X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is due for its US release on May 1, has been leaked online exactly one month before its official release.
20th Century Fox has now removed the leaked version, which reportedly was incompletewith no CGI or original score. It is understood to have been downloaded by thousands of fans before it was taken down.
It has been reported that both the FBI and the Motion Picture Association of America are both looking into the incident.
Directed by Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Rendition) and starring Hugh Jackman (Australia), the fourth of the X-Men franchise films has been widely anticipated by the fans.
A statement from 20th Century Fox says: ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverinewas posted illegally on websites. It was without many effects and had missing scenes and temporary sound and music. We immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed. We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it. The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - the courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such.’
It is not the first time superhero blockbusters have been leaked. Hulk in 2003, was leaked two weeks before its official release, and trailers for The Dark Knight were also leaked prematurely before its release last year.