The entertainment world recently trembled before the might of The Dark Overlord, as the hacking collective—unmoved by the pitiful mewls of studio executives pleading before it—cracked its gnarled knuckles, curled its craggy lips into a mordant grin, and leaked episodes of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. But the chaos it has wrought will not end there: “There’s always more,” the group tells The Hollywood Reporter, ominously portending another round of cyber-crime at least as devastating as releasing a game show where Steve Harvey listens to business pitches, well over a week before its premiere.
“Hollywood is under attack, and we’re at the forefront of this most recent offensive,” The Dark Overlord said its sepulchral press statement—and while the blood runs cold at the mere thought of more Funderdomes and Funderdome equivalents being unleashed, days prior to their official debut, it’s not about fear. The Dark Overlord’s delights are, shall we say, more earthly in nature.
“We’re not in the business to scare anyone,” it says soothingly, in its Lucifer’s purr. “We’re in the business of earning vast amounts of internet money.”
As previously reported, those digital coffers of internet doubloons have been filled with ransoms levied against executives at networks whose content was recently stolen from a post-production facility, a bounty that The Dark Overlord claimed included shows and movies from Netflix, Disney/ABC, CBS, and Fox. After Netflix balked at its demands, The Dark Overlord made good on its threats to release the first 10 episodes of Orange Is The New Black’s new season, potentially diminishing viewership for the site that doesn’t abide by ratings anyway, espeically among those fans who don’t want to bother watching the last three episodes. And when Disney’s Bob Iger recently shrugged off a threat from a separate hacker, The Dark Overlord—acting according to the tight-knit loyalty among its kind—sought revenge by putting Funderdome on torrent sites, a demonstration of might that already has piracy analysts quaking.
“There’s not much interest in Funderdome on pirate sites probably because it’s not widely known to the public yet,” Torrent Freak’s Ernesto van der Sar tells THR, in the careful words of a clearly terrified man.
Indeed, ABC’s Funderdome had only around a dozen downloaders a day after it debuted—or as The Dark Overlord characterized it to Variety, “If you prefer your meat bloody, we’re serving it bloody as can be.” The carnage won’t stop there, as the group also claims to have episodes of NCIS Los Angeles, The Middle, and—yes—even Food: Fact Or Fiction?, which it will similarly toss to the audience most ravenous for them, the users of torrent sites, until their internet money becomes acceptably vast. Until then, The Dark Overlord intones, “Make no mistake, Hollywood is under assault.” And it seems none of its filler summer programming is safe.