The day after X-Men Origins: Wolverine leaked tragically to the Internet a few weeks ago, Fox head Tom Rothman told EW that the pirated work print of the film was “about 10 minutes shorter” than the version that would be released in theaters. Then, last week, bloggers found out the official running time for Wolverine is 107 minutes — exactly as long as the leaked file — and called Rothman a liar. But now, a Fox spokesperson has given a statement to the L.A. Times’ Patrick Goldstein to clear things up: Tom Rothman didn’t lie, he was just grossly misinformed about things happening at his wildly disorganized studio.
Chris Petrikin, Fox’s senior VP of corporate communications — who couldn’t respond last week because he was on vacation in Mexico, hilariously — tells Goldstein:
“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 … Remember, Tom gave this 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.”
Remember, Rothman gave this interview only a full day and a half after Fox learned that Wolverine had leaked — how could the studio possibly have had time to watch a 107-minute video file to determine how much of its $150 million blockbuster was being freely traded on the Internet? (Though we’d certainly hate to imply that Fox is so on top of things that they could’ve come up with a couple of brief talking points in 36 hours.) And the real issue is the scale of the crime — for which there have been no arrests or named suspects, even a month later.
Jeez, how did a studio this organized ever manage to misplace a DVD?
Fox on ‘Wolverine’ whopper: No fibbing involved [Big Picture/LAT]