The NY Times on the Fox/WB Watchmen saga

This can't be good news. What started out as a seemingly innocuous lawsuit against Warner Brothers on behalf of Fox is quickly turning into a greater indictment of the way Hollywood works as a whole. And when the NY Times is writing about it, then you know that things are quickly escalating. According to Michael Cieply at NY Times, the entire issue centers around something called a "turnaround." What this is is Hollywoodspeak for a "contractual mechanism that allows a studio to release its interest in a dormant film project, while recovering costs, plus interest, from any rival that eventually adopts the project. The turnaround clauses in a typical contract are also insurance for studio executives who do not want to be humiliated by a competitor who makes a hit out of their castoffs." In this case, for some reason Fox maintains abnormally long turnaround rights for the film adaptation of Watchmen. And when Warner Brothers decided to greenlight the film, Fox was never consulted to review who was entitled to the rights. The article isn't too optimistic that this is going to go away overnight, but we do have about six months to get this whole mess sorted out. I'll keep you posted as advancements in the case are made, but you've got to think that if the NY Times is writing about it the whole thing may be a bigger deal than we think. NY Times on the Watchmen lawsuit saga