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The 10 Most Shocking Media Leaks Of All Time

Nobody wants their work to leak to the public before it’s released, but that’s exactly what happened to Beyoncé recently with her album. Renaissance. While some fans love to get their hands on content as soon as possible, others see it as a betrayal of the creators’ intent and hard work.


Whether it’s in the world of movie making, video game making, or maybe music, there are always those looking to get the inside scoop before something has been fully polished. It has led to some significant changes in every industry and occasionally has a big impact on the success of a launch.

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The Beyonce Revival

Beyoncé's album cover Renaissance (2022)

Beyonce’s album Renaissance, released in July 2022. While fans were eagerly awaiting to receive new music from the queen, many weren’t too thrilled to have received some of that content before it should have been released to the general public.

RELATED: 10 Biggest Game Leaks That Were Dead Wrong

It’s well documented that much of Beyoncé’s music is incredibly secretive, so it was shocking to see scrappy iterations of the album available nearly two days before it was released. That kind of leak can have an impact on sales, though thankfully it never seemed to affect the icon’s record performance.

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sony productions

Police at 21 Jump Street

In late November 2014, Sony was subjected to an email attack the likes of which had never been seen in Hollywood before. Private production studio conversations about upcoming media were leaked for all to see by a group known as Guardians of Peace.

Among the media hack were documents about canceled superhero movies, including a bizarre Aunt May Spider-Man spinoff, a men in blackY 21 Jump Streetcross-image and nasty comments about some of the industry’s top actors and creative talents. It was a media leak that severely damaged Sony’s reputation.

super 8 movie

Joel Courtney, Ryan Lee and Riley Griffiths in Super 8 (2011)
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Super 8 had its fair share of media trouble with various leaks, from trailers to concept art. While the movie for moviegoers had a great concept involving a monstrous creature and a super 8 camera, some people were able to see a pirated version of the film before the rest of the world.

In one of the largest movie leaks in movie history, the entirety of Super 8 surfaced online in 2011. The hacked copy’s trail allegedly linked to a filter sent to Howard Stern, who denies the allegations. Regardless of how it happened, it’s rare to see a leak of this scale in such comprehensive form.

Taylor Swift 1989

Taylor Swift 1989 album cover

Taylor Swift has had an incredibly difficult time when it comes to the rights to her records, but a leak from 1989 threatened to derail things further. 2014 would have been an incredibly difficult year for the artist, as her work was published on someone else’s terms.

RELATED: 10 Rom-Coms Like Taylor Swift Songs

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The album leaked online just days before it was scheduled for public consumption. It’s not the first time it’s happened to Swift either, with Red having filtered in its entirety in the same way. It’s a shame the artist has been attacked so many times, but the disasters never seem to affect her sales.

The Hateful Eight Script

Kurt Russell and Samuel L Jackson in The Hateful Eight

Leaking a movie is one thing, but a full script before it’s even produced; that’s another level of privacy being taken away. That’s what happened to Quentin Tarantino after working on the hateful eight script with the piece featuring many of his trademarks.

The script began making the rounds, with Tarantino reportedly quite sure who was responsible for the act. The ending of that initial script was actually different, with the writer reworking the piece to subvert expectations. He never fully formed at that stage and therefore took away some of his magic.

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Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly

To Pimp a Butterfly album cover by Kendrick Lamar

Occasionally, the line between whether a leak is intentional or not is blurred. That was the case with the album by the talented Kendrick Lamar, To pimp a butterfly. In 2015, the leak happened hours before it was intended to be removed, with international distributors coming up with the early reveal.

However, there are signs that this is a media stunt that was always planned, and the professionalism of the album indicates that it was still promoted in official capacities rather than a bootlegged iteration that lowered the audio quality. Regardless of the answer, it got people talking.

now pokemon

Bramblin in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

the Pokemon The series has the unfortunate habit of leaking well in advance of its release. That can happen in a number of different ways, but what’s fairly common is for the first designs of the Pokemon themselves to appear online long before they’ve been finalized or set to appear in an official capacity.

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RELATED: The 10 Biggest Video Game Leaks Of All Time, Ranked

It certainly builds anticipation for the title and gets fans talking. For the latest releases, for example, scarlet and violet, the entire Pokédex was leaked before it was supposed to be revealed in-game. Nintendo continues to struggle with information being announced to the public sooner than it should, but its sales remain as strong as ever.

Development of GTA 6

All the protagonists of GTA V stare at a phone.

Returning to the world of video games, one of the most high-profile leaks of the last year involves grand Theft Auto 6, a title that has been years in the making and follows one of the most successful titles of all time. Fans of the video game will know that the 2022 leak was a blow to the studio.

Leaks have included everything from select missions to playable characters. It was released before the game was even remotely ready and fans expressed their dissatisfaction with how GTA 6 is watching, even though it’s not supposed to be seen by anyone outside of the developers.

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Unfinished Edit

Wolverine and Victor in X-Men Origins Wolverine

At FOX and Marvel, people were feeling pretty optimistic about the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While the title isn’t perfect, it was meant to do well at the box office, but a full title leak before the visual effects were finished definitely dampened the excitement.

In 2009, the full movie was pirated on the Internet, and the pirated version spread so fast that it was almost impossible to remove all copies. The performance of this unofficial iteration definitely hurt the movie as a whole and it was a pretty destructive leak.

Deadpool in Deadpool 2016
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Ryan Reynolds had wanted to get a dead pool out of earth movie from Origins, but no one wanted to allow it to develop further. The team had even created test footage that comes remarkably close to the final film, but the executives still weren’t biting. So, the footage was mysteriously leaked onto the internet.

the dead pool The leak happened in 2014 and ultimately led to the development of the 2016 film. Who actually allowed the test screening to be released is anyone’s guess, though Reynolds himself has always been quite pleased with how the quality of the leak has been. The media got the ball rolling for the mercenary with the mouth on the screen.

NEXT: 10 Most Shocking Film Noir Twist Endings

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