The Hollywood Reporter has two dispiriting updates on the Watchmen legal battle, which took such an unexpected turn on Christmas Eve. First, the trade reports that Fox still intends to delay the release of the movie. Second, it quotes a Warner Bros attorney as saying a settlement is unlikely.

Yes, things look dark but I am going to stand by what I’ve been saying all along: this film will be released on March 6th. What’s happening here is that both sides are playing tough, trying to posture themselves as the one with the biggest balls and the most willing to take this fucker off the side of the cliff.

The reality, though, must be that Warner Bros will eventually cave and that Fox will get lots of free money from this film, which will have a Fox logo in front of it, alongside the WB shield and the Legendary title card. Warner Bros may run this one very close to the edge, trying to reduce the amount that Fox gets, but unless their tough-talking, hard-swearing, Tums-popping lawyers fuck up, this WILL get settled.

Unless… unless Fox is even nuttier than anyone ever believed. If that’s the case, all bets are off. It makes no sense for Fox to want to get their hands on this film – letting WB release it as they please is simply free money for the studio – but if Tom Rothman and his gaggle in Barad-dur think they can tinker with the film to make more money (something Fox has shown no ability with in the last few years), this situation could get dire.

But again, that’s a crazy, unbelievable scenario. Once all this muscle flexing is over everybody will get back to the business of making money with movies.