Hotly-anticipated graphic novel adaptation WATCHMEN will hit the big screen on schedule after movie executives resolved a legal dispute which could have jeopardised the film's release.
Lawyers for Fox and Warner Bros. - the film's distributor - agreed to let a federal judge decide whether or not the $130 million (GBP90 million) film will be released this spring (09) as planned.
In court papers filed last week (05Jan09), the warring attorneys handed control of the case to the courts, allowing a judge to rule on whether Fox chiefs could block the film's planned distribution, as part of a copyright infringement lawsuit against Warner Bros.
Fox bought the movie rights to the graphic novel, about postmodern crime fighters in 1986, but the film was passed around several studios before it landed at Warner Bros. Fox chiefs argued that the original producer of the film never obtained the necessary rights from them.
But now the case has come to a close - with Watchmen making its 6 March (09) debut as planned.
The studios settled after a judge ruled Fox did have an interest in the film, and now both film giants are looking forward to the release.
Representatives for the studios issued a joint statement saying: "Warner Bros. and Fox, like all Watchmen fans, look forward with great anticipation to this film's 6 March release in theatres."
Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, but the Hollywood Reporter claims it involves a cash payment to Fox and a percentage of the film's box office takings.
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.