The Avengers Bootleg Script for Sale on the Black Market in Downtown Los Angeles! Get Yours Today!

Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchain' and 'Captain America' also show up amongst Santee Alley street vendors selling bootleg DVDs.
Santee Alley offers many choices for cheap shoppers, including bootleg DVDs and scripts
Santee Alley offers many choices for cheap shoppers, including bootleg DVDs and scripts
Marvel Studios may have a bigger problem than it originally thought. Last week, it was widely reported that Samuel L. Jackson's screenplay for The Avengers had been stolen in Burbank, and was offered up for sale to a few movie bloggers and online pundits.

Those individuals, of course, turned down the offer but made it quite public that the latest draft of this screenplay was on the loose. Unverified reports soon followed that Marvel Studios had halted production on The Avengers so that certain scenes could be rewritten.

There has never been an official statement from Marvel Studios saying that production has stopped on this massive undertaking. Sources close to The Avengers say that director Joss Whedon and his motley crew are rolling along as planned. Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, had this to say over the weekend about the whole incident.

"I haven't received any phone calls about it. My start date is still the same. I think it was a pretty old script, though. I got off the plane the other day and I found that out, but I know that script changed a lot, so it's not the most recent version of it anyway."


The script in question was watermarked with Samuel L. Jackson's name, the verified working title Group Hug, and a last draft date of April 8th, 2011. Which isn't that long ago, but Chris Hemsworth is right, a new draft could have easily been penned in under a month's time.

A street vendor in downtown Los Angeles showing of his wares
A street vendor in downtown Los Angeles showing of his wares
The question becomes, "What happened to this script and the people that stole it?" Well, we can confirm that cheaply Xeroxed copies of what appears to be this exact stolen screenplay, first reported on by Obsessed with Film, have started to appear alongside bootleg DVDs sold by street vendors in downtown Los Angeles.

As authorities crack down on piracy and illegal DVD bootlegs, and as 3D makes it harder for pirates to get clean copies of some of today's biggest blockbuster releases, it looks like illegal street vendors are now getting a jump on any major release's theatrical window by offering up a bootleg of the latest Hollywood screenplay.

How long has this been going on? Its hard to say. The vendors are getting more cautious about who they sell to and when they do their selling. Traveling down to Santee Alley on a quiet Wednesday afternoon, a shopping area in the Fashion District of Los Angeles that is not unlike Mos Eisley (a hive of scum and villainy), you can easily spot these illegal DVD vendors as they hurriedly unroll a blanket, toss out any number of new releases, let you take a quick look, and then roll up their blanket and move onto the next block. They never stay in one place for more than ten minutes, and they seem quite nervous about their whole operation. As they should be.

Late yesterday afternoon, an associate who works in the area reported that he saw a Mexican man in his mid-thirties, who was traveling with his blanket of bootleg DVDS, pulling scripts out of his backpack and attempting to sell them. I never have luck with bootleggers myself, as they are too cautious of me. I guess I look too much like an under cover cop. So I sent my friend David, who works at a pot dispensary in the neighborhood, down the street to see if he could verify that these bootleggers were indeed selling stolen scripts, early this morning.

After talking with a few shady individuals, David found the man in question, who was pleased to offer up bootlegs of The Green Hornet, Hobo with a Shotgun, and Thor on DVD, amongst others. When David asked about the screenplays, the man, who did not speak very good English, only said this.

Bootlegs on the streets of Santee Alley
Bootlegs on the streets of Santee Alley
"You like movie? $10."


He then proceeded to pull out not only the script for The Avengers, but he also had the script for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, and Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger.

David verified that The Avengers script, though printed on cheap paper that looked like as though it had been run through a vintage photocopy machine, had the title Group Hug, and was watermarked with Samuel L. Jackson's name. He didn't make a purchase, but he did flip through the pages, and it looked like it could have been a script for The Avengers, as he recognized many of the characters names inside. But its hard to say if it was the actual shooting script. Of note, the Django Unchained screenplay did not have Quentin Tarantino's signature handwritten cover page. David didn't bother to look at Captain America: The First Avenger, as he didn't want to hang out with the man selling illegal DVDs and stolen scripts for too long.

Who knows how long this trend will last? It's certainly unclear how selling old drafts of screenplays on a shady street corner will affect Hollywood, if at all. It certainly is unique for tourists visiting, who get a neat souvenir for venturing down to such a colorful part of town. Is it bad to report these things? Obsessed with Film came under fire for posting pictures of the screenplay, with certain movie bloggers saying that they should have gone to the authorities or the studio instead of writing a story about it.

In David's case, the man with the illegal DVDs and screenplays was gone seconds after Dave declined the purchase. And the cops are well aware of what is being sold down in Santee Alley. And sure, The Avengers script was reportedly stolen, which is very bad business. But many of today's most prominent film bloggers have bragged this week that Django Unchained was found in their email inbox. Of course copies of it are going to be swimming around all over the place. Does Quentin Tarantino care that his screenplay is being sold for profit on the streets of downtown Los Angeles? It seems like he should. But maybe he doesn't. How will that change, if at all, how he shoots the final movie?

The man with the blanket has the latest Hollywood screenplays
The man with the blanket has the latest Hollywood screenplays
I personally can't see too much money being made off an illegal screenplay. It's a niche market at best, and those serious about securing the latest big time Hollywood script can, if we are to believe various sources on Twitter, get these screenplays off the Internet without having to take a trip down to Santee Alley.

What I seriously hope this is leading up to, though, is a Sweded version of the 04/08/11 draft of The Avengers, performed by the Home Depot Parking Lot Players, and sold this Christmas as the ultimate advanced DVD bootleg. Now that, I would buy. And I bet The Asylum is already two steps ahead of me.

You wants a 10% off coupon for The Avengers screenplay? Anyone? (Just kidding.)

Marvel's The Avengers was released May 4th, 2012 and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg. The film is directed by Joss Whedon.


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Comments (34)

  1. Salem6777

    this is bullsh*t!

    3 years agoby @Salem6777Flag

  2. ZanyZap

    Interesting article, very well done. Pirates ye be warned.

    3 years agoby @zanyzapFlag

  3. CelluloidDreams

    Movies are becoming an Endangered Species!!

    3 years agoby @2movieguysFlag

  4. CelluloidDreams

    Very Sad!!!

    3 years agoby @2movieguysFlag

  5. Corey W.

    It'll be up on the internet for free before you know it. Jackson will probably regret this forever. With The Avengers on hault, the date May 4th might just stretch to something much later.

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  6. skywise

    @brandon-scott-todd I for one would never read a script until after i saw the movie, i even have a hard time watching too many trailers for the films i really want to see but i think its a shame that this is happening because a director like Whedon is a super geek and i believe will really cater to the fans.

    Short version..i would stay away fromt hese scripts like the plague.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  7. skywise

    @seawolf63 well they let it slide because 1) its not illegal thee and 2) they know that we need to have a little down time and what better way than watching our fav tv shows or movies. Hell i got the entire Doctor Who set for only 15 bucks, Deadwood for 10, Rome - 10 the list goes on and on and those tv shows were damn good quality, i still watch them today. I kept them all because i love the way they package them in big ass cigar boxes.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  8. Seawolf63

    @skywise Exactly, about 2 bucks a film, and the ironic thing is that the selling is also allowed on the FOBs, etc.

    3 years agoby @seawolf63Flag

  9. Nautical

    This is tarting to be a big mess for Marvel's The Avengers!...also am i wrong or is it true that SAMUEL L. JACKSON wrote the script. If so thats Laughable as well.

    3 years agoby @nautical05Flag

  10. Brandon S. Todd

    True film and comic fans are not interested in a stolen screenplay. Obviously it is not going to be an up to date screenplay, and Marvel Studios is going to revise whatever script they have, so essentially trying to cheat the film industry by getting one of the most sought after scripts in the business is pointless because it takes away from the excitement and anticipation of the film.

    3 years agoby @brandon-scott-toddFlag

  11. The Boondock Saint

    are the scripts ten dollars as well?........ just wondering.......

    3 years agoby @combatmadness360Flag

  12. ridgl

    that's a real shame. I understand reading a screenplay when its officially released but why break it when the film JUST started filming.
    i know he's a star so he's probably getting more pampered than he deserves but for the amount of trouble this caused, Sameul L Jackson should be in a lot of trouble right now.

    3 years agoby @ridglFlag

  13. The Boondock Saint

    god damn dude, I gotta try to get to LA sometime soon...........

    3 years agoby @combatmadness360Flag

  14. skywise

    This is exactly what its like to walk through the bazaar's in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    3 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  15. K.Guy

    Nope, but the only script I read was Inception.

    3 years agoby @kguyFlag

  16. Brian

    @jptheredskull Haha!

    3 years agoby @brianFlag

  17. Messenger

    It's one thing to download a movie, it's another thing to download and sell as if you had anything to do with the production of the movie. *ssholes.

    3 years agoby @messengerFlag

  18. J.P.

    @brian It's not meant that way.

    and

    @timmy It's meant that way. lol.

    3 years agoby @jptheredskullFlag

  19. Timmy

    @brian stop making it weird.

    3 years agoby @timmyFlag

  20. Brian

    @jptheredskull@timmy Get a room.

    3 years agoby @brianFlag

  21. J.P.

    @timmy I love you too???

    3 years agoby @jptheredskullFlag

  22. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    ::Reads the immature response. Doesn't really have the energy to care::

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  23. Timmy

    whats a good price for a bootleg @cupid?

    3 years agoby @timmyFlag

  24. Ghostman

    that's a long article! let the rewrites begin!

    3 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  25. Brian

    @elmstreet Nice avatar. ;)

    3 years agoby @brianFlag

  26. Brian

    Great story.

    3 years agoby @brianFlag

  27. Elm Street

    @bawnian-dexeus No respect for what? some sh*thole superhero movie?

    3 years agoby @elmstreetFlag

  28. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    No respect

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  29. Timmy

    @jptheredskull i love you

    3 years agoby @timmyFlag

  30. Elm Street

    I might go buy the script and make the movie myself before paramount does!

    3 years agoby @elmstreetFlag