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April 27 2011

(SPOILER) How much would you pay for The Avengers script? Someone allegedly got hold of Samuel L. Jackson's script and has offered it up for sale. There are pictures of the script so enter at your own risk.

As the Italians would say: No.
Humm. Someone at Marvel buy this please!

eta: still not sure if I believe it though.

[ edited by Jaymii on 2011-04-27 18:00 ]
I think its pretty sad that the film has only been shooting for a few days and someone is already trying to let the cat out of the bag. I hate that I looked at the page but it doesn't really reveal anything. It took me a few minutes to decide whether to post it on here or not but as I said it doesn't reveal much. I'd hate to be the guy whose Disney's lawyers pounce on. He's in for a hurting.
This sucks. I don't want to spend a year dodging spoilers.
No. As Faith would say "Because it's wroooong."
I would rather watch the movie.
Didn't someone hawk around a fake script of a superhero movie in the last couple of years?
If I really want to, I can dodge the spoilers. I just find it odd that it got out so fast.

Honestly, if this is what's going to happen every time a blockbuster happens, I'm not sure why the studios don't just sell the scripts. At least that way Joss can make some money on them.

I mean, a script gets leaked every single time....
Well the writing on that one page was Whedonly beautiful. I can't help myself.
Could be a decoy.

Remember what happened to Dave Prowse though?
I'd hate to see SLJ end up running a gym in Reading.

Partly cos I don't think Reading's ready for that.

[Edit]Oh, also, when I say "Could be a decoy", that opinion is based on not even clicking the link to read the story. Thank you.



[ edited by ZodKneelsFirst on 2011-04-27 18:33 ]

[ edited by ZodKneelsFirst on 2011-04-27 18:33 ]
Man, why has no one mentioned that this thing was stolen from Samuel L Jackson, a human being and one of my favorite actors. I felt dirty just looking at the pictures. I wouldn't pay a cent for it.

That's like saying, "Hey, want to buy Sarah Michelle Gellar's hat? I totally stole it from her."

[ edited by dispatch on 2011-04-27 18:51 ]
Does it actually say anywhere that the script was stolen? I may have read too quickly, but I don't think I saw anything in the article saying anything about theft. It's entirely possible that SLJ misplaced it and some lucky bugger found it, kind of like last year when a guy found the sooperseekrit iPhone 4 prototype in a bar in California after an Apple employee left it there. There is a big legal distinction between selling something you found versus selling something you stole, and for that reason alone, the admins might want to revise the description in this post.
BrewBunny, if you found a wallet with someone's I.D. in it, wouldn't you try to get it back to them? If you keep something that isn't yours and clearly belongs to someone else who is absolutely identifiable, it's theft.
If this is for real, I'm trying to think if it could be more effed up.

Nope, can't. It's ultimately theft no matter how it technically happened.

I'm glad it was posted here, if only so that one of Joss' (and/or Marvel's) peeps can (hopefully) look into it.

And while I'm glad that obsessedwithfilm didn't want to buy it, I think their stated reason of "it'll end in a C & D" is a tad inadequate. As Sla quoted above, "Because it's wroooong."

I'm keeping all my eye orbs off of this material, but I think this should be squashed, squashed, squashed.
I agree with dispatch; I normally don't care about spoilers, even for movies I plan to watch, but I wouldn't buy stolen property.
On twitter, re: its provenance, the obsessedwithfilm folks say:

"The Avengers script has been stolen and is up for sale. Here are some images and why we won't be buying it http://t.co/f5r3URZ"

So there's that.
Helpnathanbuytheavengersscript.com is free. Hey, don't shoot the messenger !
Sigh. And again, people miss the point of why going to a movie is fun.
BrewBunny, if you found a wallet with someone's I.D. in it, wouldn't you try to get it back to them? If you keep something that isn't yours and clearly belongs to someone else who is absolutely identifiable, it's theft.

Since you ask, yes, I would make an effort to return it, if nothing more than for the sake of good karma. But that doesn't change how the law distinguishes between good that are lost and goods that are stolen. You're right that in some states, it is illegal to try to profit off of something you found that belongs to someone else. California has that law, and it's currently at issue in the lost iPhone case I mentioned.

Gawker Pays for Purported iPhone Prototype

Criminal Probe Into iPhone Prototype Nears End

From the latter link:

"Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be–but ‘appropriates such property to his own use’–is guilty of theft."

However, since the movie isn't shooting in California we don't know that California law applies. It's possible that the state where this happened doesn't have such a law.

But whether or not it's illegal to try to profit from something you found which you know belongs to someone else, that's still not the same thing as actually stealing that property. The post here clearly asserts that someone actually stole the script rather than just finding it, and I don't see anything actually supporting that alleged allegation. The seller may be a douchebag, and it's possible that his/her attempt to sell the script is illegal, but that is still not the same thing as being an actual thief.

[ edited by BrewBunny on 2011-04-27 23:48 ]
This reminds me of when Buffy and Angel scripts went walkabout and fans were getting full summaries of episodes months before they aired.
And yet, BrewBunny, as I quoted from and linked to above, the obsessedwithfilm blog reporting this states that the script is stolen.
Quotergal, Unless the seller actually told the writer at OWF that they stole the script (which I highly doubt), OWF is making a big assumption about how the seller came to possess the script. By describing it as "stolen", both OWF and Whedonesque are publicly accusing the seller of having committed a crime, possibly a felony. It is entirely possible that the person just found it, and if that's the case, the seller is being publicly accused of a crime they did not commit. Whether or not trying to sell the script itself is a crime is another matter. If it was stolen, the answer is most definitely "yes." But if it was simply lost and found, then the attempt to sell it may or may not be a crime, depending on which state law will apply.

For all I know, it could have been stolen. But call me uptight about that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing, I like to have a little evidence before publicly accusing a person of having committed a felony.
the obsessedwithfilm blog reporting this states that the script is stolen.


But not in the article.
BrewBunny, I could care less about the letter of the law in whatever state. Anyone with a moral center knows that finding/taking Mr. Jackson's script and trying to sell it is theft and attempting to profit from said theft. Whether they will be prosecuted is none of my concern. Calling it like I see it. Couldn't care less about the minute legal technicalities. It's stealing!
Wow. This is selling a bunch of people's peace of mind to the highest bidder, essentially.
FYI, the person trying to sell the script claims it is stolen.
So some person saw this script and said oh, let me NOT give this back to the awesome actor playing the awesome Nick Fury in awesome Avengers movie by the awesome Whedon man. C'mon, how uncool is that?

And I was feeling all kinds of shiny fuzziness for the Avengers movie after the Purple!Post from Sunday. This just seems to muck it up. Gorram, I want only good vibes around this big old monster of a movie.

On the bright side, maybe we'll get some really cool Buffy pages as the Avengers crazy train gets well, um, crazier.

[ edited by hann23 on 2011-04-27 19:57 ]
gossi, Where do you see that? Were you contacted by the seller too? If the seller is telling potential purchasers that the script was stolen, they are the dumbest thief/fencer ever. Script lost and found and then sold to someone who believed it lost and found? Maybe legal, with neither seller nor purchaser being criminals. Script stolen and then sold to someone with notice of the theft? Not legal anywhere, and both seller and purchaser are criminals.
Sigh. And again, people miss the point of why going to a movie is fun.


Going to a movie isn't fun, it's a complete kick in the bollocks. It is where I live anyway, where you go and see a broadcast of Frankenstein and they can't even get the aspect ratio right, cos the projectionist is a sub-normal cretin who can't even set his own TV correctly, so thinks everyone "outside" has big stretchy heads and that he's the weirdo.

No, what's fun is waiting for the BluRry disc to come out, and then watching it at home with a scotch in your hand and IMDB close by to stop you obsessing about where you've seen him/her before.

Easy mistake to make though, so no harm done.



Simon, I was responding to BrewBunny's "I don't see anything actually supporting that alleged allegation." - which didn't state that the "anything" needed to be contained only within the linked article.

And which, of course, it doesn't, as added information gleaned from the linked blog's twitter feed and linked to herein would certainly be as valid as anything in their linked article.

And yeah, I'm with IrrationaliTV - don't need to know which laws in which state apply to know that it's wroooong. Joss wrote the script, Joss kept it under wraps and exclusive to his cast and crew, someone violated that, whether through a combination of negligence/thievery or outright thievery, and Joss/Marvel's IP has been leaked - for (attempted) profit. It's a bunch o' kinds of wrong, in my book. Its legal status is a different question, as far as I'm concerned.)

But I hope that Joss and/or Marvel can nail them to the wall, to stop them. Legally.

(And if what gossi tells us is true, this is stolen almost any way you look at it. My completely off-the-cuff guess is that gossi reached them himself.)
I'm overly amused at the secret production title. It's very Joss. It also seems to be in line with the indie film he seems to want to be making so badly. ;)

However, I'm not happy with the circumstances and I'm not wanting to be spoiled before the movie comes out. I hope that this anonymous person gets caught.

Secretly I'm hoping it was a plant and the real shooting script is completely different.
Secretly I'm hoping it was a plant and the real shooting script is completely different.

Me too. Wouldn't it be hilarious if the "plant" was a totally craptastic cheesy script written by Joss himself? Now that is something I would pay good money for.
; > I didn't think of that before, but now I am so hoping that.

And it would have such delightful historical value, too.
And the NY Times said god is dead...

IMO, Joss & Co. doesn't have time to waste on leaking "fake" scripts. Its probably the real deal. Thieves and profiteers seem to ruin everything these days. Years of work and planning ruined (or maybe just tarnished) in an instant.

The only people that win are the lawyers prosecuting and defending.

Doing what's right isn't always easy but its always right.
IMO, Joss & Co. doesn't have time to waste on leaking "fake" scripts.

Fair point, but when there are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, as is the case here, people do funny things. And I grant you that writing a fake Avengers script isn't exactly the highest and best use of Joss' time and energy, but is it totally inconceivable that a marketing exec would pay a newbie screenwriter a little chunk of change to write a fake script and then try to dupe bloggers with it? Not only would it serve to cast doubt on any future spoilers from the real script, it also serves to generate free publicity for the project.
I imagine in every state the law is that if you come into property which you know is lost, and know could return and try to make a profit on it, it's committing a crime. Otherwise every pick pocketer could just say they found the wallet lying in the street. Morally clearly wrong as well. Oh well, I shall ignore it.
I think this post should be taken down. This site celebrates and respects Joss Whedon. By helping dessiminate stolen material, material that I'm sure Whedon himself would prefer you not see because he wants to surprise his fans with the actual movie. It's sad this posting is on this site.
The post doesn't link to an auction or even provide contact information for the thief (if they are a thief) so it's doing nothing but talk about a (possibly) stolen script and showing just over 1 page of it. Dissemination only in the narrowest sense IMO. Either way of course, it's not up to us and the mods have already decided it stays.

I don't get the appeal myself, haven't read any of the reviews of purportedly leaked scripts or even the scripts themselves which some on here may have read (for 'The Cabin in the Woods' for instance) because reading a script isn't watching a movie/TV show and it's the movie/TV show i'm interested in experiencing (the script is more of technical interest and as such, I can wait until after i've seen it). So personally i'd pay four shiny new buttons for it. Unless I had clothes that needed new buttons.
The script is the property of Marvel and Disney. See that big chunk of text on the title page? It's saying who owns the script, and that to reprint it, you need permission; and that selling it is completely and utterly against the rules. So by virtue of putting it up for sale, yes, the "owner" -- whether he explicitly stole it or just found it walking along the street -- is breaking the law.
Indeed. If this script is real and a journalist buys it, expect Disney to use law enforcement to come down on them like a ton of bricks. (And rightly so).
Yeah but it's not like they've got millions to spend on lawyers and massive lobbying power. *cough*.

I don't think there's much doubt the "owner" is breaking some law, somewhere. Whether it's outright theft or copyright infringement or something else is unclear (though largely irrelevant in this case since the true owners of the IP will clearly lose as a result of the script becoming public - particularly this early - so doing so is wrong).
Gossi is right. This script cannot be published if indeed it is an actual shooting script. Once it is, Disney will bring down full force of law, and they certainly have more money and better lawyers than the thief does. I am guessing it is a fan of some sort.

But before well get on high horses here, first know that things like this happen all the time. I seek out information on movies and TV shows and am not upset to be spoiled going in; it does not affect my viewing pleasure, so I am not sure how much it would hurt the film's earnings. Second, is it the case that there is not a single person on this board who has downloaded music of, shall we say, questionable provenance? I absolutely will not, but I seem to be the rarity these days.
Without opening a whole can of worms (and getting all caught up in those nuances that according to some are apparently a sign of moral turpitude in these discussions) downloading a digital copy of something is not the same as what's happened here where a) an actual physical object has seemingly been taken (possibly involving breaking and entering/illegal entry/other violations of private space) and b) the true owners are surely going to lose as a result. I don't buy that it'll definitely have no effect on earnings - not everyone doesn't care about spoilers for one thing - but at the very least i'd imagine it'll have an effect on things like the production (where security may be tightened, investigations launched etc.), on managing the news etc. Those're costs, not benefits.

That said, yep, it happens a lot and as I hinted at before, similar things have even happened to Joss projects without generating the same amount of outrage. Course it happening a lot doesn't make it any more right. Murder is much more common than leaks of major film scripts for instance, murder's still something we could do with less of ;).
The script is the property of Marvel and Disney. See that big chunk of text on the title page? It's saying who owns the script, and that to reprint it, you need permission; and that selling it is completely and utterly against the rules. So by virtue of putting it up for sale, yes, the "owner" -- whether he explicitly stole it or just found it walking along the street -- is breaking the law.

Again, I tell you that the law of "finders keepers, losers weepers" is highly complex, so much so that every law student in the world will spend many, many hours reading, talking and writing exams about people who buy a cheap box at an antique shop and then find a diamond ring in a secret compartment.

Gossi is right that no matter what, Disney is going to unleash the legal dogs of hell on those involved. But anyone who thinks that their efforts will result in actual prosecutions or civil judgments should go back to the links about the found iPhone I posted above. That is a case where the facts fit pretty squarely into the California legislation on selling someone else's found property, but more than a year later, no one has been prosecuted, and it's not clear that anyone ever will be.
Two things I noticed. That page shown has no holes. Scripts are bound with brads and have three holes punched in them. And they look too clean and perfectly framed to be copies. So if genuine that could suggest they came from the production office before being bound and sent out to Mr Jackson. But I'd expect higher security there.
Plus, on one page it has three parentheticals and a bolded line of dialog, and that's a lot for a pro writer, especially one who is also going to direct and would be able to talk to the actor about how they want a scene done. Parentheticals are commonly a sign of a newbie writer, though it could be plausible for Joss to put them in knowing he's going to be directing anyway. Newbies should never use them because they are "Directing from the page".
So it could be a hoax,

(Edited to add "never" to my newbie comment. Doh!)

[ edited by zz9 on 2011-04-27 23:52 ]
It's possible that the state where this happened doesn't have such a law.


I'll go out on a limb and say it was acquired in New Mexico.
Saje: I think some of the extra-crispy moral outrage comes from the fact that this is not only a very viable project (not back-burnered, or on spec like some others), but it just started shooting two days ago - kinda like a timely slap in the face.

Some other whedon'verse scripts have been back-door released into the wild from inside by folks annoyed at stalemates, development hells or apparent project death - this one, if for real - is attempting to exploit the fact that it is completely topical right now, and not simply of scholarly interest to the completist.

IMO, of course. ; >
Some other whedon'verse scripts have been back-door released into the wild from inside by folks


Interesting. I wasn't aware of this. What Whedon-related scripts have been leaked from the inside?

Has anyone considered the possibility that we are misinterpreting the situation? Perhaps Samuel L. Jackson wrote this script. ;)
I would agree that it was possibly acquired in New Mexico, Simon. But if my memory is correct, the California law is kind of the far end of the spectrum of how different states approach the "finders keepers, losers weepers" issue, and we don't know that the sale of the script is illegal under New Mexico law (assuming that the script was found and not stolen). Then again, if zz9 is correct, it could have been taken from a production office in California, which would put it back under the California law.

No matter what though, I foresee law professors using this and the iPhone case as new textbook examples to use for classroom discussions. Heck, they could even have fun with The Avengers plotlines too:

So a government agent is out in the New Mexico desert inspecting a new crater and finds what appears to be a cheap old hammer in the dirt. As a collector of antique tools, and believing that no one else gives a fig about a dirty old hammer, he tosses it in the trunk of his car while no one else is looking. However, after he gets back to the office, he learns that while he was out digging in the dirt, the newly-elected governor sent layoff notices to all public employees, including him. He goes home to grieve for the end of his distinguished career, smashes the hammer on his desk and realizes that the hammer actually has magical powers. Having been unceremoniously shitcanned and being in need of money to pay his now uninsured medical bills, he decides to sell the magic hammer to famed weapons manufacturer Tony Stark.

However, before the ex-government agent and Stark can agree on a price and close the sale, Thor shows up and claims that the hammer is his and that it somehow got lost in the desert.

But then Thor's dad Odin gets involved and tells everyone that because Thor was a spoiled little douchebag, he exercised his right as boss of the Norse Gods to take Thor's hammer away and hid it out in the New Mexico desert until Thor could shape up and start acting like a proper God.

Captain America then shows up, claiming that the USA has the right to buy the magic hammer at fair market value pursuant to the government's right to condemn private property for public purposes. No one's sure yet what exactly the Federal government will do with the magic hammer, but rumor has it that the Secretary of Defense wants to use it to demolish an old shed out behind his house.

Finally, Captain Hammer shows up, pointing to his t-shirt and tells everyone that it's clear evidence that the magic hammer belongs to him. At that point everyone reminds him that the "Hammer" in "Captain Hammer" is his penis and tells him to go back home to his own universe to play with his tool.

Discuss the legal rights and remedies of each of the parties in respect of the magic hammer.

And yes, that is actually what law school exam questions are like.
Why dont one of us just bid an acceptable amount for the script and then when transaction time comes, bank on the thief in the mouth, take the script and return it to the cast? I would do it but I have two kids so I can't make the trip to New Mexico.
Disney is watching the linked site, as soon as you connect to it Disney Online attempts to make a connection to your computer. They already have their feelers out working on shutting this down before it goes anywhere, if the person trying to sell the script isn't overly careful with his internet safety Disney is going to catch him red handed.
I really really doubt that (real time monitoring of the website then - possibly illegal - attempts to connect to what probably amounts to thousands of hosts across several legal jurisdictions, none of whom are likely to be the culprit, connecting to which - even if successful - proves absolutely nothing without further - also probably illegal - search and seizure procedures). Got any evidence ?

And yes, that is actually what law school exam questions are like.

Note to self: keep not becoming a lawyer.

Some other whedon'verse scripts have been back-door released into the wild from inside by folks annoyed at stalemates, development hells or apparent project death - this one, if for real - is attempting to exploit the fact that it is completely topical right now, and not simply of scholarly interest to the completist.

Well there was talk (and links on here to reviews) of a TCitW script (f'rinstance) leaking in early 2009 QG (in fairness maybe after its October 2009 release was put back and it may not even have been genuine - not checked, *spoilers* ;) - but certainly while still current. In fact i'd say it's still current now, unlike e.g. 'Goners' *sniff*). I didn't realise that the leaks were by insiders though, is that actually known or just supposition ?

Is it worse with 'The Avengers' because of the timing etc. ? Yeah, i'd say so. But then the talk on here was mostly about the principle, not the scheduling details.
I'm surprised Disney has asked for the pics of the script to be taken down.
This is just so wrong. But I'm not surprised of scrupulous people attempting to make money out of this.
All I know is that I now want to see a Joss Whedon picture actually called "Group Hug". With a title that nice, undoubtedly entertainingly horrible things would happen to said group. Make it happen!
even thinking about this makes me feel dirty - no really it does.
This is just so wrong. But I'm not surprised of scrupulous people attempting to make money out of this.
Numfar PTB | April 28, 10:57 CET


I think you mean unscrupulous people, Numfar PTB. Less I'm missing a joke...which I could be. I will admit it. I'm like that!

;D
And Simon means "I'm surprised Disney hasn't asked for the pics of the script to be taken down". Personally I assumed it was just opposite day again, I almost never get the memos for those and they do roll around.
Hold on a second. Someone might have stolen something from SAMUEL L. JACKSON? Samuel "B.A.M.F." L. Jackson? And this person isn't sitting at home with the doors and windows locked after destroying all evidence that s/he was involved in this? This anonymous sleazy opportunist is flaunting the stolen script, fully aware that Samuel L. Jackson could at any moment decide that he has HAD IT with these mofo LEAKS on his mofo MOVIE?

Screw The Avengers. I want to see a movie about this.
The (possible) thief clearly isn't worried about being struck down with great vengeance and/or furious anger. Yet more evidence that they may not be the sharpest biscuit in the barrel.
Hasn't it occurred to some people that the script might've been copied and not when SLJ misplaced it? That would explain the heavy watermarks, since there are certain kinds of paper that when copied say "Unauthorized copy" on the copy paper.

@ Simon: Don't you mean 'hasn't'? The pictures are still up on that website. Either Marvel & Disney are slow on the uptake or the script was heavily revised after April 8th.
Disney and Marvel own their intellectual property across the known universe. Whether or not the provenance of the actual physical pieces of paper is theft, the *words* on the page belong to Disney and Marvel. Even Joss Whedon wouldn't be allowed to sell the script, although he wrote it - that puppy belongs to Disney and Marvel. Given how Disney lawyers respond when, say, a painting of Mickey Mouse appears on the side of a building where they didn't say Mickey could show up, I have a feeling they might have a strong reaction to this. Put it another way - if you see a set of film cans holding a print of a movie sitting abandoned on the curb and you take the print home and nobody knows about it, morally, you should have returned it, but legally, it's a tree fell in the forest when nobody heard. If you try to *sell* that print online, the tree makes an echoing thud and it's ahoy matey film piracy, which draws a huge fine and sometimes a prison sentence. However the person who has this script acquired it, it is not that person's property to sell.
A script, or a film, these are physical objects, and can be sold by anyone who obtained them legally. Copyrights and the like restrict publication. For legal reasons, publication includes specifically mentioning in an advertisement, of course, so the pics have to come down, obviously.
From a copyright perspective the pics may fall under the fair use exemption (the article is reportage). That said, i'm not sure fair use applies when the copy being "quoted from" has been acquired illegally.
I know for certain Hollywood Book & Poster, a memorabilia store, was told by Paramount they could not sell scripts/images for "Star Trek" (any of the TV shows or films) - it didn't matter if the scripts had fallen off the back of a truck, what was *on* those scripts is still the property of Paramount. I can't see how this is different, except that the person is being more overt about trying to sell Disney/Marvel's property.
@ Simon: Don't you mean 'hasn't'?


I do, it was a typo. Maybe Disney are being very cunning as if they ask for the pics to be taken down then it's admitting that the pages are real. If they don't then it muddies the water regarding their origin.
I was thinking that if Disney asks that they pages be taken down, and they do it, then it might show some cooperation and good faith effort if and when this becomes a court case. And I seriously expect this to become a court case. Even if the 'ownership' of a script (as a salable object) could be questioned, I doubt if the people selling it have the high powered lawyers that we know Disney will have on hand. I wouldn't want to be taking on Disney!
http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a317244/the-avengers-halted-over-script-leaks.html

Is this true?
Jesus I hope not. Just one Whedon production that starts, proceeds and ends without massive accompanying drama would be fabulous y'know ?

Or as the Cap might say it "Never goes smooth. How come it never goes smooth ?".

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