While Internet movie sites try to come up with the best April fool’s gag to get your palette salivating with scoops such as The Matrix 4 , Iron Man 2 teaser trailer and official title, or Robert Pattison’s retirement in 2010 20th Century Fox is at threat level midnight.
One of their biggest films coming out for the summer has been leaked online several weeks before its May 1st theatrical debut. If you’re not in the know, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was ripped from a DVD quality work print.
When many of the top movie sites began tweeting the leak many passed it off as an April fool’s day joke and went on about their business. However, more and more of them, currently attending ShoWest, were receiving confirmation that this was true.
The fortunate part is that this work print supposedly does not include the addition material that sparked controversy earlier this year. Many of the FX shots are incomplete and still have the green screen and wires present. This is a plus on Fox’s side, but the bad news is they have an internal leak.
Last year while having dinner with some friends who work for a studio the subject of pirating ended up being discussed. When I mentioned it had to be an internal problem because DVDs were being leaked well before their release dates and even weeks before they were sent to media for review one of them said it’s definitely an internal issue.
They proceeded to tell me that there were copies of yet to be theatrical movies circulating around their office on DVD and it would be easy to take that copy home and make a copy for a friend, who would make another copy and then before you know that copy of a copy ends up online for the masses to download.
While writing this up the folks over at CHUD did a little digging to learn that someone internally was most likely responsible for leaking the film. With the state of the economy in the US it’s easy to see how someone who might be on the chopping block decided to get revenge by sabotaging the studio.
With so many people handling prints, DVDs, and other media that contains the film(s) the studios need to start internal policing before spending millions going after the public for piracy.
AICN has posted a statement that has Fox issued regarding the leak.
Last night, a stolen, incomplete and early version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was posted illegally on websites. It was without many effects and had missing scenes and temporary sound and music. We immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed. We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it. The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – the courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts and the last person who committed such a crime is still in jail. The FBI and the MPAA also are actively investigating this crime. We are encouraged by the support of fansites condemning piracy and this illegal posting and pointing out that such theft undermines the enormous efforts of the filmmakers and actors, and above all, hurts the fans of the film.