Fox Flack on Wolverine LeakGate: 'There Was No Fibbing Involved'
When a Fox source last week told Movieline that studio co-chair Tom Rothman wasn't lying about the incompleteness of the leaked Wolverine work print, we heard a much more complex defense than the one offered yesterday by Fox's publicity chief. For example, all that talk about unintegrated footage and extra cuts? We're hearing something a lot different now.
Fox SVP of corporate communications Chris Petrikin volunteered late Tuesday that really, this whole mess about running times and final cuts was really just a symptom of gossip flurries around the Web and beyond. In other words, neither Rothman nor any other Fox insiders misled the press at all -- at least, not on purpose:
"There was no 'fibbing' involved -- that would imply that we were so on top of things that we anticipated having one of our biggest films of the year stolen and had time to concoct a plan to purposefully 'spin' wrong information," Petrikin told me. "Remember, Tom gave this [Entertainment Weekly] interview a day after we learned of the theft. A lot of information and misinformation was flying back and forth then, and there was no way to sort it out quickly or definitively. In fact, I think I told Tom that there might be 10 minutes missing from the stolen version, based -- obviously -- on misinformation I was given or misinterpreted. The real issue is the scale of this crime and that the film was not finished when it was stolen."
Not anymore, it's not. David Poland, who last week said continued coverage of Wolverine LeakGate "aggrandizes illegal behavior towards no good end," nevertheless picked the story up again, making the even more important point that Fox needs to "own the situation." This goes beyond simply reclaiming some propriety by tacking "easter egg" endings on to different prints, but reaches into scenarios as revelatory as including the infamous leaked version on the forthcoming DVD. After all, if studio reps and execs naturally can't help but dig a deeper hole for Wolverine every time they open their mouths, don't they eventually have no choice but to just sell the hole itself? It's a lot more honest, and in any case, seems a much, much easier story to keep straight when the press come calling. Just a suggestion.
· Fox on 'Wolverine' whopper: No fibbing involved [The Big Picture]