Yesterday morning very few people knew that a new version of The Mummy will be on the big screen next summer.
That changed quickly when an unfinished trailer of the film was accidentally put online by IMAX’s YouTube account.
As it turns out, the trailer where Tom Cruise is screaming without sound effects is quite an entertaining watch. Soon, the mistake was reposted all over the Internet, where it triggered a meme fest.
Great promotion for the film, one would think, but the bosses at Universal Pictures weren’t smiling.
The original video was promptly removed by IMAX and over at Universal, the anti-piracy team tried to stop the trailer from spreading by issuing various takedown notices.
On Twitter alone, several people had their postings removed over copyright infringement claims. According to the movie studio, the “leaked” trailer is not for the public’s eyes.
“The uploaded trailer was a leaked version without sound fx. This was accidentally released online but is not intended to be available for public viewing. We have removed it from YouTube, but it is still populating on Twitter,” they write.
As a result, many copies that were posted on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere are no longer working. However, there is so much interest in the trailer that Universal can’t really keep up.
For every video that’s pulled offline, several others appear elsewhere. It seems virtually impossible at this point to put the genie back in the bottle.
In fact, the trailer has become a fertile breeding ground for memes, with people adding their own soundtrack or using Tom Cruise’s scream as the modern-day Wilhelm scream to pimp other videos.
It’s unclear whether Universal Pictures plans to keep issuing takedown requests, but at this point it might be best to sit back and enjoy the free promotion. If so many people enjoy sharing a trailer, unfinished or not, that’s something to celebrate.
After all, when The Mummy eventually premieres in cinemas next summer, people will remember the video as a gift that put a smile on their face during the dark days before Christmas.