Is Piracy Ruining Comic-Con? The Hot Take Breakdown


On Sunday, Deadline scoop bot Mike Fleming set the movie Twitterverse (one of the dorkier Twitterverses, admittedly) aflame with a take so scorching it could turn your regular Cheetos into Flamin’ Hots. The premise? Piracy is ruining Comic-Con! Ready my pearls while I wash my clutch hand!

Saturday was a rocking day for Comic-Con fans of big studio tentpole films…

Those are the BIGGEST fans of the BIGGEST movies. You motherf*ckers may drink Coca-Cola, but these hardcore Coke lovers eat, drink, sleep, breathe, dream and butt snorkel Coca-Cola. There’s no more exclusive group than the hardest core fans of things most people are already casual fans of. Can you imagine the hazing process?? So much butt snorkeling.

…but the actions of a couple of copyright-thieving weasels who pirated and posted exclusive Hall H movie footage has major studios reconsidering showing exclusive sizzle reels in the future.


Both Warner Bros and Fox were smarting last night…

Corporations are people! They can smart! [Fredo voice] Send Wahnah off to do dis, send Wahnah off to do dat! Send Wahnah off to some Mickey Mouse presentation somewheyah! Did you evah think about dat?! I can smaht! I’m not a faceless amalgam of moneyed interests, like everyone says! I desoive RESPECT!

…and fielding calls from legit online outlets who resisted posting shaky footage recorded on smartphones.

Those brave, brave legit online outlets. By the way, two guesses as to who one of those outline outlets was.

Both Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad and Fox’s Ryan Reynolds starrer Deadpool saw their full-footage presentations leaked online. Neither studio was positioned to formally release the footage…

They were prepared to project footage for a hall of thousands of Comic-Con attendees, but to put that footage online? Why, that would’ve taken at least 15 to 20 minutes of hardcore video rendering and uploading. These multi-national corporations simply don’t possess the resources.

Deadline won’t run run stolen copyrighted content.


Insiders said that this breach of etiquette might carry consequences at future Comic-Cons.

Oh no, not consequences! Wait, so you think waiting in line for hours to watch a glorified advertisement in an auditorium with 5,000 other people is going to become a less personal experience? That’s terrible. These pirates need to be dealt with.

Quentin Tarantino, for instance, showed 8 minutes of his film The Hateful Eight, which to Comic-Con crowds was a real gift. If Tarantino — who early on scrapped this film after the first draft of the script for this film got leaked by agents of at least one of the small group of actors he shared the script with — sees a crappy transfer of his 70 mm film dispersed on the web, why would he ever go to the trouble of unveiling footage again?

Why, studios might stop taking footage to Comic-Con. They would just start putting it online. Where everyone could watch it. But then what would become of Comic-Con? Would it turn into… some kind of… convention… about comics? That would be terrible. And where would I get my scoops??

Filmmakers always have taken it as a point of pride to come to Comic-Con with something to show to just the costumed faithful who come to San Diego. Some footage is immediately made public by studios — Star Wars is an example –but some of the films are still shooting or have not completed visual effects and therefore the quality isn’t up to the level it will be when the film is done.

We can’t trust this footage to just anyone, only our 5 or 6,000 bestest friends. We show it to them trusting that they will breathlessly describe it to their friends, not breathlessly film it for the ignorant masses!

When I asked for the Suicide Squad footage, I got a statement on the matter from Sue Kroll, the president of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution for Warner Bros. She is integral in putting together the sizzle reels for her studio, and she channeled the frustrations of every studio and network that cut special footage…

Whoa, Sue Kroll can channel every studio and network? That’s amazing. Her skills as a sorceress must be how she got where she is. She’s like a warg, but for corporations. I wonder if her eyes rolled back in her head and all the Starbucks cups rattled in their sleeves while she channeled.

…just for Comic-Con and now has to worry about seeing it spread virally.

Can you imagine what would happen if anticipation for a film spread virally? That would be horrible. She’d probably get fired. Sue Kroll would be out on her *ss, warging for spare change down on Hollywood Boulevard.

Said Kroll: “We have no plans currently to release the Suicide Squad footage that leaked from Hall H on Saturday. It’s unfortunate and ultimately damaging that one individual broke a long-standing trust we have enjoyed with our fans at the convention by posting early material, which, at this point, was not intended for a wider audience. We are still in production on Suicide Squad, and will have a big campaign launch in the future. Our presentation yesterday was designed to be experienced in that room, on those big screens!” (Via Deadline)

“I don’t care who I piss off by saying this, but Warner Bros. cares about our fans. We think they’re the most special people on the face of the Earth. And if we have to kill one of them to prove it, so be it. Warner Bros loves our fans so much that we will kill them, and Mike Fleming is our prophet.”

(Via Deadline)