Watchmen Producers talk
Finally the producers are talking about Watchmen, and while the producer Lloyd Kevin has written an open letter about it all, it's the letter from Larry Gordon that is the most interesting, sad thing is we won't get to see it since it's been sent directly to the courts for their consideration.
Larry Gordon is the man who really took the project to the studios, and a man who is blamed for starting some of the fiasco regarding the rights confusion by the Judge on the case.
It sees though that Gordon, the producer who took the Watchmen film to both Fox and Warner Bros., has taken the step of writing a rather lengthy letter to the Judge about the case, and The Hollywood Reporter has some of the inside information on the letter.
It seems that Larry Gordon is blaming Fox and the lawyers for this mess despite the Judge himself ruling that a lot of this was Gordon's fault for taking the project to another studio and not ensuring everyone was clear about the position. However he couldn't keep quiet about the issue as this direct statement in the Judge's ruling really does attack him personally and his reputation, so he's hitting back.
However the Judge has since issued a statement that he's not going to read the letter and called t an improper communication – what? He's one of the people that the Judge is blaming for this current situation where the two studios are fighting in court, wouldn't it be right to read the official statement from him? From the person you blame for some of this problem? To me that seems legal and right.
In the Judge's defence, I'm sure he's not reading any other story printed in the media about this to ensure he's totally unbiased.
Gordon claims that neither he nor his lawyers were aware of the contract clause that Fox is now relying on, the clause that is allowing them to claim for profits on a film that another studio has invested all the time and money in to make while saying that they didn't want to touch it with a barge pole.
“It is Mr. Gordon's position that the execution of the 1994 turnaround agreement was the result of either a mutual mistake by both parties or a unilateral mistake made by his counsel, on which Mr. Gordon relied.”
It seems that his lawyer never received this clause, but did receive the contract, and his comment above does suggest that he's not going to go after Fox for the problem and say that they just didn't send it to him deliberately, or made it up after the fact.
Then there's the open letter from Lloyd Kevin, another one of the producers on the project through HitFix and Collider that says exactly the same thing that I've been saying in many Watchmen articles I've written – Warner Bros. invested the time, the money, and the talent to make this project and now Fox is leaping on board to try and steal their profits, and yet they never wanted to make the film in the first place, they passed on it!
Here are the key paragraphs from the letter which really put it very clearly.
“From my point of view, the flashpoint of this dispute, came in late spring of 2005. Both Fox and Warner Brothers were offered the chance to make Watchmen. They were submitted the same package, at the same time. It included a cover letter describing the project and its history, budget information, a screenplay, the graphic novel, and it made mention that a top director was involved.
And it's at this point, where the response from both parties could not have been more radically different.
The response we got from Fox was a flat "pass." That's it. An internal Fox email documents that executives there felt the script was one of the most unintelligible pieces of shit they had read in years. Conversely, Warner Brothers called us after having read the script and said they were interested in the movie - yes, they were unsure of the screenplay, and had many questions, but wanted to set a meeting to discuss the project, which they promptly did. Did anyone at Fox ask to meet on the movie? No. Did anyone at Fox express any interest in the movie? No. Express even the slightest interest in the movie? Or the graphic novel? No.”
In no uncertain terms he calls Fox some slimey rude word, and you know I have to agree. This is all about legal wrangling and the fans just see a corporate trying to get their hands on as much cash as possible from a project they had no intention of making. A project which in fact other studios have turned down over the years and failed to make.
It's Warner Bros. that have invested all that time and money to make a superb project, one of the few projects that looks like it's had minimal studio involvement in to allow the director to make the film he wanted to being true to the source material, how often does that happen? Then Fox come in and try to steal the profits and kill the project?
That makes me angry at Fox, it really does. I don't care that they might have contacted Warner Bros. at the start of the project and received no response, a project doesn't last two days, it lasts years, and to wait until now to file the law suit? That's the most leverage for them over Warner Bros. who would now be in so much debt for the film they have to release, this causes them the most harm and panic.
Fox are proving to be an unscrupulous studio who care not a jot about the fans or making films, they are a corporation after the hard cash. Remember that when you go to see their next film.