Bad news for Warner Bros. In a surprise, and early, ruling, Los Angeles court judge Gary A. Feess has ruled that because 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to the graphic novel in the late ’80s before shevling a planned film, they own a copyright interest in the Watchmen film and have the right to distribute the film themselves. Feess suggested that the studios work on a settlement or an appeal rather than going to trial.
Read more on this at New York Times.
Watchmen is currently scheduled to hit theaters on March 6, 2009, but this new development could certainly complicate things.