Happy April Fool’s, y’all!!! Today might be a good day to be wary of any promises of the “too good to be true” … like, say, if you get a URL emailed to you that says CLICK HERE TO SEE THE NEW WOLVERINE MOVIE ONLINE. Except, I’m here to tell you that if you do get a message like that … it’s prolly no joke. A full-length workprint version of the entire X-Men Origins: Wolverine film somehow made its way to the Internets yesterday and began showing up on torrent download sites and on streaming webpages. At first, I too thought it was some sort of April Fool’s Joke mainly because these sorts of leaks never happen A.) this early and B.) almost in their entirety. But, it turns out that this is no joke … the movie is out there for anyone to watch if they know the right places to look:
Early Tuesday US time a near DVD-quality workprint of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” found its way onto the peer-to-peer torrenting networks – a full month before the film’s release. A film leaking online is nothing new, poor quality camcorded versions and/or only marginally better Telecine/Telesync transfers of most films usually hit the torrent networks within days of their US general release. Proper DVD rips and screeners for festival titles and/or Oscar contenders have also been leaking with more and more vigor of late. Yet outright workprint leaks are rare as they take place before public release of a film and so are often much easier to trace the source. Ang Lee’s 2003 effort “Hulk”, Eli Roth’s “Hostel Part II” and Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” reboot notably saw working prints of their films leaked a week or two before their theatrical releases. The leak of “Wolverine” though, a full month before its cinematic release, has understandably sent shockwaves around Hollywood and the online community. Even worse for the studio is the good quality of the transfer – what’s shown is essentially complete and in near-DVD quality with only a few unfinished effects shots pointing to its ‘work copy’ status according to comments left by those who’ve seen it. This print also has a 106 minute runtime, making it apparently about fifteen minutes shorter than the final cut which means it likely lacks some or all of the reshoot footage shot in January in Canada. The film is still not finished and receiving final post-production touches according to anonymous sources here in Sydney. Fox legal is understandably scrambling to shut copies down, a practice that studios have become surprisingly adept at. Yet while the studio may be able to stem much of the flow, once something like this is out there it never entirely goes away. With no real time codes or identifying traits, the big questions have arisen – who is responsible and how can something like this happen? The hunt has begun and with something this large there won’t just be lawsuits and prosecutions, but major changes and security crackdowns on the post-production process where the source of the leak seems to have come from … BTW, as of the time of this story’s publication, it’s certain that most leaks will be have been shut down by now while others will be under surveillance by various legal authorities. So if you’ve been reading this and getting an idea about looking for it, I’d advise against it.
What is hugely unfortunate about this is that not only does the film suffer from a leak like this but so does the fan. I understand that the version leaked yesterday is not the final product and is missing essential portions of the director’s final vision. Truth be told, I cannot fault anyone’s curiosity for wanting to see the movie as soon as possible but I think a true fan of the X-Men films would want to still see the film in theaters to see the final product whether or not they watch the leaked workprint. I’d be very curious to hear what those of you who couldn’t resist the temptation and decided to watch the film think about the film. Please, do not post links to sites that are hosting the movie but if you did see the film, you gotta let us know what you think. In any event, I know that I will have my butt in a theater seat come May 1 to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine when it opens officially. Leak or no leak, I gotta see the mostly nekkid Hugh Jackman on the big screen.
[Source, thanks Lauren & Justin]