Did Tom Rothman Lie About the Wolverine Leak's Running Time?

April 22, 2009
Source: Huffington Post, Movieline

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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.

Find more posts: Editorial, Hype, Rumors



If this movie fails it won't fail because of the bootlegs. X3 did well at the BO because it was coming off X2's good reception from both fans and the GA. This Origins film has been plagued since the reports of Hood clashing with Rothman. Now its finally reached this point where the workprint exposed the films narrative mediocrity along with its rushed pacing (thanks to the 107 constriction that Rothman loves imposing). I'll save my money instead of rewarding Fox for subpar entertainment when their competitors (WB,Paramount) are offering far better comic book adaptations that have been approached thoughtfully and carefully thus ensuing quality. The game based on it honestly looks plenty times better than the film. I'll buy that instead.

Craig on Apr 22, 2009


Of course Rothman is lying. This certainly wouldn't be the first incident.

Craig on Apr 22, 2009


I'm seeing it on the 29th 🙂 Will let ya know what I thought of it.

dom on Apr 22, 2009


The part I like best about living in a technologically advanced world is that we've finally reached a point where we can decide for ourselves what art we like and don't like. Fans no longer have to "cross their fingers" if a film looks sketchy. Just like with music, if I hear about a new band, I go check them out online first. If I like what I hear, then I buy their albums, go to their shows, continue to support them as a band buy purchasing merchandise, telling my friends to do the same, etc. Films have tried to lock the fans out like that because they're so much more expensive to make. If Warner Bros makes a movie for 200 million dollars and it turns out to be total drek, they can still launch a big TV campaign and custom-edit the trailers to make it look better than it is, hoping that the initial buzz will make that money back for them. That's essentially what Fox has done with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. They have made a worthless film for ungodly amounts of money and will do anything at this point to make some of it back. However, the people who downloaded the film basically break into 2 categories: those who want proof it sucks, and those who want to see the movie. The people who were worried about it's quality were proved right, as it is most definitely the worst X-Men franchise film to date (and quite possibly one of the worst superhero movies, right down at the bottom with Elektra, Superman IV, and Spiderman 3). The people who want to see it were probably not dissuaded at all though, and will still go see it because either they have no taste, or will rationalize it away with ridiculous phrases like "oh, you can't really experience it until the effects are complete". Here's a tip for you: no amount of special effects can save a terrible story. The way I see it, by watching it early I saved myself from handing my hard-earned money over to Fox so that they can keep making bad movies. If Wolverine had actually been good, I guarantee you that the leaked version would have only increased fan anticipation. We'd be lined up on the very first night waiting to get in to see the full version. TL:DR version - Don't make crappy movies, and you won't have to worry about money.

Pete the Geek on Apr 22, 2009


i saw the leaked version. its more to hype up fans and give them more characters. yeah, its not great but it was worth the bootleg copy!!! lol. 5 bucks, yey. anyway, i dont think any new scenes or sound effects will make this movie better unless the story line is different. id give it a C plus. Its not horrible but they could of done a bit better. i would rather see a continuation of the original x-men series though. oh yeah.. you could compare it to spider-man 3 as far as a story line n what not.

yeah on Apr 22, 2009


I think this movie will still be a hit and the leak will have no effect. The leak has been overly publicized. Only a few hundred thousand have seen it. It's not like the whole world. It may result a $10M lost, but I highly doubt it. I say $60M would be the lowest opening and I think it is because most people want to see the X-MEN not X-MAN.

Ryan on Apr 22, 2009


@Alex - don't worry, you still would've hated Ang Lee's "masterpiece" 😉 You didn't miss much. Also, I hadn't heard about the leak till just now. 😛

bozoconnors on Apr 22, 2009


hulk sucked because it sucked. way too long. not enough boom boom. and lovey dovey. good elemets but... not strong enough. theatrical wolverine should be better(I hope), then this leaked one. because that one kinda sucked.... a big one.

mrmr on Apr 22, 2009


@4 DUDE, how did you not like Sperman 4?? It's freakin Dolph Lundgren!.. CLASSIC

Rod Tidwell on Apr 22, 2009


Wolverine gets way too much coverage on this site.

OJ on Apr 22, 2009


o0o0o0 yeah. That leak is ground breaking because it's never happened before. Sorry, half the people I talked to never heard about it and don't care to check it out because they already don't care to see it. I'm sorry, seeing the leak did not affect Ang Lee's Hulk. That was just a bunch of piss poor shit vomited together.

Hey Ya on Apr 22, 2009


Fox are a bunch of lying scum.

Darunia on Apr 22, 2009


I'm still crossing my fingers hoping this movie will turn out OK. My sister already saw the leaked version and she said it was "alright," which is never alright considering her taste in movies. Hopefully it's better than I'm imagining, otherwise I'll be pissed at Fox AND Rothman

Alfredo on Apr 22, 2009


The leak was nothing more than free publicity. Unfortunately the movie is horrible on so many levels I agree its one of the worst superhero movies to date, maybe next to Elektra and Superman 4. I'm not going to reward Fox for half *ss work, that could have been ten times better had they taken the time to study the source material.

Shawn on Apr 22, 2009


I feel real bad about this movie...it just did not live up to the hype...

Trey on Apr 22, 2009


How can any lover of Marvel comics and movies be excited by this piece of garbage, and garbage it is. Wolverine doesn't have bone claws, Sabretooth is not his brother, Striker shooting Wolvering with an special bullet to "erase his memory", Deadpool becoming a monster, and Sabretooth saving Wolverine at the end is nothing more than bad writing, followed by bad producing, followed by bad directing, followed by the movie being so terrible they had to re-shoot it. The X-Men movies were forced to followed a convoluted story-line that was torn to pieces by the first writers, ensuring that the second and third would be convoluted as well... now we have this forth red-headed step child of a movie based off a story line that was messed up in the first place. EPIC FAIL!

ThaSaltShaker on Apr 22, 2009


actually Wolverine did have bone claws, but you're right about the rest of your rants and complaints.

Shawn on Apr 22, 2009


@16 way to ruin it for anyone who hasent seen it Alex: do you think you'll watch the bootleg after you've seen the finished product?

Bucker on Apr 22, 2009


I say just go see the damn movie than bash all you want. Against my better judgment I watched the bootleg and really didn't think the movie was as bad as you make it out to be. Acting was alright and the movie, although a bit off the mark from the marvel legacy, was pretty good. Now that doesn't mean I am going to give it raving reviews on movie of the year but honestly what do really expect from an action scifi film? I personally think that Movies like the Dark Knight have set the bar so high that you all expect to see these great stories turned into Epic master pieces. Don't get me wrong, I wish all more of these films were down with way higher standards but sadly it is just not possible because those of us who want to see these movies down right are the minority. The studios make these movies for the other 80% of us out there who have no Idea about the Marvel universe and are just happy to see mutants kick the shit out of other mutants with cool powers. This is America guys, we haven't produced much big dollar main stream Art products in the last 25 years and that includes music. Anyway just be thankful this movie isn't going to be as bad as Elecktra, Daredevil or the Punisher. You may now all continue the bitching!

Jason on Apr 22, 2009


yeah whats with the shitty claws and special effects in the trailer

Spider94 on Apr 22, 2009


"unfinished effects work and several minutes of extra Ryan Reynolds Deadpool footage that apparently comprised the majority of the reshoots " - So... something will be different right? Who cares if it's the same running length? Quite simply: The Bootleg is not the finished film.

SS on Apr 22, 2009


@4 I believe if you have seen the movie and you didn't like it,you should keep your "INK" thinking to yourself and don't stain us with what you saw or what you felt when you took the decision to watch the movie,it was a poor decision about what you did if you ask me. And what about "The people who want to see it were probably not dissuaded at all though, and will still go see it because either they have no taste, or will rationalize it away with ridiculous phrases like "oh, you can't really experience it until the effects are complete". Here's a tip for you: no amount of special effects can save a terrible story." ? My friend everybody makes a choice in this life and the choice that you made to watch the bootleg was a bad choice.You accepted to take the step then be responsible for the consequences.I know a lot of people watched the bootleg and they can't wait for the movie to be released.Even if it's a bad movie you could have kept the info to yourself, you just killed the hype in a lot of people.

Fisherr on Apr 22, 2009


Thanks for ruining my Birthday movie #16. I allways usually get an early blockbuster early May. I would have to say the receipts for opening weekend will be greater than Observe and Report. But which will be the better film?

tacoscat on Apr 22, 2009


@8 it's not dolph lundgren!! Eejit!!

Paul on Apr 23, 2009


Wolverine had bone claws?! I'm shocked.

ThaSaltShaker on Apr 23, 2009


@ 22 ( my fav number ) If my comments about the movie have any effect on your decision to see it then you should really check yourself and not blame me. As far as a poor decision... IM IN KUWAIT! Im a troop and our form of entertainment comes in bootleg copies. Besides, i didnt say the story line or anything too graphic ^_^ it was just my opinion. Was it the spider-man 3 that set you off? You don't like spiderman 3??? I liked it but i refered to it because the story line of wolverine feels a bit rushed and jumbled like in spiderman 3 . Go see it though! I just saved myself some money but... will probably see it in theaters when i get back to the states. Not because i think it will be any better but only for the simple fact that i think i will enjoy it on the big screen. If i kept anyone from wanting to go see it... well, hell- why are you waiting to download the leak? go get it. or wait and give up the cash. Choice is up to you. I love America! Free stuff all around the web. lol. Laterz 22

yeah on Apr 23, 2009


The only reason why feature films make so much money is because of bloated salaries and ridiculous demands. I used to work as a PA on set, and I'll tell you the budget for starbucks coffee FAR EXCEEDS the budget that they had for all the WAGES FOR PAs. Not to mention all the glam and bs involved. It's hollywood at its best.

Dan the Fan on Apr 23, 2009


Hey Alex why not post that Rothman did in fact lie about the "10 minutes" of additional footage and the workprint and the theatrical cut are the same film (for the exception of finished music score, and finished sfx,sound work). Heres the link (from your friends over at /film): http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/04/23/how-much-different-is-theatrical-cut-of-wolverine-from-the-leaked-workprint/#idc-ctools

Craig on Apr 23, 2009


@26 If you think that you will enjoy it on the big screen so why did you watch the bootleg if you are in Kuwait and the forms of entertainment are so limited you should have waited till you go back to the States instead of spoiling it to yourself and give yourself a very bad impression about the movie,I liked Spider-Man 3 but i thought it could have been done in a lot better way and by the way to me Spider-Man to me is not compared to Wolverine AT ALL.Wolverine is the best for me and always will be. I don't even care if the movie was a total disaster or a letdown or even a F@#! up,I' know that i'll be disappointed a little bit but this is just it,right? There is nothing that we could do to reboot the movie or shutdown Fox for the outcome of the project or anything. I'll be watching the movie on the 29th here where i live.Hope it's released on time and i am not going to download the bootleg, noway i'll spoil the experience for myself i want to have a nice experience by watching the movie with everything in set. Thank you!

Fisherr on Apr 23, 2009


This is interesting: "Wolverine" Leaker Comes Forward: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDdCQyyjNSA

Jagger Gravning on Apr 25, 2009


I will admit I saw the workprint copy and even thou its not finished (missing footage or not ) I thought it was great and seeing it actually makes me want to go see it in the theatres even more! And this coming from someone that never spends money to go watch a movie (would rather buy the dvd) says enough right there. Anyway thats just my 2 cents if people want to see it enough and are fans of the X Men I dont think it will matter if they saw the workprint or not.

Dave on Apr 29, 2009


As a x-men fan i have to say the movie was just decent. Opens strong than just kinda sputters along. “Oh lets fight sabertooth”( 1hr later its still the same fight….). If i was a movie critic and was rating this film i would give it 1 star because its horribly shot, and scenes look like my niece got a hold of a comic and cut and pasted what she wanted together. Pretty sure deadpool wouldn’t die that easily also by people with only a small part of his powers, he ends up fighting like a downy and is all in all pretty lame. Also try not to knock critics as they review films differently than fanboys(they look at shots as an art not stupid lore that nerds care about). By judging movies this way and not the way fanboys do than yes they are right and the movie deserves a bad rating because honestly the sci-fi channel can shoot a better movie than gavin LOLS hood.

Steven on May 1, 2009


5 bucks, yey. anyway, i dont think any new scenes or sound effects will make this movie better unless the story line is different. id give it a C plus. Its not horrible but they could of done a bit better. i would rather see a continuation of the original x-men series though.

Rajj on Aug 12, 2009

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