Whenever a new MCU project begins filming, photos/videos of the set, actors in full costume, or filming locations have a tendency to find a way into the public's eyes. More recently, it seems as though this problem has increased with films such as Spider-Man: No Way Home and even Disney+ shows like Secret Invasion.
Ahead of the release of No Way Home, an unfinished copy of the official teaser from the movie and shots of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were leaked, spoiling their would-be secret appearances. There have also been leaks from the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion, including set photos from an underwater location and different images of actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, and Emilia Clarke.
Many fans have wondered why the number of leaks has increased over the past couple of years and if Marvel Studios' security may have not been as strict as it previously was during the Infinity Saga. However, it seems as though COVID-19 has had more of an impact on secrecy than people may believe.
MCU Leaks Causing Plenty of Spoilers
The Hollywood Reporter revealed how COVID-19 protocols have had a tremendous impact on the number of leaks that have come out and spoiled elements of recent MCU projects prior to their releases.
Many people are familiar with the social distancing requirements that COVID-19 brought, such as people keeping six feet apart from one another to decrease the virus's spread. The report states that social distancing made it more challenging to execute proper security, which led to unauthorized people having access to secret information.
The report also mentions 2019's Avengers: Endgame, and how, despite being one of the largest films in cinema history, Marvel Studios was able to keep almost everything under wraps during production. According to a fan that often sees a great number of leaks from upcoming MCU projects, the increase in leaks from more recent films such as Spider-Man: No Way Home and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is due to crew members being forced to work under conditions that aren't as strict as they were before the pandemic.
Marvel Studios has made an attempt to take legal action against the people responsible for the leaks. Some of the leaks may not have surfaced from a crew member, but instead from someone close to them because COVID-19 forced them to work from home.
According to the report, security on-set has also become more difficult. Before the pandemic, a take would be finished, and everyone could simply go look at it together on the monitor. Due to social distancing, this hasn't been possible, so the shots are sent to devices that different crew members have, which has allowed other people to see secret information.
Have MCU Leaks Become Expected?
At this point, when a new MCU movie or show is announced, people just assume that there will be a number of leaks that surface once the project goes into production. However unfortunate this is, it is something that will likely be impossible to prevent moving forward, especially with COVID-19 still affecting the world.
However, that doesn't mean that Marvel Studios is okay with it happening, and it will always take action against leaks and the people that release them when necessary. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind the MCU, stated that "the experience itself" still needs to please fans, even if there have been leaks. He mentioned Spider-Man: No Way Home and talked about how that movie proved that the leaks "did not lessen the experience."
Another big name from within the MCU, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer head writer Michael Waldron, previously talked about how leaks are mostly seen by people "who want to find that stuff," and that if a fan doesn't want to know anything about the upcoming movie, they will take the appropriate action to stay away from the leaks.
Leaked information will always be a part of the entertainment industry, no matter how tight security may be or how much of an effort a studio makes to keep everything under wraps. However, it is no secret that more secret information has been revealed since the start of the pandemic, and in most cases, there is little to nothing that Marvel Studios can do to prevent it until it is completely safe for film productions to go back to the way they were before.