Downey suggests War Machine is in 'Iron Man 2'. Plus: First head rolls over 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' leak. More 'Green Lantern' casting rumors. Waking up with a hangover and skipping church, it's your Comics2Film 9.4.5!
Last week word spread of a nearly-complete work print of 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' making the rounds of file-sharing sites. 20th Century Fox and the FBI sprang into action and the online press almost universally denounced the leak. The key word there is "almost".
And who was the one online outlet that did not decry the unfortunate leak, but indeed posted a first-hand review based on the unfinished print? FoxNews.com.
That's right, columnist Roger Friedman, who has had a long-running gossip blog called "Fox 411" website, decided to download the movie, post a review and simultaneously extol the virtues of illegally downloading intellectual property.
In her account of the events Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood provides this quote from Freidman's now-deleted review:
"I did find the whole top 10 [movies in theaters], plus TV shows, commercials, videos, everything, all streaming away. It took really less than seconds to start playing it all right onto my computer. I could have downloaded all of it but really, who has the time or the room? Later tonight I may finally catch up with Paul Rudd in I Love You, Man. It’s so much easier than going out in the rain!"
Both 20th Century Fox and News Corp (the parent of the movie studio and the cable news network) were swift to act.
20th Century Fox issued this statement:
"We’ve just been made aware that Roger Friedman, a freelance columnist who writes Fox 411 on Foxnews.com – an entirely separate company from 20th Century Fox -- watched on the internet and reviewed a stolen and unfinished version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This behavior is reprehensible and we condemn this act categorically -- whether the review is good or bad."
And New Corp issued this statement:
“Roger Friedman’s views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation. We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. Once we learned of Roger Friedman’s post we asked Fox News to remove it, which they did immediately.”
However, the response did not end there. Fox New chief Roger Ailes removed the offending editorial from Foxnews.com as soon as he became aware of it.
And then he fired Roger Friedman. Finke's source at Fox News told her on Saturday, "He promoted piracy. He basically suggested that viewing a stolen film is OK, which is absolutely intolerable. So we fired him," a source told me Saturday. "Fox News acted promptly on all fronts."
So Friedman's gone, done in by a self-inflicted wound. The hunt for the source of the leak continues.
Actor Chris Pine has confirmed Mania's earlier report: rumors that he'd been offered the lead role in 'Green Lantern' are false.
The actor, seen next in 'Star Trek', told MTV Splash Page said, “I had a meeting with [casting director] Pam Dixon and [executive producer] Donald De Line, but a meeting was all it was. I have not been offered squat. I do not have the part and haven’t read a script.”
The actor seemed uncertain if he'd have taken the role even if it had been offered. “I’m not a big comic book fan,” he told MTV, indicating that he wouldn't sign on based on the source material alone. "I’m a fan of stories. So if there’s a story to be told, I love to tell a good story. But there’s not a particular superhero or comic book character that I’d like to play.”
Actor Robert Downey Jr. sat down to talk with ET Online about his new movie 'The Soloist' with Jamie Foxx. At the tail end of the interview Downey talks about 'Iron Man 2'.
He told ET that he's getting bulked up after losing weight for 'Sherlock Holmes' and that he just had an audition with Scarlett Johansson.
"She's in insane shape. She's getting lean and mean," Downey said.
Pressed for a real scoop Downey revealed that the anticipated hero arc for the Rhodey character may happen in the sequel.
"Iron Man 2 is about looking behind the armor or the armature of the super hero. It's one thing to say you're Iron Man. It's another thing to be fully ready to do that," Downey said. "I think it's about Don Cheadle now playing Rhodey and therefore War Machine."
Here's the video of the chat:
What do you think, Maniacs? Are you ready to see War Machine blast off in Iron Man 2? Post your comments below...
Rumors have been swirling since last summer that 20th Century Fox chief Tim Rothman had visited the set of 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' and engaged in extensive tampering with director Gavin Hood's vision for the film. Supposedly things were so bad that producer Richard Donner had to head down under to smooth things over with Hood and even take a hands-on role in directing some of the film.
Hood talked to The Hollywood Reporter about these stories and said, in no uncertain terms, that they are false.
"I have never had a...argument with Tom Rothman. Nor has Tom with me," Hood said, "and It's quite upsetting to see how these things spiral."
He also addressed internet chatter that Rothman was intentionally trying to sabotage the film.
"Nobody's trying to screw up the movie," Hood insists. Check out the video interview:
IESB.net has an extensive chat with actor/filmmaker Brian Austine Green ('Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles') who is a producer on the planned 'Fathom' movie, starring Megan Fox.
Green revealed that Fox is a huge fan of the comics and has been instrumental in giving the project momentum. But his top priority is making sure that movie does justice to the late, great Michael Turner, who created the comic, but succumbed to bone cancer last year.
"At the point I went up to his house, he was actually sick at the time because he had just done chemo 3 days before and he was up and down. He was fighting already at that point. So, yeah, this for me, every time we sit down up at Fox and read and talk about it, that's the most important thing, I want to use as many of Michael's sketches as we can for everything, for set design, costume design, everything. I want people, when they see this film, to see the vision he created. Genuinely, not just, this is the world, this is Aspen and the rest creative licensing, I don't want to do that, Frank is a huge part of it, Frank loves the comic and obviously loved Mike and Mike was an amazing guy and I think we have a chance to make an amazing movie," Green said.
Later in the interview, Green mentions he's a big fan of 'Green Lantern' and mentions how great the character comes off in the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe game.
"We were playing the Mortal Kombat game and [Megan Fox] was like, 'you should play him in the movie.' I was like yeah that's funny."
Aside from Fox's opinions, buzz on the internet has helped bolster Green's quest for the ring. He told IESB he's working to land the part.
"The response has been they've got names in mind but I am hoping to get in and meet with the producers," Green said. "I'm gonna push for it like Tobey Maguire [did with 'Spider-Man']. Push for it. That's all I can do."
Click through for the complete, extensive Q & A.