Waiting for March's release of the Watchmen movie? Get ready to wait a little while longer - The lawsuit over who owns the movie has hit a couple of roadblocks en route to early settlement.

The legal action brought by Fox against Warner Bros. claims that the former studio was the true owner of the movie rights to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic, and that Warners had essentially purchased non-existent rights from producer Larry Gordon. With a trial due to begin January 6th next year, both sides were pushing for U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess to render a pre-trial judgement. And then Feess decided to mess up everyone's plans; not only did he refuse to offer a judgement without trial, he also pushed the trial date out two weeks, meaning that the studios won't have their day in court until January 20th at the earliest, claiming that the argument is so complicated, only a full trial will unravel the truth behind the shenanigans.

Assuming that one or both of the studios don't flinch, that gives the courts thirty days to work out who owns the movie before its planned release on March 6th. I'd lay money on some kind of unusual settlement happening before that happens, however.

Quick Takes [LA Times]