More From Samuel L. Jackson on His Stolen Avengers Script and Marvel Security
06.20.11 by BJSprecher
Movie fans got their first hint that Marvel Studios might have something big on the horizon when Samuel L. Jackson turned up after the credits of the original
Iron Man as Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) talking about "The Avengers Initiative." It was recently revealed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau that, at the time, Jackson's appearance was really just in good fun, a wink and a nod to the fans, but the success of Iron Man and the popularity of Jackson's cameo were the start of what is now the "Marvel Cinematic Universe," a movie-verse shared by all of Marvel Studios' comic book adaptations, with plot threads and characters crossing over between movies and setting up the mother of all superhero movies, The Avengers.
Production on the super-team movie kicked off at the end of April in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but there was trouble almost from the get-go. Only days after writer-director Joss Whedon started filming, a script belonging to Jackson turned up online, for sale to the highest bidder. Amidst rumors that the production would be halted so that the script could be retooled, Marvel Studios sent out their investigators to track down the culprit. Jackson briefly reported that the script was stolen from him while he was away in Canada and that "somebody's in a lot of trouble" — not him — but didn't elaborate further. However, Jackson recently went into greater detail about the theft during a recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman (transcript via CBM), explaining the exact circumstances surrounding the theft and some of the security measures that Marvel has enacted to prevent further leaks.
When they sent me the new version of the script, I was shooting a film in Toronto and my assistant copied it from the email [and printed it] in the office somewhere. And by the time we got to Albuquerque someone had stolen the script out of the printer and put it online for sale with my name on it.
I didn’t know printers had memories. And apparently my assistant didn’t either. So when [my assistant] printed my script out, it was still stuck in there. And he had taken the old script that I had, and [put it through a shredder] so we know it wasn't that one [that was stolen].
Marvel/Disney ... sent a team of investigators to Canada. And they interrogated a lot of people in the office of the other film I was working on. They were trying to find the IP address of the person that put it online. It was crazy.
Jackson further revealed that Marvel is taking security so seriously that they are even shielding the cast from aerial spies.
When we're on set in Albuquerque — when we leave our trailers and head for the sound stage, we have long black capes so people can't take photos from the air.
Despite the script leak, the plot of The Avengers remains a mystery. It is known that Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the villain in Marvel's last comic book movie, Thor, will make an appearance and there are rumors that an alien menace will play a part, but whether those aliens are the oft-rumored Skrulls or the mad Titan Thanos, or some other threat, remains to be seen. The cast includes Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig.