Disney is refusing to pay a ransom being demanded by thieves who allegedly have copies of the upcoming Johnny Depp film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and are threatening to release it online.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger told staff Monday that there is indeed a ransom situation, and that Disney would not be paying up. Though he didn’t reveal which film had been stolen, Deadline reports it to be the fifth Pirates installment.
So, some actual (digital) pirates have gotten hold of the new Pirates movie and are ready to post it online in chunks for other pirates to consume, unless Disney forks over the loot–“Give us the money, or the world gets your new movie,” type deal.
The thieves are allegedly demanding payment in Bitcoin, or they will reveal the first five minutes of the film followed by 20-minute chunks until they get their ransom. And with the release just over a week away, there’s little time for Disney to find another way to deal with this.
This isn’t the first TV/film hostage situation we’ve seen lately. There was also the recent threat and subsequent leak onto Pirate Bay—the popular torrent download site—of the ten episodes of the yet-to-be-officially-released season of Orange Is the New Black.
It’s a greasy move, no doubt, and one that the media makers have yet to give in to. This time, it’s pirates vs. pirates, and though we know it’s unlawful and unethical and unfair to everyone who worked on the movie, we kinda sorta want to see that first five minutes. But we’ll wait til it’s in theatres.