Did an unauthorized video clip of a scene get leaked onto the net before the studios wanted it to? Have the studio law dogs sprung into action to plug the leak?
And more importantly, are we about to get our asses sued?
Motion picture studios go to great lengths to keep big films under wraps for as long as possible in order to create a sense of excitement when its finally unveiled to the public. So when someone leaks footage of a film before its ready, you can bet that there are executives in expensive offices in the middle of Tinseltown having kinipshin fits over it.
I love a good mystery and this one has the potential to be huge.
On Friday, Buzznet, a social networking website posted a video clip that they claimed was an exclusive "first look" at the new Spike Jonze adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic kids story, "Where the Wild Things Are."
However, shortly after the video was posted, one person posted in the comments section that it wasn't real:
"This is not the film. Someone made this in their backyard. Not the actor. Not the voice. Not the costume. Not the script."The only known image of the film that has been officially released to the public does definitely look a lot different than the video, which would lead most to believe that the video is a hoax.
But not long after that first comment that the clip was fake, the video was abruptly taken down.
This short time between that first comment and when the video was pulled leads me to believe that perhaps this was, in fact, early footage of the film that was leaked without permission. It's entirely possible that the whistle blower in the Buzznet comments was really someone with the film's marketing department desperately trying to plug the leak.
In an Entertainment Weekly article that was posted Friday afternoon, journalist Adam B. Vary commented that he had seen early footage of the film last fall and the new clip that was briefly online helped to pique his interest in seeing the film when it 's released in 2009:
Much like his work in Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, Jonze is going for a kind of burnished realism that I find immediately arresting, and the Wild Things themselves look dead-on faithful to Sendak's vision. This clip only solidified my first impressions.
Now, had this been the amateur video that Buzznet would lead people to believe, I would think that the journalist from Entertainment Weekly would have pointed out the ruse and immediately declared B.S. However, he didn't, and instead invited people to go to Buzznet and view the clip directly.
Entertainment Weekly has since pulled down their post about the clip as well.
Moriarty of Aint it Cool News also saw early footage of the film but seems to be curiously aloof about the clip in question:
I wish I could be more specific, but because of how I saw it, I can’t offer any sort of real review. I can tell you that there’s something odd about the clip above. The Wild Thing in that clip is Carrol, played in the version I saw by James Gandolfini. That is most definitely NOT Gandolfini’s voice in that clip though. But it’s a very finished piece of film, because in the rough footage, none of the Wild Things have articulated faces. The costumes were all built to have immobile features that would be replaced in post-production by CGI, and it looks like this clip has had that work done on it.
Most character voices that use celebrities are first recorded temporarily by un-credited actors reading the lines until the real actors lay down the voices in post production. Moriarty knows this. His comment about the audio seems to suggest that he's trying to get people to believe the video is fake.
But I don't buy it. All of these clues lead me to believe that the video was the real deal.
While Buzznet may have taken down (or been forced to take down) the video, other blogs quickly sprung into action and are now debating the legitimacy of the clip as well.
Click below (while you can) to see the clip and judge for yourself.
So was that video clip real and the official publicity still was just something Warner Bros. threw out to whet people's appetites? And if it wasn't the real clip, what does Warner Bros care if someone posts a video of their own making?
There has to be a picture of actor Max Records (the kid playing Max) out there somewhere, but we haven't been able to find one yet. Once we do, however, we'll compare the images and see if we can come up with anything.
UPDATE: Gawker is now reporting that the clip is from an apparent screen test for the film, which makes a lot more sense.