The Weinstein Co. and the FBI have traced the source of the pirated copy of The Hateful Eight that’s making the rounds on file-sharing sites back to a screener sent to an executive at Alcon Entertainment, EW has confirmed.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the screener of the Quentin Tarantino western was intended for Andrew Kosove, co-chief of the film production and finance company, and was identified via a watermark on the DVD.
Kosove said in a statement to EW that the screener, which was signed for by someone in his office, never made its way to him. It “never touched my hands nor was I aware that it had been delivered,” he said. “In addition to cooperating with the FBI, we are going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened. Piracy is a threat to our entire industry and as filmmakers we will not tolerate such illegal and despicable behavior.”
Distributing screeners is an annual tradition in Hollywood so that awards-season voters can evaluate the year’s top films, but preventing piracy is an ever-present challenge.
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The Hateful Eight isn’t the only high-profile film that leaked online before its release date in recent days. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s survival drama The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was also compromised. Both films open in limited release Christmas Day, with wider releases to follow in January.
A spokesman for the Weinstein Co. declined to comment on the situation.