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Nikki Finke, from Deadline Hollywood Daily, has given many fanboys heart palpitations by posting a story that claims the Watchmen movie, due in March, may be in trouble.

URGENT! Warner's 'Watchmen' In Legal Peril EXCLUSIVE: A judge has denied a Warner Bros motion to dismiss 20th Century Fox's legal battle over the rights to develop, produce and distribute a film based on the graphic novel Watchmen. This is huge Hollywood news because Warner Bros plans to release on March 2009 its highly anticipated big-screen version of the popular comic book written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. Fox was seeking to enjoin Warner Bros from going forward with the project, and the judge on Friday refused to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Fox on February 12th of this year.

Now the FOX lawsuit is old news, having been filed back in February, but is the sky really falling, Nikki?

This is indeed a stunning development which could imperil Warner Bros' entire 2009 movie slate. Sources point out to me that Warner Bros had a similar problem with the Dukes Of Hazzard movie and had to pay tens of millions of dollars to release the film. I'm in the process of obtaining more details.

So, if WB paid off another studio to get a skidmark of a movie like Dukes of Hazzard to the big screen, what do you think they’re going to do with Watchmen — possibly the most highly anticipated superhero movie of the last twenty years? That’s right — they’ll line FOX’s pockets with a few million dollars (likely a few million more than they needed to lay out for Dukes) and you’ll be seeing Watchmen on screen faster than you can say, “dog carcass in alley.”

After all, FOX has known about this film being made for years, and their suit was only filed last February — days before Snyder and company wrapped shooting in Vancouver. It’s obvious they’re looking for a quick payday at WB’s expense. They’ll get it - but we’ll still get Watchmen in March.

8.18.08 Source: DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com

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