Lloyd Levin, one of the producers of the upcoming Watchmen movie, has chimed in with his impassioned two cents on the current dispute over ownership rights to the project raging between Fox and Warner Brothers. Levin lets his thoughts be known in an open letter on the HitFix.com Web site.
Without addressing the actual legal issues—which will be adjudicated in federal court—Levin has his own solution to the impasse: Fox should just shut the frak up.
Of course, Levin has a huge stake in Fox's going away quietly: Fox seeks to block release of the film pending the outcome of the case, now set to go to court Jan. 20. Watchmen is slated for release on March 6.
Here's a part of Levin's letter:
"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.
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"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 e-mail documents that executives there felt the script was one of the most unintelligible pieces of s--t 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. ...
"It seems beyond cynical for the studio to claim ownership at this point. ...
"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."