Paramount is about to become the first major studio to plunge into the murky world of Bit Torrent with the release of Aussie horror flick The Tunnel.
The movie, which looks to all the world like an underground version of The Blair Witch Project, will get a simultaneous retail release on DVD and free Bit Torrent download.
The physical DVD, which will feature two hours of exclusive footage, an alternate ending and a making-of documentary, represents the first time a major movie company has actually done what everyone has been saying they should do for years.
Paramount seems to have finally realised that it will never win the war against movie piracy by resorting to draconian DRM measures, threats of legal action or sulking, and has given movie fans exactly what they want.
In short, a way for them to watch new movies where and when they want to watch them, at a reasonable price (in this case a very reasonable $0.00), and a way to buy a value-added special edition for those who will watch it more than once and like to collect physical media with fancy boxes and the like, at a premium.
The film, which is set in real-life tunnels buried deep beneath Sydney Australia, is unlikely to win too many critical laurels when it's released in a couple of months, but it could be long remembered as the film which forced movie-making dinosaurs to rethink their marketing models forever, if it makes a buck or two.
Even if it fails to make a profit or an impact on the way Hollywood hawks its wares, it will still go down in history as the first major(ish) movie to use the Bit Torrent P2P network favoured by many pirates as a distribution channel.
Coming May 19th to a torrent tracker near you.