The first footage from “Suicide Squad” debuted at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend. Audiences were wowed by the trailer. Jared Leto's Joker laugh was heard. Everyone fell in love a little bit with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
But for all the buzz, Warner Bros. is not happy. They say their hand was forced to release an official version of this Comic-Con “exclusive” reel today, after mega-crappy pirated versions, Periscopes and other video captures of the Hall H footage roved its way through the web.
Per a statement, via Sue Kroll, President Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures:
Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday. We have been unable to achieve that goal. Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed. We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation.
On the one hand, it”s a shame for anyone whose first impression of this film is through these lo-rez sources. This clip looks great: high-energy, shiftingly dark, with a lot of bouncy, varying voices of said 'Squad.
However, that video would leak should come as no surprise.
Fans frequently stand in line for 12 to 24 hours to guarantee entry in Comic-Con”s legendary “Hall H”, to see glimpses their favorite franchises, to get caught up in the excitement and see beloved movies stars. For whatever reason, fans have also leaked these glimpses over the years, of “exclusive” footage of “Man of Steel,” “Hunger Games” or “Suicide Squad” within minutes after the Hall disperses.
This is why we can't have nice things.
Studios can't plug all the holes in the dams when 7,000 people with smartphones are put in the same place at the same time. Organizers can ban selfie sticks, Google Glasses and Periscopes all they want, but with the multitude of sources of technological freedom in/at hand, there's no enforcing those rules.
Should WB be surprised about what transpired this year? No. Does it still suck? Absolutely. Were they prepared? At least it only took 48 hours before they finally released the official version — while some picture houses take weeks.
Studios like Paramount, Marvel and Sony bowed out of presentations at Comic-Con this year, even though they have valuable and fan-friendly films on slate. Using “regretful” language as above, Warner Bros. — and, perhaps most importantly, fans — may be taking a hard look at making Comic-Con a priority next year.