At D23, a Disney event, which takes place in Anaheim on September 10, tens of thousands of fans are expected to attend. At D23, Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige will reveal new trailers and casting surprises for the studio’s forthcoming movies and TV shows. Marvel security is at its most vulnerable in the months before the convention as it works to protect its trade secrets. However, maintaining such secrets has become more difficult in the COVID-19 age as a result of filmmakers’ move to work from home and social distancing measures on set, according to various insiders who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter.
An growing number of stills and other photos from Avengers: Endgame have been released online in advance of release over the last year. Marvel was able to release the film virtually undamaged by plot leaks barely a year before the pandemic struck. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a well-known fan who receives sneak peeks from forthcoming MCU films on a regular basis (but who does not post them online) attributes recent violations to laxer work-from-home rules. Ben Kingsley’s return to Marvel was revealed to be for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and the teaser for Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home was leaked in August 2021.
Marvel has developed a reputation as Hollywood’s most secretive company over the years, and it has become cliché for its performers to refer to a “Marvel sniper” who has a target on their back to keep them from spilling the beans. During a PR blitz last autumn for the publication of Eternals, performers like Lauren Ridloff recounted perhaps fictitious tales of enigmatic Marvel security employees sending off incomplete screenplays at night while dressed in trench coats.
Marvel’s security team is on high alert at premieres and events like the recent San Diego Comic-Con to make sure that the footage on display is not being pirated by attendees using their phones. If you check the credits for the Sam Raimi-directed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the team is twelve strong, which is quite a bit more than the credits from pre-pandemic titles. They are regarded as the unsung heroes of the company since they actively pursue tips and stop leaks as soon as they appear online. At its Burbank offices, Marvel even has a Black Widow Room without internet access or windows where delicate topics are handled. Cleaning teams from outside are not permitted inside.
Marvel’s entry into the streaming battles has increased demand for VFX, for which artists frequently work remotely from anywhere in the globe. According to a seasoned VFX producer who has worked on Marvel productions, “Marvel is an example of how it’s been supersized because of their enormous breadth of effects demands.”
Marvel keeps close tabs on its data, audits its vendors, and has even taken legal action against infringers. Sources claim that some of the most prominent leaks from the previous year weren’t the product of a VFX artist purposefully posting anything online in an evil scheme to ruin a movie. Some were sent by friends or family members who were shocked to find their photos online after taking a photo of a stray monitor, sharing it with a friend.
There are indications that Marvel is adopting a less leak-prone strategy. Some VFX vendors have recently come back to work, including those on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which debuts on November 11 and hasn’t yet been the subject of a significant leak. However, the company has indicated that it can’t completely halt leaks. When promoting the Doctor Strange 2 in May, Feige noted, “You need to make sure that the experience itself works regardless of what has been spoiled or not.” There were other spoiler-tipped cameos in that movie, notably those of Mr. Fantastic and Prof. X.