Monday, June 28, 2010

New feature: Not Necessarily the News.

Another new occasional feature, one dealing with random speculation that inexplicably gets turned into real news due to various bloggers who are desperate for hits and/or scoops. All of the items below are either complete speculation or painfully obvious developments that are being branded about as BREAKING NEWS for the sake of page views.

Chris Nolan is discussing Batman 3 while promoting Inception. You think? You think he's too dumb to realize that the quickest way to get people to pay attention to Inception news-bites is to mention the next Batman sequel as often as possible? You think he's so dumb that he's going to accidentally drop a major piece of story or casting news while discussing the film he's actually promoting, thus changing accidentally changing the subject/headline for every Inception article for the next two weeks? The only casting news you'll hear is whether or not Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Christian Bale will all return (most likely), whether or not he'll recast The Joker (nope), and whether or not Cillian Murphy will return as The Scarecrow (maybe).

Peter Jackson may direct The Hobbit. Peter Jackson may direct The Hobbit, which is about where he's been since February 2004. It's arguably been more likely since The Lovely Bones underwhelmed critics and audiences alike, but it's still not news until he signs the dotted line. And, frankly, if he does, it will be a tragedy not a triumph. Even as a prequel defender, I acknowledge that George Lucas returned to the Star Wars universe somewhat begrudgingly after pretty much all of his other projects flamed out (The Radio Land Murders, Willow, Howard the Duck, etc). In other words, he had nowhere else to go. A Peter Jackson who has resigned himself to the idea that he'll be stuck in middle-Earth for the rest of his filmmaking career. Is THAT the guy any fan wants directing The Hobbit?

Sony is THIS close to picking the new Peter Parker for their Spider-Man reboot. They have been THIS close ever since the reboot was announced back in January. Here's an idea: wanna bet that Sony announces and introduces the new webslinger at the San Diego Comic-Con at the end of next month? Again, once someone gets signed, then it's news. Otherwise, it's just speculation. And even then, it's not really news when some up-and-coming teenager who is a completely inside-the-box choice is announced anyway. When Toby Maguire, an unconventional choice primarily known for low-key dramas, got the gig back in 2001, it was news. If Donald Glover gets the gig after-all, it's news. If Logan Lerman gets the job, it's not news. News is when the villains are cast.

Daniel Day-Lewis is going to be Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes 2. No, Guy Ritchie simply mentioned that he'd like Daniel Day-Lewis to play Professor Moriarty in the next Sherlock Holmes picture. Day-Lewis has not been approached and no negotiations have yet taken place. It was a filmmaker personally speculating about who he'd love to get if he could. The other names tossed around, Gary Oldman, Javier Bardem, Sean Penn(?!), are more like a random blogger thinking up 'gee, wouldn't it be cool if...' lists. In 1993, I had my own dream X-Men cast (Alan Rickman as Magneto, Jodie Foster as Rogue, Kevin Costner as Cyclops, etc), but that doesn't make my idle speculation into news. Could Day-Lewis end up as the main villain in a sequel to a franchise popcorn picture? I suppose, Nine tanked (and stunk) pretty hard and he would be treated like absolute royalty on the set. If it happens, great, but until then, it's just a director's pipe dream.

Scott Mendelson

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