While there are thousands upon thousands of movie fans in the world who are enjoying watching the Suicide Squad trailer right now, the truth is that most of us weren't actually supposed to see the footage. The reel was cut to be an exclusive for the crowds attending San Diego Comic-Con, and was only released because a pirated leak found its way online. Most of those who are looking forward to Suicide Squad are probably very happy with the way that events have unfolded, but the same cannot be said for the folks over at Warner Bros.
According to HitFix, Sue Kroll, WB's President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, released an official statement on behalf of the studio not only explaining why the Suicide Squad trailer has been released online, but also expressing extreme displeasure with the activities of pirates who illegally uploaded the material. Kroll wrote,
Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday. We have been unable to achieve that goal. Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed. We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation.
The Suicide Squad trailer wasn't the only material from San Diego Comic-Con to illegally find its way online this past weekend - but it's interesting that Warner Bros. sits in an interesting position where Comic-Con footage is concerned. While the studio clearly didn't want the clips from the David Ayer-directed movie going online, the opposite was true of what was shown for Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as the non-exclusive footage was uploaded online immediately after the Warner Bros. panel.
There are definitely strong arguments to be made for both sides of this debate. On the one hand, the pirated video is illegal, and when stuff goes online there is a degree to which the original audience winds up being cheated when its uploaded (they having paid a high price for a special ticket to see the footage). On the other hand, the trailers we're talking about are just publicity and marketing materials for products, and it's hard to see why a studio might be upset about those materials finding a wider audience.
It's not a debate that will be settled here, but what do you think about this situation?