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The Newsdesk 01.16.09 – Watchmen Lawsuit Settled; Sundance Kicks Off

• Fox and Warner Bros. have settled the lawsuit over Watchmen, striking a deal that will allow the movie to be released on March 6, as previously planned. It includes an up-front cash payment for Fox and participation in the overall gross of the film. That sound you hear is a million geeks collectively exhaling.

• The Sundance Film Festival kicked off last night with a politically charged speech from Robert Redford and the premiere of the Claymation movie Mary and Max. Films from Spike Lee, Tom DiCillo, and Greg Mottola are heavily anticipated in the next few days.

• Casey Affleck will be directing a documentary about Joaquin Phoenix’s music career, following the former actor’s quest to become a rapper. You just can’t make this stuff up, folks.

• Keanu Reeves will star in a big-screen version of the Japanese anime cartoon Cowboy Bebop.

• A lawsuit is brewing over a videotape from 2006 that allegedly shows the late Heath Ledger doing cocaine and discussing his relationship with then-girlfriend Michelle Williams, at the Chateau Marmont. (In a rare showing of good taste, Entertainment Tonight purchased the video, but decided not to air it.)

• Philip Seymour Hoffman will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of the play Jack Goes Boating, starring Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone). Hoffman plans to star.

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