Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 09:55 UK

Legal battle over Watchmen movie

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the Watchmen
The film had been due to be released in March

Film studio Twentieth Century Fox has applied to a Los Angeles court to block the release of Watchmen, based on the comic books written by Alan Moore.

Fox, which says it bought film rights to the series in the 1980s, has been given the go-ahead to launch an injunction against rival Warner Bros.

"We respectfully disagree with Fox's position and do not believe they have any rights," a Warners spokesman said.

Fox said it "will be asking the court to enforce our copyright interests".

'Copyright interests'

The movie, about flawed superheroes, has already been filmed and was due for release 6 March.

It stars Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan and is directed by Zack Snyder, who made hit movie 300.

Last week US District Court Judge Gary Feess said Fox could hold some of the rights to the material, even if it did not hold all rights.

Fox spokesman Gregg Brilliant said it planned to stop the release of the movie and "any related Watchmen media that violate our copyright interests in that property".

His Warner Bros counterpart, Scott Rowe, said: "The judge did not opine at all on the merits, other than to conclude that Fox satisfied the pending requirements."

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