Who needs speculative spewing gossip rags when the actual production staff—executive producers, directors and stars--- will do the dirty work themselves?
Welcome back Maniacs to our second installment of the Top Maniacal Rumors of the Week. In this edition, we’ll focus on the directors and producers who stoke the fires of misinformation about their upcoming projects by leaking pictures and stories designed to create controversy…and generally confuse the hell out of us.
What better way to throw off your fanboys around the net than by supervising the leakage of information yourself? That’s what X-Files creator Chris Carter and action-director MichaelBay have set on their agendas.
X-Files Werewolf photo a hoax?
The Rumor: A few weeks ago, some shockingly revealing set photos appeared online courtesy of Joblo, which seemingly revealed the entire secretive plot concept that Chris Carter has been holding close to his chest. In the set photos, it shows Carter on location in Vancouver, talking with an actor dressed in what looks to be a Werewolf costume. We here at Mania published it, thinking it was too good to be true.
Apparently it is…
The Source: Movie Web reports that the photo above could be nothing but disinformation from Carter in a devious attempt to throw us off the real plot concept for the upcoming X-Files 2. Here’s what a source had to say to Movie Hole earlier this week on those hairy snapshots.
"Just got off the phone with an old Canuck film buddy of mine. While discussing the many projects he's been working on lately, I asked him about The X-Files, and more specifically, about those werewolf pictures that popped up on the net a couple of weeks ago. After chuckling a bit, he said that Chris Carter knows what he's doing, and that the werewolf did exactly what it was supposed to do- throw people off the X-Files scent. Translation? Those photos that appeared online were nothing more than a hoax by the production!"
The Mania Verdict:. Both Movie Hole and Joblo tend to be more reliable than the average gossip rag. But the funny thing about this situation is that Fox demanded that Joblo take down the werewolf photos. If this is indeed a publicity stunt, why demand the photos be removed? Our take is that the Werewolf photos could have been legitimate, initially, but their too-early release to the general public may prompt a change from Carter and Company. It may not have been deliberate disinformation, but it can probably count as it now.
Bay: "No Dinobots in Transformers 2! Or am I messing with your head?"
The Rumor: For months, there’s been curious speculation on which robots will make their theatrical debut in the 2009 sequel to last summer’s smash-hit, Transformers. Word on the street is that Cybertron, Galvatron and Dinobots might be involved.
The Source: Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were the first to get the rumor mill spinning at last summer’s BotCon conference by hinting to us these fan-enticing keywords. Unfortunately, we don’t know if any of this is true.
Because director MichaelBay is controlling what is and what isn’t released to the media. He even warned us all back in November that he’ll be supervising leaks with members of his production team.
"One thing I do know is, I know how to screw them up more," said Bay. "We're going to leak a lot of false information all over the place. I now know their game. They're going to get a lot of script treatments that they think are going to be the script. They will never see the script. We've got scripts and treatments written up that we're going to leak. No one's going to know."
Scoopers who currently think they're sitting on a hot one, here's a head's up. "There's one out that's fake right now. There are going to be many others."
So, when Bay announced online this past week that he has completed the rough story outline for Transformers 2 and there are no Dinobots, do we really accept his word at face value? Here’s what he had to say in a video interview a few days ago to IESB.
Before he began his interview on updating the sequel’s status, he jokingly said “It's coming shitty right now and I don't know what I'm going to do," he said with a very serious look, "I might scrap the project."
That automatically has us on guard on whether Bay is enacting his disinformation campaign.
For his part, star Shia LaBeouf is also excited about the sequel in today’s interview with Empire Online, though admittedly, he wouldn’t touch upon singular storyline issues like the Dinobots because of he doesn’t want to be reprimanded.
“I know of a few things I have to work on for the next one,” said LaBeouf. “I’ve seen pre-vizes of the action scenes and I just saw Michael yesterday. It’s going to be bad-ass. We’re not making another one unless it is, and Mike is definitely not resting on his laurels — he’s doing insane shit again. And the pre-vizes that I’ve seen… it’s just massive. If the first one was any indicator of how massive massive can be, this is going to blow that out of the water. It’s insane. Mike’s mind was just kind of made for this — it’s amazing. There’s going to be a lot more characterization with the robots, which I’m excited about. I was a fan of Transformers before the movie came out. And there’s going to be a lot of action…That goes unsaid, I guess”.
The Mania Verdict:For now, it’s safe to say that the Dinobots aren’t getting an inclusion into the sequel. But what’s to say that will be true when screenwriters Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman begin penning the screenplay over the next few weeks? It’s hard to believe anything from director Bay when he’s already warned us of his sinister plans of false intelligence. Production will begin in the next four months and may go through several screenplay drafts before the finished product hits theaters June 26, 2009.
Lost: Strike is over, Where’s my Full Season?
The Rumor:After reports broke that the WGA strike was finally coming to an amicable end, fans of the mega-hit ABC show Lost have literally been falling over the water cooler in their excitement for a full (shortened) 16-episode Season 4, as opposed to just an even shorter 8-episode plan. As soon as the strike officially ended, everyone wanted to know what we’d get. The first quote from a production insider, executive producer Damon Lindeloff, certainly seemed to be optimistic for fans wanting the full slate. But, unfortunately, it went downhill from there.
Here’s what executive producers Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse had to say about getting a full season.
"We are going to execute our full story plan for season four," Damon.Lindeloff tells E’s Kristen. "This simply requires a shift from high-octane storytelling to superhigh-octane storytelling. It requires no cramming, only a slightly heavier foot on the gas pedal...So, hold on to your hats. Those of you waiting for the long-anticipated Jin and Hurley Ping-Pong tournament, however, will be very disappointed."
But Lindeloff may have been optimistic a tad too soon. After a meeting with ABC brass, the next few leaks spelled out a change in philosophy.
"We're going to try to make as many [episodes] as we can and do a good job of finishing out this season," Cuse tells Variety. "We'll have to compress some of the storytelling we planned for this season, and that may not be a bad thing. Damon and I feel like we know how we can finish it off and still make it a really, really great story."
What came out of your meeting with ABC today?
Cuse: Damon [Lindeloff] and I are going to try to make five more episodes before the end of May, which is ambitious. But we've found ourselves in a situation where we had eight episodes of story planned, and we're going to try to fit that into five hours of the show. Even though it's going to be very hard to execute, we felt like any less would be doing a disservice to the story we had planned. We really want to give the fans the best possible experience and ending... to Season 4.
Any chance that the first of the five episodes will air the week after that last pre-strike episode — thus eliminating any scheduling gap?
Cuse: No, there's probably going to be four weeks between the airing of the first batch of episodes and our new episodes.
The Mania Verdict: So, we’re getting more episodes, but not the whole 16-flavor enchilada. The new official plan for Lost Season 4 is to air 7 episodes consecutively, 2 of which have been shown already, before taking a month long break. Under the new plan, the show would leave the air on March 13. We would then need to wait a month until April 17th or April 24th before seeing the final 6 episodes.
Are we going to eventually see the other 3 shows? Well, yes. Cuse has said in the above interview links that the commitment was for 48-one hour blocks of television. So that’s what we’re getting, strike problems or not. Those 3 additional shows will air somewhere down the line.
If you have any real juicy rumors worthy of discussion, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include “Top Rumors” in the title of the email, your username and the link to the story. You may find yourself scooped in next week’s column.