Friday, 22 August 2008

Watch out FOX! Watchmen Legal Troubles Tick-off Fans


20th Century Fox's legal dispute with Warner Bros. over the rights to Watchmen has sparked a war mentality among fans. Some have already started threatening to boycott X-Men Origins: Wolverine if the litigation is pursued.

This from's Vic Holtreman...

"I solemnly swear: if Watchmen ends up on the list of great movies that almost made it, I will be leading the charge to make Fox PAY. I will slam every one of the crap movies and TV shows they put out, and use every bit of my blogger-power (it’s about 3/4 as potent as flower-power) to downright brainwash every suggestible reader into boycotting any movie released by 20th Century Fox until Watchmen sees the light of day. (Sorry Wolvy, you’ll be my first victim. Just to let these stuffed-suits know I ain’t playing!) Fox will come to learn the TRUE meaning of the word “backfire,” and I think I speak for a great many Watchmen fans when I say that."

AMEN Vic! You ain't kiddin' when you say that the fans feel the same way. As the outrage continues, we have more on this mess from EW...

Caught in the crossfire of murky legal vollies and overheated online venting: some of Fox's biggest upcoming films, including a remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves, and 2009's other hotly anticipated superhero flick, Fox’s own X-Men Origins: Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman and slated for a May 1, 2009 release. In the wake of a report in Tuesday's Daily Variety asserting that “Fox … would rather see [Watchmen] killed instead of collecting a percentage at the box office,” comic books fans hit the boards at and vowing to punish Fox for denying them the chance to see Snyder’s long-awaited movie by boycotting various Fox films. Over at, Watchmen fans also blustered about a ban and even floated the idea of damaging Wolverine in particular via piracy — presumably, by making a crappy cam recording of the film and posting it somewhere on the Internet for illegal download.

It’s hard to imagine a boycott or a digital pirate attack could significantly skewer Wolverine’s prospective box office, even if they did actually come to pass. Fanboys are pretty amped for Jackman’s franchise bid — the trailer Fox showed at Comic-Con killed — and a vast majority of geeks probably shy away from doing anything that will rile up a small army of Fox lawyers armed with court orders. Still, Fox is counting on those fanboys' dollars to make Wolverine profitable, and alienating them risks creating bad PR. Should this boycott blather intensify throughout the fall, it will no doubt put Jackman in the unenviable position of fielding questions about the controversy during the tubthumping to come for his big Oscar-baiting epic, Australia, also a Fox production. (Needless to say, such drama would also create more awareness for Watchmen.)

Asked for a response to the fan uproar, a Fox spokesman said in a statement: “Of course we are concerned about the fans; however, any disappointment from the core fans should not be directed toward Fox. What we are doing is seeking to enforce our distribution rights to Watchmen. Legal copyright ownership should not just be swept under the rug and ignored.”

One question many observers have had about this situation is the timing of the lawsuit. Fox filed its complaint back in February — just as Snyder was wrapping production on Watchmen. The assumption many are making is that Fox stood by and did nothing as Warner Bros. actively and publicly developed and produced a movie it had no right to make, and then, at a maximum moment of leverage, sandbagged its rival with a lawsuit. And yet, according to a Fox source, studio lawyers contacted Warner Bros. about the distribution rights issue several times prior to the start of production but were rebuffed.

All of this would seem to suggest that Warner Bros. either massively screwed up or is pretty darn certain that Fox is grossly mistaken. In a statement issued to the press on Tuesday, a Warner Bros. spokesman said: “We respectfully disagree with Fox's position and do not believe they have any rights in and to this project." But the studio also made the claim that the judge in the case, Judge Gary Allen Fees, "did not opine at all on the merits, other than to conclude that Fox satisfied the pleading requirements.” This is technically true. But the tenor of Fees’ edict does sound rather leading. For example: "It is particularly noteworthy that nothing on the face of the complaint or the documents supplied to the Court establishes that [Watchmen producer Larry] Gordon, the claimed source of Warner Brothers' interest in Watchmen, ever acquired any rights in Watchmen."

At the very least, the judge’s order seems to put Warner Bros. and Gordon in the position of producing proof that clearly shows that Fox is wrong, or confuses the situation so much that the judge will have no choice but to throw them into a slime pit and let them slug this thing out. (If you want to examine the legalese yourself, check it out here.) Regardless, the two most likely outcomes are: 1. Warner Bros. wins. 2. Warner Bros. offers Fox a big fat settlement and Fox takes it. They could certainly use the bump after a weak summer season in which none of its films crossed the $100 million threshold.

Sign the petition against FOX HERE.
Watchmen Fan Plans Protests Against FOX

Romijn plans baby tribute to Parton


Model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn is planning the ultimate tribute to Dolly Parton. She'll name one of her twins after the country music icon.

The X-Men star recently met Parton at her Tennessee themepark DollyWood, and told her she'd be naming one of her babies, due in 2009, after the singer.

Romijn tells magazine In Touch, "I have been a Dolly fan all of my life. She's a wonderful woman. I really connect with her music. I can't think of a better role model for my children."

"She has this great, sweet personality but she's also strong and wise."

The actress reveals Parton was thrilled by the tribute: "She was honored."

The country singer even dedicated her song Little Sparrow to Romijn when she sang it at a show the actress attended on August 17th.

Wolverine Article In Wizard Magazine

If you have the chance you should pick up Wizard Magazine #203, it features Wolverine on the cover. If you missed it you can read the entire article online on the magazine’s official site here.

Is Fox Head Tom Rothman Dulling the Claws of 'Wolverine'?


If there's one important lesson that can be drawn from the blockbuster performance of Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight, it's that audiences aren't afraid of a comic-book movie that takes a walk on the dark, grim side. However, the same can't necessarily be said for Fox topper Tom Rothman (the bane of AICN) who greenlit two Fantastic Four movies, hired Brett Ratner to direct X3, and now is allegedly mucking with the X-Men spinoff Wolverine. Despite the fact that the gritty, Hugh Jackman-topped film was met with a giddy response at this year's Comic-Con, Jeff Wells says that Rothman is pressuring director Gavin Hood to make the movie more kid-friendly — and when Hood won't cave, Rothman is taking matters into his own hands:

There was/is a huge Wolverine set being recently used. I'm not even sure which lot it was built on, but the look or mood of the set is, according to a source who was told Hood's view of things, supposed to be on the dark, dinghy and somber side. I only know what I was told, but the basics are that Hood was away from the set for whatever reason (shooting something else, taking a day or two off), and when he returned to the big somber set he was shocked to find that it had been repainted top to bottom on Rothman's orders. The murky-scuzzy vibe was gone, and a brighter and less downish look had taken its place.

Perhaps Rothman has taken his fan letter from Steven Spielberg too much to heart, but a child-friendly Wolverine feels less "X" and more "Y?" Does this mean his bristly greeting of "Bub" will be redubbed "Buddy," or his iconic cigar will be replaced with a pixie stick? C'mon, Tom: Wolvie isn't meant for buoyant musical numbers — or don't you remember what happened last time?