The latest development in the Watchmen case is an agreement by both sides to limit the next step of the case to the question of whether Fox has the right to block the release of the movie, to be decided by Judge Gary Feess.
If Fox were to prevail, the film would likely not be released without a settlement or action on appeal. The current date for the next hearing is set for January 20th, but Warner Bros., citing the urgency of resolving the matter, has asked for it to be moved up to next Monday, January 12th. –Newsarama
It would seem that Fox wouldn’t stand to gain from actually blocking or delaying the release of the film, but if the judge gives them the right to, it would be a hell of a bargaining chip in their negotiations for a settlement. And though it’s still in Fox’s interest that the movie make the most money possible, who knows how long it could take them to come to an agreement. What we really need is Matlock. He could come in wearing his seersucker suit and put a Fox Exec’s niece on the stand. She’d look all sad and suddenly there’d be a human face on all this legal mumbo jumbo. Without high-falutin’ talk or a fancy law degree, he’d use his folksy wisdom to make us realize that it’s the shining faces of all the nieces and nephews out there that really matter.