Update: Fox has responded to the leak (courtesy IESB).
“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 and the last person who committed such a crime is still in jail.
The FBI and the MPAA also are actively investigating this 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 the fans of the film.”
Original article below
This is very surprising, and not at all an April Fool’s joke. A work print (i.e. it’s missing some sfx and the like, and also apparently doesn’t incorporate the recent Gavin Hood re-shoots) of 20th Century Fox’s Wolverine has leaked onto the internet. The copy is DVD quality. Reportedly, the video is a clean copy with no time codes, or watermarks. Absolutely nothing. It’s a pristine copy.
While piracy is a big issue these days, releases usually don’t come out until after the film hits theaters, and this is certainly the most high-profile release I’ve seen. Unless the print manages to improve buzz on the film, it’s hard for me to imagine this not having an adverse effect on the film’s box office performance.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits theaters on May 1, 2009.