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Watchmen troubles II

08.27.2008

The NY Times has an interesting piece explaining the lawsuit between Fox and 20th Century and their battle over WATCHMEN. There's a ton of shit in there, but it seems to all boil down to this legal concept of "turnaround".

On its face, turnaround is a contractual mechanism that allows a studio to release its interest in a dormant film project, while recovering costs, plus interest, from any rival that eventually adopts the project. But turnaround is a stacked deck.

The turnaround clauses in a typical contract are also insurance for studio executives who do not want to be humiliated by a competitor who makes a hit out of their castoffs.

That trick turns on a term of art: “changed elements.” A producer of a movie acquired in turnaround who comes up with a new director, or star, or story line, or even a reduction in budget, must give the original studio another shot at making the movie because of changed elements, even if a new backer has entered the picture.

Thus, “Michael Clayton” was put in turnaround by Castle Rock Entertainment (which, like Warner, belongs to Time Warner). When George Clooney became attached to star in it, however, Castle Rock stood on its right to be involved as a producer of what turned out to be an Oscar-nominated film.


Check the full article out HERE. I don't see why we can't just picket these bastards. Or an online petition. Those things are certain winners.
Source: NY Times

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