If you think the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge are the definitive Christmas spoilers, meet Andrew Kosove. The Alcon Entertainment co-CEO was already on our naughty list for producing the forthcoming, altogether unwanted, and now hilariously missing-in-action Point Break remake. As if that wasn’t bad enough, last night THR reported the leaked copy of The Hateful Eight circulating this week on file-sharing sites has been traced back to Kosove’s screener DVD.
One of the perks of being in the movie industry (and its awards-giving bodies) this time of year is the flurry of screener DVDs, sent around by studios and distributors as part of their campaigns for Oscars and other year-end honors. Aside from occasional on-screen text burn-ins, these are pristine copies of films currently in theaters – or, in the case of H8 and last week’s other big leak, The Revenant – ones that haven’t even hit the big screen yet. But those discs are also watermarked to indicate the recipient, which can be embarrassing if they’re borrowed or stolen and uploaded.
Kosove, who is credited as a producer on Transcendence, The Book of Eli, Dude Where’s My Car, and (war crime) The Blind Side, says he’s not responsible for the leak. “I’ve never seen this DVD,” he told THR. “It’s never touched my hands. We’re going to do more than cooperate with the FBI. We’re going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened.” According to a report shared with THR, the disc was signed for by an office assistant, who presumably has a bit of explaining to do.
This kerfuffle is happening simultaneous to the burial of Kosove’s Point Break remake, which hits theaters on Christmas Day (against, among other films, The Hateful Eight) and whose PR campaign has become a game of whack-a-mole for critics – here in New York, a media screening was scheduled for December 23rd, meaning reviews could run on Christmas Eve at the earliest (when no one’s online). The distributor subsequently changed that embargo to Christmas Day (when even fewer people are online) before apparently saying “fuggit” and cancelling media screenings entirely, due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Which seems like an exaggeration; who couldn’t forsee that movie being terrible?
At any rate, the FBI is currently investigating the sharing of Hateful Eight and several other awards contenders by “Hive-CM8,” which has promised it is “one of 40” new movies they will upload “one after another.” ‘Tis the season for movie stealing, apparently.