21 Movie Headlines That Don’t Belong on a Front Page

Joe Don Baker. Mitchell

Fun trivia: Googling “Joe Don Baker Mitchell remake” yields negative-3,000 results.

I brake for far fewer movie-news articles than the average geek. I still like movies, but what passes for movie “news” nowadays generally doesn’t merit my time or clicking because the majority doesn’t meet my minimum specifications for “news”. I have no vested interest in following the full life cycle of every production from germination-of-idea to perennial-AMC-airings.

I can think of numerous examples off the top of my head for most steps of the filmmaking process and marketing campaign. To illustrate my apathy, let me walk you through the vantage point of internet news outlets — not official sources such as The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, or Nikki Finke, but the other guys. Pretty much all the other guys.

For the sake of argument, let’s pretend the following examples revolve around a remake of the 1975 police drama Mitchell, which starred Joe Don Baker as Oscar Madison from The Odd Couple, plus a gun, minus friends. Let’s pretend we’re in a near-future dystopia in which Hollywood used up its first 5,000 ideas and the only things standing between us and the bottom of the barrel are Mitchell and The Snorks. And James Cameron already has plans for the Snorks.

Let the disposable headlines begin!

BREAKING NEWS: Cumberbatch to Play Sir Johan in “Smurfs 3”

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Johan

Prove it’s true, you ask? I say, prove that it’s NOT true! Because impeccable internet journalism.

You love him in TV’s Sherlock. You thought he was one of the best things in Star Trek Into Darkness even though he straight-up lied to the press about his character. You were annoyed by his ten-minute role in War Horse despite having no idea who he was at the time. You’re looking forward to his dual roles in Peter Jackson’s overextended Hobbit trilogy. You’re undecided about watching him play Alexander Godunov in The Fifth Estate. You noticed his name in the fine print for August: Osage County and are weighing your options.

Today is now the best day of your week because the internet has collectively decided to buy into the sketchy rumor that Benedict Cumberbatch, England’s second-biggest export of the decade after One Direction, has allegedly been cast to play an unnamed role in JJ Abrams’ still-untitled Trek sequel, Star Wars Episode VII. On a normal news day, your competent aggregator sites and discerning bloggers prefer to wait for official word from the likes of Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline Hollywood Daily, or from TV news a full two months later. Sometimes, though, some headlines are just too awesome for professional composure or baseline fact-checking. Thus, this gossip is popping up everywhere today.

Along those same lines, I’ve decided to announce the nonexistent, completely unfounded, nonetheless tantalizing rumor than Cumberbatch has also signed on to give life to the role of brave Sir Johan in Smurfs 3. Just because I can, and clearly because we geeks now demand that he star in everything ever hereafter.

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My Geek Demerits #6: No Use for Movie Rumors

movie rumor stranger

This mysterious stranger sees all, knows all, defies accountability, and is trusted by millions.

Today the Internet exploded with the news that J.J. Abrams would be directing the seventh installment in the recently unretired Star Wars series. Abrams fans rejoiced and are more excited about the next episode than ever. Movie fans grappled with the idea of one director dallying in both the Star Wars and Star Trek universes instead of choosing a side and sticking to it unconditionally. Abrams haters decided their world is ending and life no longer holds meaning. Members of all of the above circles rushed to be the first Internet user to crack a joke about lens flare. (Hundreds of millions lost that race.)

I found merit in the three theatrical releases that Abrams directed so far. (In order I’d rank Trek first, MI:III second, and Super 8 irksome but not terrible.) I bear him no ill will and wish his fourth film, Star Trek: Into Darkness starring man’s-man Benedict Cumberbatch and some other guys, were in theaters exactly now. I’ve seen all six Star Wars films several times apiece; follow the Clone Wars animated series; have partaken of several Dark Horse Comics SW projects; once read an entire Star Wars Expanded Universe novel; and am married to a wondrous woman whose encyclopedic knowledge of SW EU doesn’t frighten or alienate me. No matter who directs Episode VII: the Cash Cow Cavalry of Corellia, I expect to see it at least once.

All that being said: today’s announcement does nothing for me.

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