As some of you may or may not already know, just about every other movie news site reported today that a workprint of X-Men Origins: Wolverine has leaked onto the web a full month before its intended release date. After looking into it, the news is 100% true, not an April Fools prank. Now, I personally haven't watched it. I've got better things to do with my time and, frankly, I'm not that interested in watching an unfinished $100 milion action film anyway. I did, however, look into it enough to see whether or not it was a prank to begin with. And it's not. It's real.
So this begs the question: Who leaked it, and why? Some possible theories:
1) Some professional movie pirate got his hands on a copy of the workprint and ripped it for all the world to see. Well, OK, but I'm not so sure that a movie THIS big would be so loosely handled that anyone could get their hands on it so soon. I mean, sure, this isn't the first movie to ever be leaked early, but you'd think movies would be more secure than they used to be.
2) Someone on the project didn't like the way things were going, or didn't like the way they were treated during filming, and leaked the film as a middle finger to Fox. Maybe, but anyone who wanted to work in Hollywood ever again would never pull a stunt like that. Of course, maybe they DON'T want to work in Hollywood again?
3) Speaking of which, there have been reports of considerable strife between director Gavin Hood and Fox exec Tom "F*** the Fans" Rothman over the film, and the reshoots required a few months ago. Maybe Hood himself leaked the film as a middle finger to Rothman? He'd be one of the few people able to even see the film at this point (outside of producers, editors, and focus groups). I'd like to think this is Gavin Hood's doing, but he, too, is not that stupid.
4) Fox executives, in an attempt to not only curb piracy, but also generate interest in the final product, released the film as a sort of viral campaign. This is another likely scenario. Not only does it give fans a quick first look at the film, the bigger result is the publicity that such a stunt generates. I mean, every movie news site on the web is reporting this. Hell, even I'M writing about it. It's also possibly a sign that Fox realizes that they've got a turd on their hands, and they're trying to spit-polish it for all it's worth before May 1st? To me, this feels like the most reasonable explanation.
Or maybe it really is a simple case of movie piracy and I'm just playing conspiracy theorist. At any rate, I sincerely doubt that the movie leaking a whole month before release is really going to damage its potential box office take. The ones who would watch the film online probably weren't going to see it in theaters in the first place.
But I don't know. What do you think?