Buzzkill: About Debunking Rumors

12.22.08 9 years ago

You know the system’s gone haywire when Entertainment Weakly is making fun of someone else’s ability to break a rumor.

There’s a brief piece over at today at their Popwatch Blog about casting rumors that pretty much dismisses all of them as crazy talk from bored fanboys.

Thing is, I’ve written that piece already, and I used the “Batman 3” rumors as an example of how simple logic and understanding the way internal development works at a studio can help cut through some of that.  He tries to use the development of “Iron Man 2” to do the same thing.

But that only points out just how disconnected from the process of actually breaking any scoops Marc Bernadin really is, because he makes himself sound like a horse’s ass in the process.  It would be funny, except it’s so incredibly disrespectful to the people who actually do know what they’re doing, and it makes me really dislike this guy.

As I’ve said repeatedly while writing my BUZZKILL column at AICN, and over the last 12 years of playing this rumor game, it’s very easy to get taken when someone really does their homework and lays out a convincing hoax, and it’s happened to the best of us, from Michael Fleming at the trades to the greenest first year webmaster.  But you have to get good at sifting through things if you’re going to comment on this stuff, and Bernadin is obviously not good at it.  At all.

The reason you know that any and all “Batman 3” casting rumors are garbage right now is because Christopher Nolan doesn’t even have an outline for a third film.  He has no story, no characters yet, and he hasn’t chosen which villains will appear in the film.  So why in the world would anyone be hiring Eddie Murphy or Johnny Depp or Rachel Weisz?  That’s just logic.  Once Nolan’s made his deal and he’s onboard, then that process will begin, but it’s still months and months from now before we hear anything, and that’s assuming he doesn’t do another film before he gets back into all things Batman.

With “Iron Man 2,” though, it’s the opposite.  There’s a script already, and they’re deep into development on it.  When I was just in London to visit Robert Downey Jr. on the set of “Sherlock Holmes,” I heard several mentions of Justin Theroux having been onset just before me.  He was there to show Robert all the work that’s been done on the script, and to get his input.  And because they’re gearing up to shoot soon, there absolutely are major casting choices being made.

Which brings us to the biggest douche-moment in Bernadin’s piece.  He slams the recent news that Tim Robbins will be appearing in “Iron Man 2” as Tony Stark’s father, setting up a major piece of the Marvel Universe for films like “Captain America” and “The Avengers.”  He dismisses it in the same way he dismisses “Batman 3” rumors.

But he’s wrong.  Tim Robbins IS going to be playing Stark’s father in flashbacks.

So next time you’re going to slam the reporting of an outlet like Latino Review, who broke that story, maybe you should make sure you actually know what you’re talking about, Marc Bernadin, so you don’t make look even more clueless and out of touch.  I know… you’re “traditional media,” but it’s moments like this that really underline why the Internet’s been kicking your ass for several years now, and why that’s going to continue to be the case until you learn to really play the game right.

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