05/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I Was Right? Wolverine Final Print Allegedly Confirmed as Identical to Work Print

As some of you know (especially people who follow me on Twitter and Facebook), a bit I had written on Tuesday inspired a bit of controversy when Movieline (the revamped online version of a magazine I used to read) asked a 'Fox Source' for comment on said story. In the article (published at Mendelson's Memos, Film Threat and Huffington Post), I noted with amusement that, despite Tom Rothman's claim that the work print version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was ten minutes shorter, the final running time of the theatrical cut was the same 107 minutes as the work print. This alleged 'exchange' basically had the Fox source claiming that I was not aware that the bootleg in fact lacked finished production elements (music, fx, matte work, etc).

On the plus side, my article got mainstream attention at Yahoo and The Internet Movie Database, as well as several other mainstream movie sites. Well, apparently my hunch was right on the nose. According to this (hopefully accurate) Ain't It Cool News article, written by the alias Merrick, well... see for yourself:

"Well, having seen the finished film, the mystery is solved: the workprint version IS in fact identical to the release print, sans effect and some audio work. It's obvious that FOX is trying their darndest to keep this news from getting out, because it will eliminate most of the motivation for people who have seen the workprint to pay for a ticket."

Once again, if this is true, I don't blame Tom Rothman for doing everything in his power to mitigate the effects of the leak, up to and including lying to the public about the content of the final product (to paraphrase a popular political chant, no one died when Tom Rothman lied). I do however think it is very suspicious that no one has been arrested for the leak. A lack of a clear conclusion will further fan the flames of 'inside job conspiracy' and/or 'a kid of a powerful executive at Fox or an outside company' (think Hasbro). I'm purely speculating here, but I'm thinking that if this were some web-hacker or a disgruntled/glory seeking Fox employee, the villain would have been caught by now.

Oh, and Fox, since I am more or less defending the boss, would you mind releasing a few more official screen grabs, so I and other writers don't have to keep using the same three or four images? Thanks.

Scott Mendelson