD player -- was that there were more titles on video tape, and that there was no way she'd ever be able to replace all (eight) of the movies in her library to make the DVD player purchase worth it. If she hadn't died five years ago, I'd print out this article from the Hollywood Reporter and mail it to her with a Best Buy gift card. The number of films now available on DVD has passed 90,000. I didn't even know there were more than 90,000 films out there. Turns out by December 31st of this year, there will be 90,440 movies that you can take back to Blockbuster without having to rewind them.
If there's one thing I hate more than dolls, it's talking dolls. I'm not afraid of them; I just loathe them. For two days in a row, there was news in the Moviefile about talking dolls. And I'm counting those garden gnomes, because, well... shudder. So, clearly the universe hates me. And just to kick me when I'm down, now comes news from Hollywood Elsewhere that the Powers That Be are trying to screw around with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The problem? The director and the producer are now arguing over the "look" of the movie. Hasn't most of it already been filmed? They showed footage at Comic-Con, for crying out loud, and now they're arguing about how they want it to look? I guess I should just be glad they haven't changed the lead character into a talking Wolverine doll.
Watchmen Court Case Update! The date for the trial to determine the fate of Warner Bros.' Watchmen movie will take place on January 6, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That's exactly two months before the movie is currently scheduled to come out, and Warner has yet to change the date. The timing is fortuitous, considering that both studios were originally requesting movie-scuttling spring and summer dates, but Warner may still choose to push back the release date -- or have the choice made for them. While the judge in the case refused to block the film's release at this early stage, Fox may request an injunction after the discovery phase, where evidence and documents are shared. Or something. This is all really over my head, and I'm kind of waiting for a massive, shocking resolution to this conflict. Hmm... What would Ozymandias do?
Beginning March 31, 20th Century Fox will be stripping every special feature from all of their rental DVDs in one of the stupidest and most desperate attempts to boost retail sales I've ever seen. Although it seems like it will vary a bit from title to title, and that the Blu-ray rentals for most movies will contain some special features (details are still to come), this is still idiotic in so many ways, besides even the obvious ones.
Warner Brothers and Fox reached an agreement yesterday involving the release of the Watchmen movie. So now you have more to look forward to this March than getting hammered on green beer and nursing the ensuing hangover. Huzzah! Fox will not co-own or co-distribute the movie, but it will receive a nice chunk of change from the proceeds. Beyond that, "[t]erms of the agreement were not disclosed," but some crumpled-up napkins were found in the trash outside a Los Angeles-area Denny's restaurant that were either the ravings of a someone suffering from a Grand Slam overdose or some preliminary settlement ideas from Fox. I can't tell, but maybe you can.
Perhaps spurred on by the recent drama of the world's financial markets, the Wall Street sequel that's been in pre-production since last year is finally getting put on the fast track, according to Variety . The original film starred Michael Douglas as the famously unscrupulous corporate raider Gordon Gekko, who was so slimy he might have oozed the very oil that slicked back his hair. 20th Century Fox reportedly wants Douglas back for Money Never Sleeps, which has his character being released from a stint in prison. Douglas may be tired of being associated with the character, though -- just a few weeks ago, he snapped at reporters who wanted him to answer financial questions as Gordon Gekko. [To be fair, I, too, have no tolerance for reporters who ask actors to role-play. - Zach]
Once a month, the official Watchmen movie website posts a new production diary, showing behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film, showcasing the magnificent costumes, and the elaborate sets. It was presumed that they would continue until the film's debut, but now that the movie's release date is in question due to the ongoing lawsuit, they may have a few more videos to make if the release date gets pushed back to 2010. Perhaps that's another positive way to look at this situation -- if the movie gets delayed, we get more DVD extras!