Responding to the online Wolverine leaking, HE reader JckNapier2 has floated a highly speculative, bordering-on-looney-tune theory that’s nonetheless fascinating to consider: “If Wolverine turns out to be terrible, immediate suspicion would fall on 20th Century Fox for leaking it to create an excuse for [a diminished] box-office performance. When I first wrote this I was just tossing it out there. But as a friend correctly noted, this could be a form of insurance fraud.

“If Fox has insured the film from all matter of maladies, could they cash in said insurance policy if they can somehow convince the carriers that the film flop because of third-party criminal action?

“As it is, if the film is a hit despite today’s leak then it becomes a goofy embarrassment. If the film flops, especially on opening weekend, the leak becomes one of the biggest entertainment stories of the year, period. As far as consequences, the only people responsible for this are the ones who leaked it, period. If Fox cracks down on critics and press screenings and/or public paid screenings, then there will be a huge press backlash.”

Another reader, continuing on this double-agent, cloak-and-dagger Le Carre jag, says “it’s more than likely that it was an ex-Fox employee who was attached to the production while there. In fact there’s a guy who fits the mold well.” He doesn’t mention a name. “Check MTV’s movie blog for quotes about Wolverine by an exFox vp. “I’m not saying it’s him but the timelines for the estimated age of work print and his departure do match up, more or less. Read his quotes back then had me scratching my head as to why an ex employee was giving quotes on a film he was effectively thrown off of. Just a thought.”

I like the insurance fraud scenario better.