*SIGH* "Dammit Sam, keep a lid on your shit man."

Whoever the piece of shit is that allegedly stole a copy of The Avengers screenplay from Samuel L. Jackson may consider watching his back- America seems to be in an asshole killing mood. Far be it from me to compare the architect of a national tragedy to a script-snatching sneak, but you become responsible for spoiling the story of national icons and fanboys might decide to bring out their inner, tubbier NAVY SEALs.

Regardless, the script to the Joss Whedon-directed superhero team-up that just started filming seems to have been legitimately stolen and has, according to multiple sources at Film Fan Review‘, started a process that will see certain scenes being removed, modified, or otherwise reconsidered. Currently there are only a few pages publicly available, but the entire script was offered for sale to a swath of movie sites (none of which appear to have been dumb enough to buy it), so it’s hard to judge what effect this will ultimately have. I’m not going to repost the available pictures or transcribe the details, but it definitely includes Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow and sounds like it was pulled from the lead up to an action sequence.

Thing is, FFR also reported that there would be some kind of indefinite production halt, but that’s been contradicted by Sindication, which claims that several crew members have confirmed that they’ll be returning to work as normal, with no announcements regarding a stall of any kind. Their studio is definitely still booked today! If these re-writes are going to happen, it may be more likely that they’ll happen in the background. Leak or no, you can’t halt a production of this scale for massive rewrites without huge expense and a serious threat to the quality of the final product. The best they’ll likely be able to do either way is change enough details or locations from later in the shoot to make it less resemble the leaked script.

Whedon, Marvel, and co. have all been pretty straightforward and savvy about dealing with rumors and online frenzies, so no doubt some official word will come soon enough. Perhaps it’s all bullshit, from the screenplay on down, but this is the kind of thing that’s an unfortunate fact of life for a production of this scale. If this is legit though, we might start hearing more about Nolan/WB levels of security during Marvel pre-production, and perhaps more aggressive disinformation campaigns and fake material leaking out in a controlled manner.

We’ll let you know what you hear, but in the meantime… Do you think a time will come when we’ll all be able to find out as much as we’re willing to look for about big films just by default? Is there any chance secrecy and surprise will be maintained in this brave new world? The way the post-credit sequences have leaked out for all of these films, and the way every nit-picky report about minor re-shoots beomces a thing all suggest to me that those days are over. Brazen theft though… that’s a much nastier side of the movie spy culture.

(via Dark Horizons)

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