Oh, the irony. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has reportedly been taken and held for ransom. According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, hackers (or should we say pirates?) are claiming to have access to the film and are threatening to release it unless the studio pays a large sum of booty in Bitcoin.
The news comes from multiple sources cited by THR who attended a town hall meeting where Iger (pictured above) spoke to ABC employees last Monday. Dead Men Tell No Tales is slated for release Friday, May 19.
The ransom demand comes weeks after 10 episodes of the forthcoming season of Orange is the New Black were leaked to The Pirate Bay after Netflix refused to pay an undisclosed amount ahead of the series’ official launch on June 9.
Another recent hack targeted organization including FedEx, Telefónica and the U.K.’s National Health Service on May 12, asking for sums of about $300 in Bitcoin to be paid for each computer to resume operations. The attack by WannaCry ransomware was later quickly killed by a random guy who miraculously found the code’s kill switch.
Yet Pirates is one hacking target that no one really seems to care about. The last Pirates movie, On Stranger Tides, received a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 32 and audience score of 54 in 2011, and despite still garnering profits for the studio, continued the downward box office trend of the last two movies in the franchise.
In short, do we really need another Johnny Depp movie with the cinematic appeal of a Spongebob Squarepants special? The first Pirates was genuinely comical and entertaining (or maybe it was by virtue of simple naïveté then), but as their award nominations wane with each new film, along with their domestic box office sales, when will Disney stop resuscitating Pirates?
No one really asked for this, and Iger is right to not pay out the hackers’ ransom, because who even cares? But if you do care, which is totally okay too, you can watch a trailer for the film here.