A Burglar Worked Spider-Man And Batman Films, To Steal Costumes

His name was Glenn Gustafson, which sounds like something out of a comic.
A Burglar Worked Spider-Man And Batman Films, To Steal Costumes

We asked readers what Spider-Man character they'd like to see more of. Readers like Mike V. and Louis D. named Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat. Timothy S. suggested how she could connect into the wider MCU: "She could be a criminal anti-hero, a former Black Widow, or even an agent of SHIELD, but Peter should be forced to partner with her. Either way, she acts as a foil for Mary Jane in that MJ can never really be in the Spider-Man part of his life."

Black Cat has yet to appear in any movie or live-action show—unlike the similar character Catwoman, who's had no fewer than eight different actresses play her, not counting voice-only roles. Anne Hathaway auditioned for Black Cat in a fourth Sam Raimi movie, before playing Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, but that movie never ended up happening. Felicity Jones popped up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a character named Felicia, and it sure looked like they were setting her up as Felicia Hardy, but a rebooted Spider-Man ended that franchise just one year later. Sony then announced a spinoff Black Cat film called Silver & Black, but they killed that too. 

Still, the Spider-Man movies have had experiences with cat burglars ... real-life ones. In 2001, four costumes vanished from the set of the first Spider-Man film. Every so often, you'll hear cute stories about actors "stealing" their costumes and the studios not caring, but these thefts were a big deal. For starters, they'd happened while filming was still ongoing. 

Sony claimed the costumes were worth $50,000 each, which certainly gave the thief a little leverage when negotiating a selling price. Detectives investigated for 18 months before tracking them down. One had made its way to Japan, while the others were in L.A. and New York, and all of them apparently had once been in the possession of one Glenn Gustafson, who'd worked as a security guard at Sony before quitting in 2001. 

Glenn Gustafson (who possibly styled himself to sound like a Marvel character; his full name was Jeffrey Glenn Gustafson) hadn't just worked at Sony. The previous decade, he'd worked security at the Warner Bros. studio that had shot Batman Forever. And while he was there, a $150,000 batsuit went missing, along with a mannequin. The studio didn't release more info about the mannequin, and this vagueness only makes the mannequin story more frightening. But it now sounded like Gustafson had made a little career of going from shoot to shoot and looting suits. 

In the end, investigators weren't able to tie Glenn to the Batman theft. But he pleaded guilty to the Spider-Man charge and got nine months in prison, plus five years' probation. He also had to pay Sony and pay one buyer, who got $46,000 but probably would have preferred to keep the suits. 

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Follow Ryan Menezes on Twitter for more stuff no one should see. 

Top image: Sony Pictures


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