Unfortunately, for rabid fans, leaked script turned out to be a fake

By Nicole Sperling
July 18, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

It looked like a security breach that would make even a caped crusader call for backup: A script popped up online earlier this month seeming to be an early draft of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice written by Chris Terrio (Argo). The typo-riddled script — which featured a tattooed Lex Luthor and an American president named after DC Entertainment head honcho Diane Nelson — caused a riot on Twitter, but was eventually deemed fake. (First, some claimed it was a Warner Bros. publicity ploy penned by Kevin Smith, but he denied any involvement. On July 8, an anonymous blogger took credit for the draft, saying he hoped it would quell the sniping that’s plagued the Ben Affleck/Henry Cavill project since it was announced.) Whatever the real story is — and WB isn’t commenting — this episode illustrates a perennial problem for the studios when it comes to their megafranchises: They do their best to keep plot points under wraps, but that only makes online fanboys more desperate for spoilers. Details about Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World were leaked in May, and more recently, a rough cut of a full episode of the BBC’s beloved Doctor Who hit the Internet more than a month before its season premiere. (Several scripts were also posted.) Even J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, which has kept almost everything locked down, has had to deal with unauthorized set photos. ”If you want to stand out [from all the other big franchise films], your best chance is to hold as many treats as possible for the moviegoer,” says one veteran marketing executive. ”Because you know, by Thursday night at 8 p.m. when fans finally see it, it’s all going to be online anyway.”