The leak of a finished copy of the action film The Expendables 3 onto the internet a month before its scheduled theatrical release sent Hollywood into an uproar a few weeks ago. There was the usual outcry from Hollywood, and the film’s distributor Lionsgate filed an injunction against the websites that initially made the film available.
But there’s at least one director in Hollywood who isn’t buying into all the wailing and nashing of teeth, and she’s not afraid to say so.
Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander says that it is Hollywood only has itself to blame when it comes to people uploading films to the internet.
I’m not suggesting anything, but hypothetically , if there were an anonymous address people could send not-yet-released movie DVDs to, so someone else could upload them without a chance of it being backtracked to the source, then a whole bunch of abused and mistreated assistants wouldn’t be defenseless anymore.
It’s kind of like going to a restaurant and thinking twice about insulting the waiter or busboy because you’re afraid of what they’ll put in the food before they bring it back. Imagine those famously abusive directors, producers or stars (#notall….) having to tone down the abuse, otherwise LOUD EVENT MOVIE # 5 will show up on the piratebay with a little note that says: “Don’t bother seeing this in the theater. Everybody above the line was a monster to us.”
Maybe the MPAA should drop some of their $$ on PSAs about the danger of abusing assistants: “If you kick me everyday, your film will land on piratebay.”
And while Lionsgate may be flexing their muscles with their lawsuit, it doesn’t address the real problem – how did those sites get the copy they uploaded? Whether Alexander’s suggesting it or not, it is hard not to believe that the original file could have come from anywhere else than someone who had deep access at either production company Nu Image / Millennium Films or Lionsgate itself.
And this is a question I asked back in 2009 when Gilberto Sanchez pleaded guilty to uploading X-Men Origins: Wolverine a month before its theatrical in what was one of the biggest pirating stories of the time. Sanchez stated that he bought it from a Korean seller in New York City, but as to how that workprint got into his hands was never publicly revealed. Is the answer too embarrassing to an executive at one of the studios which funds the Motion Picture Association of America?
This is not the first time that Alexander has been critical of how Hollywood has handled piracy. Back in June, she posted a picture of her self holding a sign which read “Free Peter Sundae Now,” a reference to the imprisoned Pirate Bay co-founder. She has also criticized the losses that the MPAA has stated were caused by piracy as “bullshit” and has called the criminalization of file sharing “pathetic.”