Yes, it happened!
An armed man in the city of Lutsk, Ukraine, took 10 hostages in a bus and had the most bizarre demand for their release. According to the BBC, the police revealed that the man, Maksym Kryvosh, 44, had had previous convictions and this time it was for taking 10 people hostage.
So, what were his demands? He wanted the Ukrainian president to promote a 2005 Joaquin Phoenix movie, Earthlings, for him to release the hostages. The president yielded to his demand and released a video on Facebook where he said: "Everyone should watch the 2005 film Earthlings."
The video has since been deleted but people were alert enough to save it for posterity, as can be seen below.
With all hostages free and the hostage-taker in custody, President Zelensky has deleted the Facebook video of himself complying with the armed man's demand to promote the 2005 film Earthlings featuring narration by Joaquin Phoenix. But here it is for posterity. pic.twitter.com/lPcHB8XD3H— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) July 21, 2020
Furthermore, the hostage-taker also demanded that a senior minister declare that he was a terrorist (such a wannabe!). According to the BBC: "President Zelensky said he then agreed to speak to the gunman and they had a 7-10 minute conversation during which it was agreed three people - a wounded person, a pregnant woman and a child - would be released in exchange for posting the video."
The report said: The president then posted a brief video on his Facebook page, referencing the film Earthlings. It added: "After the video was published on social networks, we would release all the rest in half an hour," Mr. Zelensky said. "Everything happened almost like that. In 30-40 minutes he released all hostages."
The Ukrainian Interior Minister said: "This film that the man is talking about is good. And you don't have to be so fucked up to create such horror for the whole country - you can watch it without it." Fair enough!