We all clearly remember the massive leak of X-Men Origins: Wolverine a month before the movie was released, as well as the firing of Roger Friedman — who openly admitted to watching the bootlegged copy and then reviewing it for Fox (Read: In Case You Missed It: A ‘Wolverine’ Leak Recap). It appears that the story doesn’t end there, as Friedman and his lawyer Martin Garbus are preparing to sue Fox for wrongful termination, and they sound fairly confident in their winning.
The shocking part in all of this, is that there are now reports that the actual leak is being traced back to Rupert Murdoch, owner of 20th Century Fox. Not someone working at a company that was contracted to add effects, or music, or cut a trailer — no, no, it may just be the man at the top himself. A massive twist of the plot, indeed.
The NY Daily News spoke to the lawyer Garbus who claims that Murdoch wanted to see an early copy of Wolverine and asked to have a copy slapped onto a DVD. In this request, someone else decided to make a copy for themselves, which was then leaked. Deadline Hollywood‘s Nikki Finke heard a similar-yet-different rumor that Murdoch wanted a copy on his yacht ASAP and that’s when the second copy was made. To be honest, they both sound similar enough to be the same, so whether it was his office of his town-sized boat, who knows. Obviously this wouldn’t mean that Murdoch directly leaked the copy out, but the thought of it happening per his request for a copy is still incredibly unexpected.
Garbus claims that the case is a “slam dunk” victory; not only because of this revelation, but also because four of Friedman’s superiors reviewed and approved of the article that apparently got him removed from duty. Friedman apparently doesn’t think this is the actual reason; he feels that his coverage of Scientology brought heat from the Hollywood members of the “religion,” but that is not known for sure.
If what Martin Garbus is claiming is true, the journalist-villain that is Roger Friedman may just walk away with a nice chunk of compensation here, but it’s highly unlikely that Rupert Murdoch will ever even know this news is being reported, let alone catch any heat for it.