Louis C.K.’s dark comedy “I Love You, Daddy” was released this week — but not in the way he had intended.
The comedian’s admission of past inappropriate sexual conduct prompted the film’s distributors to scrap release plans, and C.K. reportedly has been trying to buy back the rights. On Monday, a 1.5-gigabyte rip of “I Love You, Daddy” was uploaded to piracy sites, including the notorious (and resilient) Pirate Bay.
The leak, first reported by TorrentFreak, was perpetrated by the piracy group calling itself Hive-CM8, which claimed it was motivated to share “I Love You, Daddy” with the world given the uncertainty of its release.
The pirated copy evidently came from one of the awards screeners distributed by the Orchard, which had acquired the movie for $5 million before cancelling U.S. release plans following the New York Times’ report about C.K.’s having masturbated in front of multiple women. International distributors also dropped “I Love You, Daddy.”
Hive-CM8 has pirated awards-season screeners in years past. Two years ago, it leaked Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”; the group subsequently apologized, saying “we never intended to hurt anyone by doing that.”
While the piracy outfit has pledged to not release any screeners before Christmas, it made an exception to that supposed policy for “I Love You, Daddy” because “it never made it to the cinema, and nobody knows if it ever will go to retail at all,” Hive-CM8 said in the information file included with the pirated copy of the movie. “Either way their [sic] is no perfect time to release it anyway, but we think it would be a waste to let a great Louis C.K. go unwatched and nobody can even see or buy it.”
Shot in black and white, “I Love You, Daddy,” stars C.K. as a successful TV writer whose daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) becomes the object of obsession for an older, well-known filmmaker (John Malkovich). Given the controversy over C.K.’s behavior, the sexual themes in the movie made it a no-go for the distributors.
It’s unclear at this point how many users have downloaded “I Love You, Daddy” since it was leaked to piracy sites. Variety has not independently confirmed the authenticity of the copy circulating online. A lawyer for C.K. did not respond to a request for comment.