It's your daily Watchmen legal battle update - and, as has become customary about this story, forget what we told you yesterday, because the situation has changed... again.
After asking Judge Gary Feess to issue an early ruling on Friday about whether or not Fox had the right to block them from releasing Zack Snyder's adaptation of the 1980s classic comic, Warner Bros. yesterday withdrew the request and joined with Fox in agreeing to delay any further legal action until Monday in the hope that negotiations over the weekend could produce some kind of agreeable settlement for all parties.
(For those playing along at home, that means we've gone from January 20th to January 9th to January 12th in terms of an expected resolution to this part of the battle - Remember, at this point, all that's really under discussion is whether or not Fox can delay or stop Warners from releasing the movie altogether.)
This move, while surprising in light of Warners' initial "Hurry it up" request to the court, makes a lot of sense; Feess was, after all, the person who ruled that Fox had "at the very least, the right to distribute" the movie, so rushing him to issue a second ruling that went against that original decision seemed both unlikely and somewhat suicidal at the time. What this may mean is that Warners has realized how difficult a situation they're actually in - both in terms of fighting their case and also managing to release the movie on its original March 6th date, and that they're beginning to come around to the idea that negotiating (and offering Fox some part of the pie) is the best option they have.
Hopefully, by Monday, this whole situation will have come to some kind of conclusion. Although don't be too surprised if we have to tell you tomorrow that everything you know is wrong one more time.
WB, Fox eye 'Watchmen' settlement [Variety]