Will theft of Samuel L. Jackson's script force Avengers rewrites?

Someone—presumably not the Red Skull—has managed to get his hands on Samuel L. Jackson's copy of the Avengers script. And not only that, but the anonymous thief has been contacting various entertainment sites and offering to sell the script to the highest bidder.

Pictures of some of the script pages have already popped up in the wild, but, as of yet, there haven't been any takers.

The big question is, just how serious are the consequences of the leak? According to Film Fan Review, production on the film has already been halted in order to make changes to the story. There's still some skepticism out there, though, as to whether such a costly move is really necessary.

For one thing, there's no way of knowing how finalized the script actually is. There are plenty of smaller projects out there that get rewrites every day. Word is, the script that was leaked disappeared from L.A., not from filming in Albuquerque, which begs another question: "Just how recent is that script?"

In addition, the images that have cropped up online show scenes involving Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr.'s characters. Meanwhile, the scenes in production currently involve Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Hemsworth. Why halt production when the scenes being filmed aren't the ones leaked online?

Still, Avengers is no ordinary movie, and that means that a script leak means a lot of debate as to what to do, without any easy answers. Has production really been put on hold, though? At the moment, the answer seems to be "probably, but not definitely." And if it has, it feels unlikely that this hold will last for long.

In the end, the most likely truth is that the script would be altered during production anyway, regardless of whether there was a leaked script out there. That means we'll still be surprised when we're sitting in the theater come next summer.

What do you make of this situation, and, if the shoe were on the other foot, what would you do?

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