Leaked “Where the Wild Things Are” footage

The internet has been buzzing over the weekend with footage that may, or may not be, from Spike Jonze’s upcoming adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. The movie has been going through all sorts of problems and the studio pushed it’s release date back until 2009.

The leaked clip features Max and the monster Carroll (voiced by James Gandolfini when finished though you’ll notice in the clip it’s clearly not him) having a bizarre exchange at dusk. What has people confused is that the boy in the footage doesn’t look anything like the boy featured in the first officially leaked promo photo for the movie.

The footage first appeared on Buzznet and then was promptly removed. And so while websites like Slashfilm, Cinematical and EW’s Popwatch all doubted the veracity of the leaked scene (to no doubt hedge their bets and say they knew all along if the footage was real or not), Warner Bros. has been chasing down the footage and having it removed at every chance they get. That alone would be enough to raise suspicions that the footage is real, or possibly test footage at the very least.

So let’s get to the evidence shall we? First the official promotional photo.


And now the video:

Cool footage and the opening strains of Beck’s “Jackass” would seem to make this more real. It’s strange though and what’s throwing people off is that the footage takes place in the real world and not some fantastical realm. The movie was shot in Australia, however, in this footage you can sorta make out L.A.’s Griffith Observatory. That would lend credence to the FX test shot theory. But why does it feel almost complete?

Again though Max isn’t wearing a crown in this footage and the suit he is wearing has a black tail, while in the official photo the tail is gray. But then there is this from Moriarty at AICN. Now, Moriarty is probably one of the most spot on film reviewers and writers, but he also has great sources and unlike a lot of people weighing in on this footage he’s actually seen the movie. So what does he think?

Now, I?ve seen this film. Or rather, I saw a version of it. And I can tell you that there?s a reason this film isn?t coming out in 2008 anymore. There?s a lot of work left to do on it, and I wouldn?t be surprised to hear about some fairly massive reshoots in the months ahead.

I wish I could be more specific, but because of how I saw it, I can?t offer any sort of real review. I can tell you that there?s something odd about the clip above. The Wild Thing in that clip is Carrol, played in the version I saw by James Gandolfini. That is most definitely NOT Gandolfini?s voice in that clip though. But it?s a very finished piece of film, because in the rough footage, none of the Wild Things have articulated faces. The costumes were all built to have immobile features that would be replaced in post-production by CGI, and it looks like this clip has had that work done on it.

So what are we looking at? Tone-wise, this is the film. It?s a little bit strange, a little bit sad, and it looks like a real world, not some greenscreen fantasy land.

We?ll keep you posted on this one as work continues on it, but for right now, this one?s a looooooooong way away, so enjoy this little taste.

Enjoy this little taste. Is that because this scene was in the movie version he saw, but he’s not at liberty to say? What is for certain is that the footage is pretty cool and if it is fake then it gives me hope that Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers will have created something truly amazing given their Hollywood-sized budget. If it’s real, then I can’t way to see the finished movie, as Maurice Sendak’s book defined our childhood.

Guess we’ll just have to wait until Warner Bros. puts out an official statement to quell the fire or just let’s the buzz swell into a blaze.

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