Will Zack Snyder's Watchmen be the legendary lost movie that nobody got to see? Fox just won its long legal battle over rights to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel. (Actually, it'll be fine.)

Judge Gary A. Feess had said he needed a trial to untangle the thorny issues involved in Fox's and Warner Bros.' dueling claims to Watchmen. (At issue: Lawrence Gordon, a producer who developed the film at Fox before taking it to Warners.) But today, Feess abruptly changed his mind and ruled in favor of Fox.

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"Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture," Feess wrote.

But before you start worrying, this is probably business as usual. Feess, in his ruling, urged Fox and Warners to reach an agreement. And that's just what they'll do. In fact, Feess probably decided to rule early, instead of having a trial in January, to give the two giant companies more time to agree on a settlement. Fox will get a giant payout, and the movie will still come out on time.

If you want to worry about something, worry about the fact that Watchmen just became a much more expensive movie. That makes it much harder for the film to break even, and help ease the way for more thought-provoking and non-Ratnerized superhero projects in future. [NY Times]