Only two things worth mentioning happened in comics-related entertainment over the last couple of days.
First, sources big and not so big are reporting the yuletide judicial surprise, a huge lump of coal in the Warner Bros. stocking. “The judge presiding over Fox’s suit against Warners over the latter’s ‘Watchmen’ release has issued a ruling that Fox has a copyright stake in the Zack Snyder action pic.”
“Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” judge Gary Feess said in the ruling.
What does this all mean? Well, first of all, remember that March 6, 2009 release date? Pencil that in, don’t use ink. There’s a trial set for January 20th (busy day) which both studios had been preparing for with vigor, and now Feess is suggesting the warring corporations make peace. “The parties may wish to turn their efforts from preparing for trial to negotiating a resolution of this dispute or positioning the case for review,” Feess is reported to have said.
This isn’t Warners’ first tussle with Judge Feess, whose ruling over “Dukes of Hazzard” cost the studio tens of millions of dollars just to get a chance to release the film. Also, somewhere, Alan Moore has to be chuckling to himself, as he said, “Will the film even be coming out? There are these legal problems now, which I find wonderfully ironic. Perhaps it’s been cursed from afar, from England. And I can tell you that I will also be spitting venom all over it for months to come.” There’s no indication Moore will be called to the witness stand, well known for his anger and vitriol at DC comics (Moore said, “You have managed to successfully swindle me, and so I will never work for you again”).
The ruling means a number of Warner Bros. executives will have a much less restful week than they might have expected, contingency planning a way to save the high-profile release, while there’s probably cigars and back patting aplenty at Fox, certain to cash in one way or another.
THE LOSS OF A LEGEND
The only other thing worth mentioning as we head into the weekend is the passing of actress/singer Eartha Kitt, who most famously portrayed Catwoman in 1967-68 and sang “Santa Baby.” Kitt was also nominated for an Emmy from a guest appearance on “I, Spy” in 1966.
KWANZAA DAY ONE: UMOJA
Every year this writer posts the principle of the day for the holiday Kwanzaa because I celebrate it. Not as an evangelizing sort of thing, feel no pressure to get down in the same way, just a celebration. The principle for today is for “Unity: To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.”
Back to business: if you have the scoop on anything related to comic book movies, TV adaptations or just want to give us a truck full of cash, no questions asked, drop us a line and let’s coordinate. You can choose an alias if you’d like, or be mentioned by name — we honor requests for anonymity. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, fresh comics reviews go online this afternoon and The Hundred and Four broke the window out your car like Jazmine Sullivan.