Quentin Tarantino is currently suing Gawker Media for perpetuating the leak of his "Hateful Eight" script, over which he is "very, very depressed."
Once the script began circulating, Tarantino announced he would no longer be making the film, at which point Defamer posted a link to the full, 146-page script. Now, "Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people's rights to make a buck," the director said in his formal complaint.
Except, is he making too big a deal out of the whole thing? This is not the first major script to leak. It's not even the first major Tarantino script to leak. In the past few years, many of the big-name scripts that have gotten preemptive glances by online masses have seen major success at the box office. We've rounded up six films that have dealt with pre-release leaks, all that seem to have been largely unharmed by their respective reveals, which may suggest Gawker's "violating" post might not be the real problem.
The Leak: Wes Craven and his crew suspected someone in the Xerox room of putting the first 40 pages of "Scream 2" online in 2006. "It totally ruined that version of the script, frankly," he told Vulture. "We had to go back and change everything, and it set us back about two months" -- which is a lot of time, when you consider there was less than a year turn around after the first film. Apparently, the original ending revealed four different characters as the ghost-faced killer, as opposed to only two.
The Box Office: $101,363,301 domestic total gross.
The Leak: In July of 2008, various sites obtained a full copy of Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" script, complete with a handwritten cover. Although there were various misspellings throughout, the script was much closer to its final form than "Hateful Eight" appears to be now. There was not much blowback beyond various blogs taking it upon themselves to review the work.
The Box Office: $120,540,719 domestic total gross.
The Leak: The "Thor" screenplay leaked online in July of 2011 to an almost immediate response from Paramount's lawyers, including takedown notices less than a half hour after the original script was posted. According ComicBookMovie.com, one of the first sites to get their hands on the script, calls were made by a "detective" from Marvel, attempting to gather details on the breach, which eventually turned out to be a legitimate copy of the script.
The Box Office: $181,030,624 domestic gross.
The Leak: When someone stole Samuel L. Jackson's copy of "The Avengers" script in April of 2011, it quickly went up for sale online. Although only a few pages were visible in the photos circulating, Disney reportedly cut the scene, shutting down production until they could be rewritten by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon, although the release date was unaltered. Jackson spoke about the incident on Letterman saying, "Marvel/Disney kind of got really upset about it. It caused a minor storm of investigation. They sent a team of investigators to Canada. And they interrogated a lot of people in the office of the other film I was working on. They were trying to find (track down) the IP address of the person that put it online. It was crazy.” Although, ultimately the scene was included in the film.
The Box Office: $623,357,910.
The Leak: Like "Inglourious Basterds" before it, "Django Unchained" also leaked with an adorably handwritten cover in April of 2011. There was speculation that the Weinstein Company deliberately spread Tarantino's first draft, but no definitive origin has been identified. The breach led to extensive reviews of the film in its fledgling form. "Tarantino is playing for a niche market here," Matt Holmes wrote at Obsessed With Film (in a post that has now been removed at the behest of the Weinstein Company). "Nobody has really made a movie about race like this for years, and when they did it was never for a mass audience.
The Box Office: $162,805,434 total domestic gross.
The Leak: In February of 2010, The Playlist reported on an obviously rough draft for Paul Thomas Anderson's 2012 film, which was also produced by The Weinstein Company. The script included spelling errors and missing patches simply labeled "dialogue TBD." Although, the leak included a scanned copy of one of the screenplay's pages and a lengthy review (which turned out to be accurate) from a blogger called Forizzer.
The Box Office: $16,377,274 domestic total gross.