In a dastardly, cowardly, yellow-bellied twist of irony, Disney’s lates pirate film is being held hostage by… pirates!
The upcoming fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, titled Dead Men Tell No Tales, has allegedly been stolen by hackers just days before its theatrical release.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed the scenario, without naming the film.
However, Disney’s upcoming releases are limited to Pirates and Cars 3, and most suspicions lead to Jack Sparrow and tow.
Film piracy is a well-known crime, but ransoming unreleased footage seems to be a new tactic used by cyber criminals.
According to Iger, the hackers have threatened to release progressively-longer snippets of the film until their ransom is paid in Bitcoins – a difficult-to-trace currency.
The Reporter says that this follows the similar recent ransoming of an entire season of hit Netflix series Orange is The New Black.
In that case, the ransom was not paid, and the series was uploaded to popular torrent site PirateBay way ahead of its June launch date.
Early leaks significantly wound revenue for production companies, and it remains to be seen whether Disney will bow to the pressure.