FBI Steps in on ‘Wolverine’ Movie Leak
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is creating plenty of drama off the screen too—and it hasn’t even been released yet.
The BBC reports that the FBI has been called in to investigate an Internet leak of an “incomplete” version of the Hugh Jackman-Liev Schreiber superhero flick earlier this week, more than a month before its official May 1st American release date.
The version of the film was downloaded several hundred thousand times from file-sharing sites on Tuesday, according to estimates. Confirming that it had contacted the FBI about the matter, 20th Century Fox released a statement reading, “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 are being aided in the investigation by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Characterizing the leaked version as “stolen,” “incomplete” and “early,” Fox notes that it “was without many effects and had missing scenes and temporary sound and music.”
The studio also notes that the leaked version is “forensically marked,” which they hope will enable them to track down the culprit quickly. The version that made its way onto the Web is dated March 2, 2009, and bears a brief caption that reads, “Rising Sun Pictures”—the name of an Australian visual-effects company that has worked on the film.
After becoming aware of the leak, Fox “immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed,” according to their statement.