Drew McWeeny has a scoop over at his new site HitFix
- an open letter to the world about WATCHMEN and the legal battle over it. This is kind of a big deal because, as most of you know, most everyone has been pretty tight lipped on it. But as you read through this rather lengthly piece, I found it less to be a description of the legal position and more of an emotional plea taking a position not unlike the fire and brimstone bloggers throwing hate at FOX for the sake of the filmmakers.
The bulk of the piece is about how Fox showed no interest in making the film when it was offered again to them in 2005 and how WB showed nothing BUT interest. It culminates in a heartland style plea that would almost choke me up...if it didn't smack of being overly manipulative.
For the sake of the artists involved, for the hundreds of people, executives and filmmakers, actors and crew, who invested their time, their money, and dedicated a good portion of their lives in order to bring this extraordinary project to life, the question of what is right is clear and unambiguous - Fox should stand down with its claim.
My father, who was a lawyer and a stickler for the minutiae of the law, was always quick to teach me that the determination of what is right and wrong was not the sole purview of the courts. I bet someone at Fox had a parent like mine who instilled the same sense of fairness and justice in them.
What he never mentions in the piece is that they possessed all of the legal rights to make the film.
Oh, there's lots of stuff about dads and legal mumbo jumbo and working hard to fulfill a dream against all odds. But it's pretty sparse on the "we're actually in the right here" sentiments. Which leads me to believe that someone fucked up BAD. REAL BAD. I mean when a Hollywood producer turns to the fanboy masses to get his message out about how awesome this film is gonna be and how FOX didn't want to make an awesome film and no slip of paper that says they own it could make us forget any of that...even if they DO have said slip of paper...well then somebody REALLY DOES have a slip of paper. And he'd really like you to forget about it.
You see, my daddy - who was a soldier, not a lawyer - he taught me shit too. Like being righteous in all things, even when it means letting the wrong people, the greedy, no good, sons-a-bitches of this world win. Because the minute you bend the truth to get what you want - even if what you want it to cockblock a couple of studio tools - then you become just like them. Another studio tool trying to get what you want.
That doesn't make FOX any less of assholes for what they're doing. They could have been cool. They could have called up, explained the discrepancy and asked for three things: 1) That the Wolverine trailer end up on every print of WATCHMEN 2) that FOX be paid the amount owed for the paperwork (adjusted for inflation) and 3) that someone attached to the film release a statement about the fuck up, publically thanking FOX for being the good guy when they could have been very, very uncool.
While I certainly feel for everyone involved, I can't help but read this schmaltzy, emotional piece and think "Wait, this mother fucker's been on this for 15 years? Wouldn't that make him one of the guys responsible for one of the single biggest cockups in modern geek history? If not THE guy? And he wants me to feel bad for him because of something his dad, a lawyer, conveniently told him when he was a kid?"
Hmmmm.....methinks this is the very last tool in the arsenal before a judge rules in favor of FOX for good and for all.