Numerous reports confirm that an early workprint version of Wolverine has hit the web’s file-sharing networks. I haven’t seen it, but apparently, the video itself is DVD quality, but the effects work is unfinished or non-existent, and the edit is an old one that fails to incorporate significant reshoots done after the original cut. Most reviews have indicated that it’s bad, perhaps very bad. Presumably, the cut was leaked by a daft employee (or possibly a vengeful former one). But what if it’s not that simple? Sonny Bunch points us toward this absurd, but highly entertaining scenario:
If Fox has insured the film from all matter of maladies, could they cash in said insurance policy if they can somehow convince the carriers that the film flop because of third-party criminal action?
As it is, if the film is a hit despite today’s leak then it becomes a goofy embarrassment. If the film flops, especially on opening weekend, the leak becomes one of the biggest entertainment stories of the year, period.
It’s not very plausible, but it’s a fun idea to kick around, and whoever came up with it ought to go into screenwriting: I’ve seen plenty of thrillers with less believable plot twists.
Other rumors tilt toward the vengeful former employee theory, but I have my own conspiratorial notion: What if the old, bad cut was leaked to garner better comparative reviews for the theatrical release, which, after the reshoots, is supposedly a big improvement? Set expectations low, then surprise everyone with a reasonably good film that’s substantially better than the leak. This especially targets critics who watch the leaked cut and are likely to feel guilty about doing so. Of course, this also assumes that studios care enough about critics’ opinions to risk letting millions see one of their megabudget summer tentpoles nearly a month early, so it’s almost certainly bunk.