It looks as though Disney is in hot water with regards to their next major release.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Chief Bob Iger said that hackers claiming to have obtained a Disney movie are demanding a ransom for its return. Iger refused to disclose the name of the movie in question, but it’s obviously a film that is in its completion stage, and is being prepped for release in the next few months. Learn more about the hack and what the demands of these hackers are with these five fast facts.
1. The Movie Is ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’
Iger cagily kept the title of the dubious movie private, but the context clues surrounding the ransom enable some speculation as to which upcoming release it could be. The movie is obviously finished with production, and is at least in the final stages of being put together, leading one to assume that it will be released at some point in the next few months.
There was a number of high profile projects slated for release this summer, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Men Tell No Tales this upcoming Friday, Cars 3, which is set for release on June 16th, and Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will come out on July 7th. Ultimately, however, Deadline confirmed that the film is was indeed Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
2. The Hackers Have Threatened to Leak It Online
According to Iger, Disney the hackers are demanding an undisclosed amount of money be paid on Bitcon, or they will release five minutes of the movie online, and then in 20-minute increments until their demands are met.
In 2016, Netflix was put in a similar situation when 10 episodes of their dramatic series Orange In the New Black was hacked. After the company refused payment, the alleged hackers uploaded the episodes to the illegal download website Pirate Bay, six weeks ahead of its official release on June 9th.
3. Disney Is Refusing To Pay
Despite these seemingly authentic claims, Iger has informed The Hollywood Reporter that Disney does not intend to play ball with the hackers. They have announced that they will not be paying the ransom, and are instead moving forward with federal investigators to recover the movie before it is released online.
Recently, the renowned United Talent Agency was also caught in a hacking situation. According to The Wrap, UTA suffered a computer hack that “severely disrupted business at the agency on Tuesday, shutting down email, causing meetings to cancel and forcing staff to work on their personal devices.”
4. Disney Has Dealt With Hackers Before
Disney has a lengthy past when it comes to leaked content hitting the internet. In December 2012, the studio fell victim to images and videos from a video game (Disney Infinity) that they had yet to announce to the public. The Disney Infinity Press was later forced to confirm these leaks as legitimate.
Starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, Disney has been more aggressive in terms of handling potential hacks or leaked information. During the screening of The Force Awakens, the studio gave press a set of rules to follow, while delaying the release of tie-in merchandise like books that may give things away and limited the number of people who have access to unreleased films.
5. ‘Pirates 5’ Has Had A Troubled Production
This ransom has only been the latest in what has proven a troubled shoot for Pirates of the Caribbean. The blockbuster franchise has already gone over its $250 budget by a whopping $70 million, according to Daily Mail, while Jack Sparrow himself, Johnny Depp has been caught in a publicized divorce with Amber Heard and a legal investigation into his finances.
The Independent reports that Depp has also been problematic on set, as his penchant for drinking in between takes and being late to the shoot have caused friction between him and the crew. Depp’s former agent Tracey Jacobs claimed that he pleaded with the film’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, by saying “You’ve got to do something! You’re the producer.” Bruckheimer has since denied such an exchange ever happening.