It's been a rough year for Quentin Tarantino and the "The Hateful Eight."
A year after the script leak for the director's eightful film put the project in dire straits, the finished product has leaked online before having a chance in theaters. Not only is Tarantino's film out before its release, but several other recent films have been compromised in what could be one of the biggest piracy hits in Hollywood history.
The exceptionally high quality of the leaked films suggests that the sources of the leak are screener copies — DVDs meant to show the film ahead of time to critics or awards committees.
According to the FBI, the leaked copy of "The Hateful Eight" was traced back to a Hollywood executive who has denied ever having his hands on the film. The origins of the other leaks are unknown at this time
The leaked movies are the work of an unknown number of release groups, though one of which has identified as Hive-CM8, who carried out a threat to release a total of 40 films after "The Hateful Eight." The Verge reports that other titles such as "Joy," "Creed," Aaron Sorkin's "Steve Jobs," and "Bridge of Spies" have joined the leaked list to validate CM8's claim.
While leaked films are not inherently new, what sets this incident apart is both the high quality and timing. The footage is DVD-quality, far from the "shaky camera snuck into a theater" style that most pirated movies come in before legitimate versions are available to rip. In the case of "The Hateful Eight" and Alejandro González Iñárritu's "The Revenant," which was also compromised, the leak occurred ahead of the films' December 25 release, which is especially alarming.
A report in TorrentFreak claims that over 300,000 downloads of "The Hateful Eight" occurred after the first day of the leak, which combined with the other movies released by CM8, almost guarantee that Hollywood will pursue legal repercussions.
The last time a film leak of this nature went down was in 2014 with The Expendables 3. A pirated version of the action ensemble went up three weeks before release and reportedly accumulated over two million downloads, which the studio proceeded to blame for the sequel's box office failure.
Top Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter