Did Tom Rothman Lie About the Wolverine Leak's Running Time?
As long as everything goes as planned, I'll finally be seeing X-Men Origins: Wolverine by the end of this week. I did not watch the leaked version and I'm still excited for it, despite all of the negativity coming from that bootleg, and that's because I heard that the leaked version was an early workprint with missing scenes and unfinished effects. However, I should mention an article that I recently came across on the Huffington Post (via SlashFilm) about the running times of the leaked version and final print being the same. They are speculating that Tom Rothman's statement on Entertainment Weekly might have just been one big lie.
Here is a brief excerpt from Scott Mendelson's Huffington Post article about some of the differences:
"While Tom Rothman had no choice but to convince moviegoers that the free version would be vastly different from the completed picture, it'll be interesting to see the reaction should that not turn out to be the case. Because, at this point, it would seem to not be the case. Aside from unfinished effects work and several minutes of extra Ryan Reynolds Deadpool footage that apparently comprised the majority of the reshoots (due to an alleged scheduling conflict), it's becoming increasingly likely that the bootleg that went out three weeks ago was in fact a rough version of the final film."
I will admit that my experience watching Ang Lee's Hulk back in 2003 was ruined because I had watched a leaked version with unfinished CGI and no sound effects a month before it had hit theaters. When I later saw it finished, I had already grown to hate it so much, that no matter how good the finished version looked, I still couldn't enjoy it. I don't want my experience ruined for something like Wolverine, so I didn't waste time on the bootleg, and have been waiting patiently for Fox to show it to us. As speculative as Mendelson's article is, it may be an early sign that Rothman did go to extreme measures to try and fix the situation.
Buzz has been strong for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, despite the leak, and I'm sure it'll do fairly well at the box office, although I'm certain that it won't do as well as it could (though that can be argued endlessly). Interestingly, Movieline says that a Fox source confirmed that "the final running time (with credits) is 107 minutes, but claimed that cuts had been made to the leaked workprint before the additional footage was added, which resulted in a similar running time." I would love to say all will be revealed this weekend, but I haven't seen the bootleg to confirm how similar the final theatrical version is to what was leaked.
At the beginning of the year I had thought that nothing would've been able to top the insanity of the Watchmen legal battle, that no one studio or one movie would ever have to deal with that kind of mass confusion and public outrage again, but it looks like this Wolverine leak is going to be the biggest story of 2009. Though I've got to say, I'm excited because I'm wondering if it really is better than everyone who saw that leak said it was; and I'm both excited and nervous to see how it does at the box office on May 1st.