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Published on November 18th, 2009 | by simeon

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Murphy, Stiles, Carbonell, Worthington Talk

When a new James Bond or Batman film goes into pre-production, one of the worst things that online news has only helped propagate is rampant and unjustified casting speculation.

Usually first popping up in a UK tabloid or on a small news-themed web or fan site, in 99% of cases the talk proves to be initiated by a lazy journalist making a guess or citing a source which is usually a junior agency/studio staffer making a guess.

At other times its an actor’s PR people themselves trying to spread talk and get their client noticed, a trick which never works – all The Joker talk certainly didn’t help Aussie thesp Lachy Hulme.

The past two days has seen quite a few casting rumors emerge with no real justified sourcing on any of them. This, capped off with the debunked Rachel McAdams talk the other day, sadly will only get worse so long as popularity means more than accuracy.

Am I above it? Hardly, I myself have reported on such talk and are as guilty as everyone else. Over the years I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can and bring some common sense to these stories where possible. Lets separate the hype from the hyperbole:

RUMOR: Cillian Murphy is top choice to play Aron Ralston, the mountain climber at the center of Danny Boyle’s next film “127 Hours”. Story originated in The News of the World.

COMMON SENSE: Murphy worked with Boyle twice before, so the link is understandably being made, but the article makes no mention of the source on the Murphy connection and the film is still in early stages. Plus this is News of the World after all, not The Times.

RUMOR: Julia Stiles has “had a meeting” with a casting company in New York City to discuss joining Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 4” says UGO.

COMMON SENSE: Stiles could well have had the meeting, but so will at least two dozen other actresses. McAdams, Stiles, Garai – there’s a definite pattern of actresses in their late 20’s/early 30’s being considered for a role in the film but no decision or even a ‘final list of contenders’ is said to exist as yet. Expect something more solid closer to production, probably around January.

RUMOR: Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert on TV’s “Lost”) is a favourite to play Khan in the next “Star Trek” sequel according to some upfrontly admitted speculation by Coming Soon.

COMMON SENSE: The script hasn’t begun to take any shape yet and Khan’s involvement as a character has not in anyway been confirmed or even speculated in interviews by director J.J. Abrams or the various writers and actors that took place this month to promote the DVD/Blu-ray release (unless you count John Cho’s ‘wishes’). The film itself won’t hit till 2012 at the earliest, indicating it’s a good year or more away before casting considerations could even begin, and a lot will depend on whether Abrams decides to return to the director’s chair which is likely but not yet set.

RUMOR: Sam Worthington is up for replacing Mel Gibson in George Miller’s upcoming “Mad Max: Fury Road”. The rumor first emerged via The Daily Telegraph when Miller announced the film a few weeks ago.

COMMON SENSE: Now this is the proper way to handle a casting rumor – The Daily Telegraph asked Worthington the question directly this week in Sydney where he just presented an award a few hours ago. The Aussie actor cut right to the chase, saying “Like Eric (Bana), I’ve never been approached. I would have loved it. From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be amazing… I’m sure (director) George (Miller) has his reasons. He’s obviously got his own ideas about the type of guy he wants.”


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