Hollywood Steps Up Security To Keep Scripts Secret

(Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Blake Lively rehearses a scene at the ‘Gossip Girl’ movie set in Midtown Manhattan on July 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Kristen Wiig and Ben Stiller rehearse a scene at ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ movie set in Midtown Manhattan on May 30, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Actor Russell Crowe rehearses a scene at the ‘Winter’s Tale’ film set in the Meatpacking District on December 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of the film The Wolf of Wall Street on the streets of Manhattan on September 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage) Dane Dehaan and Daniel Radcliffe are sighted on the set of Kill Your Darlings on March 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images) Debra Messing films a scene at the ‘Smash’ movie set in Midtown Manhattan on September 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Michael Douglas and actress Mary Steenburgen are seen on the set of the movie ‘Las Vegas on October 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic) Imogen Poots films a scene at the ‘Are We Officially Dating?’ movie set in Soho on December 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Liam Neeson on set of ‘A Walk Among The Tombstones’ on March 13, 2013 in the Brooklyn burough of New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images) Zac Efron (L) and Miles Teller film a scene at the ‘Are We Officially Dating?’ movie set in Grammercy Park on January 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Megan Hilty films a scene at the ‘Smash’ movie set in Times Square on February 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Actors Jonah Hill and Felicity Jones film a scene at the ‘True Story’ movie set at Rizzoli Bookstore on March 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) Kevin Alejandro and Bonnie Somerville on the set of ‘Golden Boy’ on the Streets of Manhattan on August 27, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage) Zooey Deschanel flaunts her indie style on the set of The New Girl Hit TV series as they shot on location in downtown Los Angeles, CA.

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Actors on director Neill Blomkamp’s August science-fiction movie “Elysium” were given iPads with the screenplay preloaded and built-in security so they couldn’t get files off the tablet. Even adaptations of best-selling books whose plots are free to read at a library can be considered highly valuable. Every copy of the screenplays to Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s adaptations of the “Hunger Games” trilogy has a few different words changed. If the script appears online, executives at the studio need only check a database tracking the changes to find out whose copy was leaked and ensure that they’ll never be invited to the postapocalyptic world of Panem again. As far back as the 1980s, filmmakers occasionally used code names around certain high-profile movies. “Back to the Future Part II” was called “Paradox” while “Return of the Jedi” was code-named “Blue Harvest.” The process continues today. Last year’s superhero blockbuster “Avengers” was known during development as “Group Hug.” In past decades, some scripts also had serial numbers stamped on every page so no one could make photocopies without consequences. But such steps were rare and usually limited to sequels with a high level of fan interest. The new security measures have become common thanks to the Internet and the rabid movie-fan culture that has sprung up on it. An early sign of its power came in 2002 when a script for a new Superman movie written by Mr. Abrams was leaked to fan website Ain’t It Cool News and eviscerated by a reviewer with the headline, “You’ll believe a franchise can suck!!” That version of the movie was never produced.