The final fate of the Watchmen movie could be determined next week. Later today–January 7th–Fox and Warner Bros. are scheduled to meet with the judge to discuss the next steps in the case.
As FilmEsq explains in more detail, the parties have agreed that the next proceeding should “be limited to the question of whether Fox is entitled to a permanent injunction” on the film’s distribution. 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.
The question of whether the judge should grant the injunction involves some rather technical points of law. One key factor in the movie’s fate will be the judge’s perception of relative hardship. For example, the judge in the Bratz case recently decided that the harm to the manufacturer was severe enough to warrant modifying the court’s previous order to stop production and sale of the dolls.
For anyone who wants to read both sides’ arguments and their joint stipulation about the scope of future proceedings, here are some of the most relevant documents.