Man Begs Universal Not to Sue After Leaking Anticipated Trailer

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Credit: Inside the Magic

A Twitter user may be in hot water after leaking one of the most highly anticipated film trailers of the year.

Earlier this month, Blumhouse Productions announced that October 27 would be the release date of the upcoming Five Nights at Freddy’s, based on the indie horror video game franchise of the same name. The film will release simultaneously in theaters and on Peacock. It stars Matthew Lillard and Josh Hutcherson in major roles and features creature and animatronic design from the famed Jim Henson Workshop.

A boy and an animatronic bear stand in front of a withered building with a "Freddy Fazbear's Pizza Place" sign on it
Credit: Blumhouse

Undoubtedly one of the biggest indie video game franchises of all time, Five Nights at Freddy’s has expanded to feature ten games, spin-offs, multiple book series, merchandise, and more, potentially even a Halloween Horror Nights house. The game’s basic structure involves the player getting hired as the night security guard of a Chuck E. Cheese-type establishment. However, the player quickly learns that Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza harbors dark secrets as the animatronics come to life at night and hunt them down.

The film had been stuck in development hell since 2015, with licensing rights passing between studios before finally landing on Universal’s Blumhouse Productions. Founder Jason Blum and game developer Scott Cawthon have been working closely together on this highly anticipated film and fans can’t wait to see it in action, although some fans got to see parts of it much earlier than anticipated.

The characters from the Five Nights at Freddy's game franchise
Credit: ScottGames

Twitter exploded yesterday when a low-quality version of the first Five Nights at Freddy’s trailer was leaked onto the site. The video was everywhere until Universal swiftly took it down, although not before many fans got a sneak peek. The trailer seemed to have been taken from an online survey, and it was soon revealed that Twitter user @KaijuCooper was the one who had leaked it, despite signing an NDA prior to taking the survey. Soon after, he posted a video apologizing for his actions.

In the video, he advises viewers “Don’t let your judgment get clouded by internet clout,” which is his reasoning for posting the trailer. He also acknowledges that there will probably be legal action against him, although seems to think that his apology may soften the blows. In a YouTube comment, he comments that he “did it for the people.”

Although many fans were excited to see the trailer, a massive amount rallied behind the studio and Scott Cawthon and chastised @KaijuCooper for ruining one of the most highly anticipated trailers of the year and diminishing the incredibly hard work of those who worked on the film. Many on Twitter have made memes regarding the situation, asking him what he thought would happen and making humorous jokes about Universal’s legal team. Cawthon took to Reddit to make a statement on the situation:

I wanted to comment on this before the end of the day. I got emails about this early in the day but was at an amusement park with my kids and was unable to see what had happened. I tried to ignore it and enjoy my day, but I was really, really, disheartened. I know that Blumhouse and Universal (and me too) have all worked very hard to make something really exciting to share. So the thought of a first-look being spoiled was frustrating, and I was really dreading coming home to see what all had happened while I was away.

To my surprise though, I got home and found a lot of YouTube channels refusing to do videos on it, Twitter channels refusing to repost it, countless members refusing to watch it, and moderators taking a stand against allowing discussion on it.

It’s really difficult, if not impossible, to prevent people from trying to spoil things for everyone else, but it was really encouraging to see the fanbase pull together and push back against it. For those of you who resisted watching it, I think you’ll be much happier when you’re able to see a finished product that is edited and polished, with VFX and proper sounds.

So, to the fanbase, and to all of the Twitter accounts, YouTube accounts, moderators, and other people who pushed back against this; thank you. I started my day at Humanity -1, but ended the day at Humanity +100.

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