About this Wolverine leak…

I’ve been tossing up whether I should mention this or not. I originally thought that if I posted this some of you might possibly go on a hunt for the incriminating file. I later came to the realization that those that are going to do the wrong thing here have probably already done so.

Talking of course about the leaked ‘work print’ of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” – still a month away from release – that surfaced early morning on the web. Yes, some ‘fuck’ has uploaded it onto a server for kicks. Since being uploaded, more than 75,000 copies of the film have already been downloaded and reviews by users have started appearing online (I won’t be publishing any, so don’t bother emailing them to me).

I think some people need to be reminded about just how much blood, sweat and tears goes into making a movie – and how by downloading the film from the internet those that worked on the picture aren’t going to see a red fuckin’ cent. Do you think they give a year of their lives just so you can sit out the front of a service-station with a cardboard box selling CD-rips of a film?

For those searching for the answer, it’d be no.

Fox issued the following statement last night :

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. The FBI and MPAA are also actively investigating the 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 fans of the film.

If you have downloaded the film, I hope you realize you’re not just hurting the film’s potential at the box office (but also possibly hurting the “X-Men” franchise as a whole – you do want to see the Magneto and First Class movies, right?) but essentially taking money from the pockets of the many men and women that worked on the picture.  You might as well raid their fridges and freezers of all their meat for the year, and on your way out the door take their wallets.

If that doesn’t put you off – you’re also getting a far less polished version of the film – not only will the finish cut be fifteen minutes longer than what you’re seeing online, but the effects aren’t apparently even finished. Who wants to watch that!?  And there lies another problem for those involved – what if you guys don’t enjoy this ‘work print’ and start spreading the word that it’s poor? Chances are this work print doesn’t work – but the finished cut does. Bad luck, Fox, right?

Yes, this is bad news for Fox – but don’t make it worse.

I briefly spoke to a publicist for Twentieth Century Fox last night about the situation and she was clearly concerned about the situation.  The studios’ biggest release this quarter will have been seen by about thirty percent (if not more) of the target audience by the time it’s even hit theaters. Not only will those people likely not pay to see it at theater when it’s released, but they’ll be ruining the movie for everyone else in the meantime. And if the word on the film is negative, that’s disastrous for the picture.

20th Century Fox are due to unveil world exclusive footage from the film at a press conference in Sydney next week. Unfortunately for them, half of the people in the conference will have probably seen the “world exclusive” footage.

But listen, apparently Fox’s legal department, and the FBI, have tabs on every site – and user – downloading the picture. Is a comic-book flick featuring Tim Riggins-playing-cards really worth a hefty fine and/or jail time? Fuck no. Do the right thing, don’t go searching for “Wolverine” – wait till the end of April (if you’re here in Oz) or the first week of May (if you’re in the states) and see it in theaters.