A recent high-quality online leak of J.J. Abram’s Super 8 may have come from shock jock Howard Stern’s screener copy of the film, Torrentfreak reports.
All high-quality copies of the film floating around on file sharing services like Bittorrent and Usenet bear the watermark “H Stern.” That means there could potentially be another H Stern behind the leak — studios typically watermark early copies of films that they distribute to critics and other media types to prevent this sort of online leak.
But further evidence points to Howard Stern as the source. Studio sources at Paramount told Deadline Hollywood’s Mike Fleming that Howard Stern received a DVD screener of the film before its release in June.
If true, the news doesn’t mean that Stern himself leaked the film to the Web. Instead, he likely lent his preview disc to one of his staffers, and at some point the disc (or a copy of it) ended up in the hands of someone who put it online. Stern’s involvement would make him one of the highest profile sources ever of a major film’s leak.
We’ve asked for comment from the Howard Stern Show and will update when we hear back. At this point, the mystery of who actually leaked Super 8 will likely be revealed at some point on Monday.
The Super 8 leak follows the high-profile Wolverine leak from 2009, which was downloaded millions of times before that film’s release. At least this time around, the leak likely won’t have a big impact on box office performance. Super 8 cost $50 million to make and has already grossed $185 million worldwide.