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Top Maniacal Rumors: Captain America, Spidey Returns and Potter Madness
An explosive round of wild rumors this week.
By Jarrod Sarafin
September 12, 2008
Captain America and Will Smith
© Mania.Com/Josh Gordon
It’s time for another edition of Mania’s Most Maniacal Rumors, where we blow the lid off the week’s juiciest gossip and hush-hush industry whispers.
If you have a rumor you want to contribute, we’re all ears. Just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Smith is Marvel Studio’s New Captain America?
Rumor: Let’s start this weekly wrap-up with the hottest bit of rumor mongering that hit the web this week, which is clearly the news that Will Smith was up the role of Captain America. This gossip came via actor Derek Luke while promoting Spike Lee’s upcoming Miracle at St. Anna.
Mania Verdict: FALSE---As much as we believe Smith can play nearly any role given to him, this rumor was just too juicy not to be shot down within a day. Multiple sources within Marvel Studios revealed to the media that they have never offered, approach or even have a conversation with Will Smith on possibly taking the high profile role. So, this rumor is not true.
Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire Locked in for Spider-Man 4?
Rumor: After months of silence on who’s participating in Sony’s Spider-Man 4, the latest report says that it will be led by those who know the franchise well. Leading star Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi have signed to appear in the fourth adventure.
Mania Verdict: TRUE---While the site isn’t a direct press release from Sony, there have been indications lately that Maguire and Raimi were interested in coming back after taking a year break from the franchise. Sony Pictures is unsure whether they will be able to film Spider-Man 4 and 5 back-to-back as was screenwriter James Vanderbilt’s plan but the fourth adventure now has a leading star and a director. No word yet whether Kirsten Dunst returns as Mary Jane though Sony says they will not recast the character.
D.J. Caruso Up for Directing Thor?
Rumor: Director D.J. Caruso, who led Disturbia and has Eagle Eye hitting theaters later this month, could be up for the top job in adapting Marvel Studios’ Thor.
Mania Verdict: MAYBE---This production has been delayed quite a few times, something which caused director Matthew Vaughn to leave the project behind and move forward with adapting the comic Kick-Ass instead. With Caruso’s line-up of films also busy, we could end up seeing the development hell-based scenario. Here’s what the director had to say to Robert Sanchez.
"I have had some talks with Marvel about it but I have not seen a screenplay. It could be something that I am interested in," Caruso said. "I was always a fan of Thor growing up as a kid. I know that they [Marvel] have a script, but there's something, there's a fear I have about Thor and depending on what Thor story you want to tell, whether you want to bring Thor into the modern world or if you want to go back to Asgard and get the history of what's happening between him and his brother and dad. That's one I've always been interested in and it also would be, it would be a monumental task so, I could definitely see myself getting myself into that."
WB Still Interested in Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Penguin and Johnny Depp playing Riddler?
Rumor: Just when these widespread rumors are debunked a few weeks ago, co-star Michael Caine jokingly brought it up again after having a conversation with a Warner Bros. executive, who likely just made a comment based on the rumors.
Mania Verdict: FALSE---False, false and false once again. As what has been said in previous rumor columns, WB executives have also confirmed that Nolan is on vacation and there is no script or story planned out between the two groups. Nolan hasn’t even been confirmed as coming back for a third installment and until he does sign on the dotted line, treat these rumors as false.
In a related note, here’s what Hoffman had to say to MTV on the Penguin rumors this week.
“No one has talked to me about it ever — never,” replied Hoffman. “It happened, like, five years ago, too. It was a rumor back then and it’s still a rumor. [laughs] It’s just in the press. It’s funny.”
“I’m such a fan of those movies,” related Hoffman. “Comic book movies in general I look forward to — I am a real cheerleader for them. I want them to do well because those are terrific stories. As a kid I was a big comic book collector. What [Nolan]’s doing is taking it in a whole other exciting great place. I’m more a fan, so the interest of being in it isn’t that great. It’s more the interest in wanting to see the next one. It’s probably better that way.”
Film and Script Issues the Main Reason for Half-Blood Prince Reschedule?
Rumor: A few weeks back, Warner Bros. shifted its next release Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from a November 2008 release to a debut on July 17, 2009. While this move seemed to indicate that the studio made a box office decision based on their Dark Knight success from that same weekend this year, new reports seem to suggest that the move was also enacted due to script and film issues.
Mania Verdict: TRUE—While this hasn’t been confirmed by Warner Bros. or direct sources, the first screening of the film wound up negative on specific points of Half-Blood Prince plot points. By pushing it back to July 2009, the studio has given itself ten extra months to reshoot and get the sixth installment right for fans.
Script and Director Ready for The Greatest American Hero?
Rumor: There have been rumors of a possible Greatest American Hero in development for sometime. The latest report suggest that pre-production development is nearly complete with a director attached and a script completed.
Mania Verdict: TRUE---Here’s what Stephen J. Cannell—creator of the 80’s cult hit series---had to say about the progress of his project.
"We've written a screenplay, and we've hired a director, and we're in the midst of putting this together for the future," Cannell told an audience in Hollywood on Sept. 7 at a panel commemorating the Screen Actors Guild foundation's 75th anniversary.
Piranha 3-D Delayed Shoot Until Next Spring?
Rumor: Despite being due in theaters July 24, 2009, the latest rumor appearing online about the upcoming Alex Aja-directed remake of Piranha 3-D is an indication that the fall shoot has been pushed back to March or April 2009.
Mania Verdict: TRUE---Here’s what an inside source had said to Ryan Rotten about the new production timeframe.
"There just wasn't enough time for pre-production to get it done in time," says one insider. "It's all about pre-production and trying to make it the best it can be."
Devastator Appearing in Transformers 2?
Rumor: There have been rumors these past few months of a “monster sized” robot appearing in the upcoming Michael Bay-directed sequel. The latest report suggests that giant robot is in fact Devastator, created by combining seven different construction vehicles.
Mania Verdict: TRUE---The robot has been mentioned in connection with the sequel before and producers have already said to expect bigger and better robots to increase the action pace that Bay loves so much. Who better to have than something called the Devastator?
No Live-Action TMNT 2 After All?
Rumor: Just a week after producer Kevin Eastman indicates that Imagi and Warner Bros. are working on a live-action TMNT sequel to follow up the 2007 success, a report pops up saying the exact opposite.
Source: TMNT co-creator Peter Laird
Mania Verdict: TRUE---Here’s what co-creator Peter Laird had to say about Eastman’s comments about a live-action Turtles movie.
As it stands now, there is no intention of doing another live-action film like the first three, with actors and stuntmen in actual Turtle suits, contrary to what was said by Kevin. We have pretty much decided that the next “TMNT” movie should be what we’ve been calling a “hybrid” — that is to say, live-action humans and sets combined with very realistic CGI Turtles (and possibly some other CGI characters).