Watchmen hearing canceled; is settlement imminent?

A scheduled Tuesday court conference between Fox and Warner Brothers attorneys has been canceled, fueling talk that a settlement in the contentious Watchmen case is imminent, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fox sued Warners last February, saying the Burbank-based studio infringed on its rights to make the comic-book adaptation. In December, when federal judge Gary A. Feess ruled that Fox has distribution rights to the film, Warners faced the prospect of having the film's March 6 release blocked.

Settlement talks between the two sides became serious over the weekend and continued to heat up yesterday.

A settlement could cost Warners tens of millions of dollars. A case involving copyright ownership of Warners' The Dukes of Hazzard, which Feess blocked from release in 2005, ended in a settlement worth a reported $17.5 million.

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