News that Disney is currently being held ransom by a group of hackers that have stolen one of their films and are now threatening to release it online has left Hollywood in a state of shock. While Disney boss Bog Iger was willing to confirm that the studio has been the victim of this crime, he refused to divulge exactly which film has been stolen.
Shortly after this news emerged, Deadline reported that the film in question was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. However, the news and details of the hack are actually eerily similar to those from last week that suggested Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been stolen, which has only complicated the matter.
The Star Wars speculation originally emerged on a variety of Reddit and Star Wars fan forums, according to the Express, which included Star Wars News Net. It was rumored that a rough edit but nevertheless full version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is currently in post-production, had been leaked. Not just that, it was also rumored that Disney had been presented with multiple demands from the hackers, which included a ransom being paid to them in bitcoins. If this request wasn’t met, then it was alleged that the hackers would release Star Wars: The Last Jedi to the public several weeks before it’s set to hit cinemas on December 15.
However before this speculation could amass too much momentum it was immediately debunked by the owner of Star Wars News Net, who wrote, “I’ve consulted with a huge Star Wars fan and they’ve confirmed the ‘proof’ to be fake. All from The Force Awakens.”
This meant that the speculation remained mostly confined to the Star Wars message boards and Reddit threads. The similarities between the above speculation and the confirmation that Disney have indeed been hacked, but won’t reveal which movie has been stolen, appears to be just purely coincidental, though, as even the Hollywood Reporter cited the aforementioned rumors about Star Wars: The Last Jedi before adding that they’d been revealed as a hoax.
Disney has yet to release a comment on which film has been taken. Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger was the one who confirmed that hackers had violated the studio’s security system, revealing the details on Monday during a town hall meeting with ABC employees in New York City. During the same meeting, Bob Iger also confirmed that Disney will not pay the amount requested; instead, they are now working alongside federal investigators to find the team responsible.
Because Disney has decided not to pay the huge sum demanded in bitcoin, there’s a chance that the hackers will now follow through on their threat to release the opening five minutes of the film, followed incrementally by 20-minute segments until they receive the amount demanded in bitcoins. Deadline was the first publication to report that that it was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales that had been stolen, which would make sense as the film is being primed for release on May 26, while there’s also a chance that it could be Cars 3, which is due out on June 16.
Both of these films will be edited and ready for release and will have already started to be distributed for press screenings. On the other hand, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still shrouded in secrecy, to such an extent that we don’t even know some of the characters’ names. It would almost certainly have taken a huge security lapse or an insider who would definitely be prosecuted and then hounded out of the business for The Last Jedi to have been leaked, especially because the film is still seven months away from release.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]