Week Two

Who’s Playing What?

Baseball was my first love. It’s the popular girl with whom I really thought I had a chance with until she told me there was no way we’d ever be together after my grand gesture asking her to prom. Movies are the smart, career-driven girl who I wish I realized I loved long before I did and is going to make a much better life partner for me.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been passionate about stories. I remember laying in bed asking my mom for a story before I fell asleep, not because it was going to help me get to sleep, but because I wanted to think about it all night long. Who were the main characters? What did they learn? How did they learn it? What was gained and lost along the way? My love for stories evolved into my love for my favorite storytelling medium, and film and I are on our way to our happily ever after.

While it’s fun to romanticize movies- and there’s plenty to romanticize- I also recognize that it’s a business. It’s a business that I’m hopeful I get to be a part of one day, either as an active proponent in making that news or as an active journalist covering that news, delivering opinions and facilitating conversation among those who love movies the way I do. A lot of stories I follow revolve around who will be working on certain films for different studios. Sometimes that means actors, sometimes it means directors and sometimes it means writers. It never includes gaffers, which seems unfair to me, but maybe that’s a change I can push for in the future. Anyways, one of the latest stories I’ve heard regarding casting is about Hugo Weaving’s involvement in The Matrix 4. Weaving himself confirmed in an interview that he would not be involved in the fourth film of a franchise he has played a pivotal role in because of scheduling conflicts.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Larry Dale Gordon/Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885917z)Hugo Weaving, Keanu ReevesThe Matrix Reloaded - 2003Director: Andy & Larry WachowskiWarner Bros/Village Roadshow PicturesUSAScene StillScifi
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures from “The Matrix Reloaded”

I think this kind of reporting is much more human than one would expect. This is a first-person source, and I would honestly say that’s pretty common when it comes to these types of stories. I’m not relying on some reporter saying that he or she has a source saying that said Hugo Weaving will not be returning as Agent Smith because of scheduling conflicts. I’m hearing it straight from Hugo Weaving. Another example would be a recent confirmation by Ryan Reynolds that work on Deadpool 3 has already begun. Variety picked up this story that originated because of an interview Reynolds did on Live with Kelly and Ryan, a morning show hosted by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. Again, this information is coming directly from Reynolds, who is hands-on in the creative process of the Deadpool movies.

While it’s far from uncommon to see actors, directors or other talent confirm projects themselves, I often see stories from sources confirming information without a named source. For example, when Timothee Chalamet joined Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Deadline broke the story. This is one of those situations where I’d refer to and fall back upon that meter of trust that was discussed in our lectures that ranges from -30 to 30. It’s commonly accepted that places like Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline have sources inside studios who are confirming news like this, and they’re very rarely wrong. They’ve built this trust over decades, so they’re close to 30 when it comes to stories such as this one.

There are rare occurrences that cause a bit of a stir in the film fan community, such as when it was reported that Ben Affleck wanted out as Batman in February of 2017. It was originally reported by someone I value and trust who was a member of a daily movie news show on YouTube, and the story was picked up by We Got This Covered among other outlets. At the time, John Campea, a member of the daily news show said that Affleck no longer wanted to play Batman, which was actually denied by Affleck himself months later. We’re now almost three years removed from that story, and Affleck will not be returning to the role, so despite the controversy the report caused, it seems to have been correct.

I think it’s pretty rare that stories like this are inaccurate, mostly because there’s very little reason for them to be inaccurate. Despite actors sometimes making it seem like they’re the most important people on the planet, it’s not like they’re holding the presidential office. They want their work to be recognized and publicized without secrecy, and if they see a story that’s untrue, they can come out and denounce incorrect stories themselves. They typically say nothing if the story is true because any publicity works in favor of both the project and the actor. I don’t see any issue with the way these stories are covered, and I see them continuing to be covered similarly in the near future and beyond.

Featured Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures from “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”