'Watchmen'Gate Update: Warner Gambles, Geeks Revolt

There's still not much to report from the front lines of World War Watchmen, where a smattering of fire today has nevertheless nudged half a million angry refugee fanboys into comics-genre exile.

20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. remain at odds over who owns the rights to Zack Snyder's blockbuster graphic-novel adaptation, but a few morsels of news have crept up to suggest that Warner's fear of an injunction (not to mention its testiness over the lack of a trial) may actually be unwarranted:

Despite the judge having apparently become convinced over the past week that producer Lawrence Gordon failed to do everything required of him to get the Watchmen film rights back from Fox in turnaround, an injunction certainly isn't a given here. Under copyright law, a rightsholder still has to show, among other things, that it will be "irreparably harmed" absent an injunction, and it's hard to see how Fox, which basically sat on its rights as the Watchmen project bounced from studio to studio, can't wait until a trial to get whatever money it's entitled to from any infringement.

David Poland, meanwhile, calls the "Fox sat on its rights" argument "utter bullshit," while giving similarly little quarter to the geek crowd accusing the studio of torching its long-nurtured Watchmen dream; "[W]izened old money-grabbing bastard murdoch and his retarded offspring," comes just one of the cries from their trail of tears. "Considering his position and influence, truly one of the few people in history the world would be a better place without." Hell, write a script — Warner will need a lucrative new franchise by the time this is over.