Friday, June 20, 2014

Rumor Sites are Awful

I got a real beef that I have to get out of my system.  It's about rumor sites, for both movies and comics.  These sites ruin everything for everybody all for the sake of website clicks, facebook/twiiter shares, etc.  They do not trade in reliable information and a lot of the things they insinuate are just plain dumb.  Here are some recent 'hot rumors', according to these sites:

  • Marvel 'might' be cancelling the Fantastic Four comic series, and is downplaying the X-Men and Spider-Man lines because they don't own the movie rights to any of the characters.
  •  Sony is going to let the movie rights to Spider Man go back to Marvel after Amazing Spider Man 2 'tanked' at the box office
  • DC is going to going to have an event series in 2015 where characters from the New 52 continuity interact with those from the pre-New 52 continuity, as a backdoor way to ditch the New 52.
  • Lex Luthor will have hair in the Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice film.
  • The upcoming Fantastic Four film has been shut down, and will be re-cast with a new director.
All of these rumors have been splashed all over various websites that specialize in dishing all of the hot dirt on upcoming projects.  All of them are based on accounts from anonymous sources and little to no anchoring in reality.  And because they're not based in anything solid, if and when they don't come to fruition the people who post can just sit back and claim that either their sources lied to them or that the executives changed their minds once they got word of the outrage that they stirred up.

Marvel comics cancelling and/or downplaying comic book titles because they don't have the movie rights is just dumb.  The X-Men related titles are always popular, and the Fantastic Four is a longtime mainstay of Marvel comics.  The movies will only help the comics sell more, which is a win for Marvel.  So what's the endgame to Marvel acting so rash?  Well, according to the people pushing this the hope is for the movies to tank without the print material support, which would lead Sony and Fox to let the movie rights to revert back to Marvel.  This same logic is fueling the Fantasitc Four and Spider Man movie rumors.  What makes these stories so attractive to fans is that many fans want the movie rights for all of these titles to go back to Marvel.  Marvel is currently perceived as the one comic book movie studio that knows what it's doing (I disagree), so people want them to get all of their characters back and are willing to follow any story, know matter how ridiculous it may be.

The DC movie rumors are just as stupid.  The Lex Luthor hair story was based on a picture of Jesse Eisenberg on a set, which was assumed to be the Dawn of Justice set, with hair.  It turns out that may have been a different set altogether.  Eisenberg is working on a different movie right now, and the picture is likely from there.  But that didn't stop sites from running with it and forums from running long threads over it.  The story is feeding off all the pre-hate that's being thrown at DC over their movie strategy.  Man of Steel was a polarizing film that lots of people love but lots of people hate for some really dumb reasons, and a lot of people flat out don't like the casting choices for Batman, Wonder Woman, and Luthor.  So anything that stirs up the outrage machine is going to be hot.  Lex Luthor having hair is a perfect pot stirrer in this regard, seeing as how so many people don't like the Eisenberg casting as Luthor to begin with. 

The DC comics rumors may very well take the cake.  In various forms, there have rumors going around that DC is going to find a backdoor way to ditch the New 52 and go back to the old continuity.  The most recent ones are that there is some kind of event series scheduled for 2015 where the New 52 characters will interact with the old ones, and the timelines will somehow get reconfigured back to the old universe.  This is some more wishful thinking by people who still haven't accepted the New 52 universe, many of whom haven't even read any of the New 52 comics.  They go on message boards and Facebook forums, pining for the days of a bearded Oliver Queen and the Justice Society of America (even though they didn't support a lot of the titles much at the time of the timeline change).  And any story, no matter how flimsy, that plays off of that gets a lot of run.  The New 52 is just short of three years old; they wouldn't take the time to build a whole new world just to ditch it this quickly.  There are even animated movies in production set in the New 52 world and the Man of Steel version of Superman was largely along New 52 lines.  It's just not gonna happen, folks.

Unfortunately, I think this is going to get worse before it gets better.  We have two years until Dawn of Justice, and the Fantastic Four film is a little ways off.  Marvel has detailed plans, but the public doesn't know anything for sure beyond the Guardians of the Galaxy film coming in August and Avengers 2 next year.  There is just too much space for people to fill by taking every thing some guy tells you and posting it.  And too many people are too quick to believe it all.  Please stop, folks; these sites ruin the fun of experiencing these films; at best they give away too many major plot details and at worse they set expectations that will only result in disappointment should they not be met.  Look at the Luthor casting; we had rumors of Bryan Cranston being cast (because he was bald on a TV show and played a compelling character recently), and then Denzel Washington (big name guy who can play someone like Luthor, full of bravado and purpose).  These rumors were based on nothing, but they got people charged up.  And then when Eisenberg got the role everyone was let down.  That's what we're up against here, people and the only way to stop it is to ignore it.

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