Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Superman/ JLA Rumors

I do not understand how Hollywood works. I don't. I'm an armchair spectator of the entertainment industry no more nor less than your average joe.

But one thing I do keep an eye on are rumors of Superman movies.

Recently, the Superman Homepage ran several items regarding a potential Justice League of America movie. Rumors ran from the notion that Christian Bale and Brandon Routh would not appear as Batman and Superman to the movie being an entirely CGI operation.

Now, whenever rumors like this begin to swirl, it can always be some ill-informed dork or some prankster pulling everyone's leg, but...

Superhero movies cost lots and lots of money. More than the GDP of most countries kind of money. When rumors as various as the ones I've been seeing flying all over the place begin to occur with no confirmation from the studio, it usually means one thing:

Someone is floating an idea to see how the fans respond

Hollywood's recent attention to events like Comic-Con and their slow realization that a reasonably close adaptation of comic book properties can lead to huge ticket and DVD sales has quickly led to the entertainment industry using message boards, websites, etc... as sounding boards for concepts before more than a few dollars are spent.

Now, sites like seem to bite on these rumors hook, like and sinker, most likely knowing the rumors are false, but in this world, you have to drive up your hit count if you want ad revenue. There's, no doubt, a lot of mutual scratching of backs going on in there somewhere.

It's not necessarily diabolical. Before I spent $2 million dollars putting Jeff Goldblum into Joker make-up on the tip from the suits at my studio that Goldblum is HOT! right now, I'd want to see if anyone actually agrees. So, you float an unconfirmed studio rumor to, and in 24 hours you have enough information to tell you how an audience is going to take to a person in a role. Or, indeed, how folks would like their JLA made up of polygons and gradients.

Alternately, some agents float similar rumors in order to get their client's name in the ring for a "coveted" role like Wonder Woman. (I can't tell you how many e-mails I get per year from various folks telling me who the next Wonder Woman is going to be in the not-even-in-pre-production WW flick).

Recently, the JLA and Superman camps have been floating rumors with an added sense of urgency to drum up some interest in their projects. This week rumors floated regarding the next Superman movie (supposedly titled "Man of Steel", probably to match "The Dark Knight"). Clearly the folks working on the JLA movie would like to just get going on their JLA movie and do not wish for a second Superman movie to get rolling, so wouldn't it behoove them to get folks talking about how absolutely great it would be to see a JLA movie?

There is a point to all this:

For the love of mike... unless you see something in an article with a studio exec going on the record regarding casting, start dates for filming (actors, producers and directors do not count as studio execs), do not believe the articles. People are attacked to projects all the time that never occur (I never got my mid-90's remake of "Harvey" featuring Tom Hanks or my "King Conan" with Gov. Arnold).

WB is trying to move carefully as they work on their potentially lucrative film projects. This includes Superman and JLA, as well as any member of the JLA in a spin-off flick.

So, you know... settle down. It's all hearsay until you see the first set picture.


J.S. said...

Do you mean to tell me we're not going to be seeing a Tron remake in time for Christmas?

The League said...

That depends on my blacklight and frisbee budget.

Michael Corley said...

My favorite was the the new TMNT animated movie was going to be directed by John Woo.