Warner Bros. squashed a fan's Kickstarter campaign to edit the rat out of the ending of 'The Departed'

Warner Bros.
  • Warner Bros. shut down a Kickstarter campaign to remove the rat from the end of “The Departed.”
  • Warner Bros. claimed it “violates our copyright in this film.”
  • The campaign wanted to raise money in order to digitally erase the rat from the final shot of “The Departed” on 50 Blu-ray copies and redistribute them.

“The Departed” finally got Martin Scorsese his best director Oscar in 2007, but one aspect of the movie rubs some fans the wrong way.

A Kickstarter campaign launched by Adam Sacks of New York went viral this month for drawing attention to the movie’s ending. The Kickstarter attempted to raise $US4,000 by March 21 in order to purchase the necessary equipment to digitally erase the rat from the final shot of “The Departed.”

Rat departed kickstarterKickstarter

For those who don’t know, “The Departed” follows an undercover cop (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who infiltrates the Boston mob while there is also a mole (Matt Damon) in the police department. The last shot sees a rat scurry across the screen on a windowsill. It’s very on the nose.

Sacks wanted to buy 50 Blu-ray copies of the movie, edit out the metaphorical rat, and redistribute them. But the campaign caught the attention of the studio behind the movie, Warner Bros., which shut it down this week.

Warner Bros. declined to comment.

The Kickstarter page now says that the campaign “is the subject of an intellectual property dispute and is currently unavailable.” In an online form submitted to Kickstarter, Warner Bros. said that redistributing the edited versions “violates our copyright in this film.”

Sacks posted a note on Twitter on Monday saying that he removed the Kickstarter to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright act.

“Nothing can stop ideas,” he wrote. “Ideas like digitally erasing the rat from the end of The Departed.”

Read his full note below:

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