Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM WITH HULK-SIZED SEMIOTICAL ESSAYS ON STORYTELLING, CINEMATIC PRINCIPLES, AND MEDIA THEORY! HULK EVEN MAKE PRACTICAL HOW-TO GUIDES! See More...

Film Crit Hulk Smash: WHY CASTING RUMORS ARE NONSENSE

So-and-so is in talks to be in STAR WARS VII!

Film Crit Hulk Smash: WHY CASTING RUMORS ARE NONSENSE

PLEASE KNOW THAT HULK GETS IT. YOU VERY MUCH WANT TO KNOW WHO IS GOING TO BE IN THE MOVIES YOU ARE ANTICIPATING. AND SITES VERY MUCH WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT THEM SO THAT YOU CLICK. THOSE ARE PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE DESIRES.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT ANY TIME YOU SEE ANY SORT OF CASTING RUMOR OR INFORMATION ABOUT SOMEONE BEING THE #1 CHOICE OR WHATEVER, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THAT INFORMATION HAS A 99% CHANCE OF BEING COMPLETELY BOGUS.

HERE'S WHY.

WHEN PEOPLE READ ABOUT A CASTING RUMOR THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE GETTING SOME KIND OF INSIDE SCOOP OF RELATIVELY CONCRETE INFORMATION. THIS IS NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING. 90% OF THE TIME, THE INFORMATION IS BEING RELEASED FROM SOMEBODY'S AGENT OR PROXY AND THE REASON THEY DO THIS IS SIMPLE: IT ALLOWS FOR THE ACTOR TO GET FREE P.R. AND THE REST OF HOLLYWOOD CAN NOW SEE THAT THEY ARE BEING CONSIDERED FOR BIG IMPORTANT ROLES... BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY HAVE THE ROLE.

IN FACT, WHEN YOU READ ABOUT A PERSON'S NAME THAT USUALLY MEANS THE ACTOR IS DISTINCTLY NOT IN THE RUNNING FOR THE PART, BECAUSE SHOOTING YOUR WAD AND TELLING THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY YOU ARE IN THE RUNNING WOULD BE THE THE QUICKEST WAY OF PISSING OFF THE STUDIO/FILMMAKERS AND NOT GETTING SAID ROLE. SO INSTEAD OF LOBBYING FOR THE ROLE, THE ACTOR'S TEAM IS JUST HEDGING THEIR BETS AND USING WHATEVER KERNEL OF TRUTH THERE WAS TO THE STORY (OFTEN A MEETING THAT WENT BADLY) SO THAT THEY CAN TURN THE WHOLE SITUATION INTO POSITIVE BUZZ. IT'S LIKE "OH, REALLY? THAT UP AND COMING ACTOR IS UP FOR A COMIC BOOK MOVIE AND THEY JUST SO HAPPEN TO HAVE A LITTLE INDIE MOVIE COMING OUT THIS WEEKEND? THAT'S SO WEIRD!" AND DON'T EVEN THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE THE ACTOR HAD A MEETING THAT THIS HAS ANY KIND OF SIGNIFICANCE BECAUSE THESE MEETINGS HAPPEN ALL THE DAMN TIME WITH EVERY SINGLE ACTOR AVAILABLE. GENERAL MEETINGS AREN'T EVEN LIKE FIRST DATES. THEY'RE LIKE CHECKING OUT SOMEONE'S FACEBOOK PROFILE.

IT'S ALL JUST POWER PLAYS WITH PURPOSELY MISLEADING INFORMATION. AND A LOT OF TIMES IT'S NOT EVEN ABOUT GETTING POSITIVE BUZZ, BUT INSTEAD GETTING LEVERAGE IN SOME OTHER DEAL. THE BEST WAY TO DRIVE UP THE PRICE AND THE WILL TO SIGN SOMEONE IS TO BE LIKE "OH, SO AND SO IS UP FOR THIS OTHER BIG PART! IF YOU DIG THEM YOU BETTER SIGN EM QUICK!" AND PLEASE DON'T BE IN A RUSH TO BLAME THE ACTORS FOR THIS CRAP. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES THEY'LL WAKE UP TO SEE THAT THEIR AGENT HAS RELEASED SOME RIDICULOUS STORY? IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. AND THE MOST INFURIATING THING ABOUT ALL OF THIS IS THAT FOR SOME REASON IT KEEPS PERPETUATING BECAUSE SO MANY INDUSTRY PEOPLE WILL READ A RUMOR AND THINK IT'S TRUE WHEN THEY KNOW THE REAL WAY THAT BUSINESS IS CONDUCTED AND OFTEN DO IT THEMSELVES. IT'S INSANE.

NOW, WHENEVER SOMETHING IS A GENUINE LEAK, A.K.A. SOME INSIDE SOURCE GIVING INFORMATION TO A REPORTER, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THE IMPLICATION MEANS SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY: IT MEANS THE PERSON LEAKING THE INFORMATION HAS NO ACTUAL IDEA WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING IN THE PRODUCTION.

SERIOUSLY. THINK ABOUT THE LOGIC: WHY WOULD HULK, OR A PERSON WITH ACTUAL STAKE, INTEREST OR CONTROL IN A MOVIE, START RELEASING CASTING RUMORS THAT WOULD POTENTIALLY TOTALLY FUCK THINGS UP? THAT WOULD SEVERELY DAMAGE THE ABILITY TO GET THE EXACT CAST THAT IS WANTED BY THE PRODUCTION? WHY WOULD SOMEONE EVER PURPOSELY BUNGLE THOSE KINDS OF DECISIONS? THERE IS NO REASON. SO IT JUST MEANS THAT ANYONE RELEASING INFORMATION FROM INSIDE A PRODUCTION IS USUALLY 1) IMPOSSIBLY YOUNG AND EAGER TO BE A PART OF THE LARGER MACHINATIONS OF THE INDUSTRY AND 2) NOT IN THE ACTUAL KNOW. SORRY. BUT IT'S TRUE. ANYONE IN THE INNER CIRCLE DOESN'T FUCK AROUND (THAT DOESN'T MEAN INNER CIRCLES DON'T TALK TO PEOPLE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ABOUT WHAT'S GOING DOWN, BUT THAT STUFF USUALLY STAYS IN THE FUN GOSSIP CORRIDOR). THIS ISN'T JUST HULK'S CRAZY THEORY EITHER. STUDIOS AND PRODUCTION COMPANIES KNOW THAT KEEPING INFORMATION PRIVATE IS PARAMOUNT TO THEIR SUCCESS, SO THEY WILL OFTEN RELEASE BOGUS INFORMATION DOWN THEIR RANKS TO FIND THE LEAKS AND GUESS WHAT? 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 IT'S AN INTERN, ASSISTANT OR SOMEONE WITH A JUNIOR ROLE, AND THEN WE OFTEN FIND OUT THAT SAID LEAKER HAS BEEN LYING ABOUT THEIR STATION TO WHOMEVER THEY LEAKED TO (THE OTHER 1 OUT OF 10 IS JUST SOMEONE RATHER BITTER AND SABOTAGE-Y). THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. BUT THE ONLY POINT THAT MATTERS TO YOU IS THAT THIS INFORMATION IS OFTEN HIGHLY INACCURATE, OR JUST A MERE SLIVER OF A LARGER PICTURE.

THE LESSON OF ALL THIS SHOULD BE PRETTY CLEAR, RIGHT?

IT MEANS WE SHOULD NEVER EVEN LISTEN TO THIS CRAP. WE ONLY LISTEN NOW BECAUSE WE THINK THERE'S A LOT MORE TRUTH TO THESE RUMORS THAN THERE ACTUALLY IS. SO GUESS WHAT? HULK IS GOING TO SHIFT THE FOCUS AWAY FROM THE READERS AND IS INSTEAD GOING TO PUT THE IMPETUS OF CHANGE ON THOSE THAT ACTUALLY REPORT THIS STUFF. LOOK, HULK UNDERSTANDS THAT WE'RE IN A REALLY DIFFICULT BUSINESS AND WE HAVE TO CHASE DOWN TRAFFIC AND READERS AND CASTING RUMORS GET ATTENTION... BUT LET'S HAVE NO ILLUSIONS ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING: WE ARE LITERALLY PEDDLING INCORRECT INFORMATION AND RIDICULOUS BULLSHIT. THERE IS NO ACTUAL JOURNALISM. NO ONE IS CONFIRMING FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES. IT'S JUST THE PERPETUATION OF RUMOR-MONGERING TO SUIT SOMEONE ELSE'S PURPOSE. AND THERE'S A REASON THE ONES WHO DO CONFIRM FROM SOURCES RARELY PRINT THESE KINDS OF STORIES, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE INVOLVED KNOW IT'S B.S. OR ALTERNATELY HAVE NO REASON TO CLARIFY AND EXPLAIN WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING. SO HULK IS SORRY, THERE IS JUST NO WAY TO PUT A NICE BOW ON THE REPORTING OF CASTING RUMORS.

AND THIS PROBLEM APPLIES ACROSS THE BOARD TO PRE-PRODUCTION IN GENERAL. IT'S A WILD, RIDICULOUS AND ULTIMATELY MEANINGLESS PROCESS IN AND OF ITSELF. PRODUCERS WILL THROW TOGETHER THESE GIANT LISTS OF CANDIDATES WHICH WILL FEATURE ALL THE DREAM NAMES IMAGINABLE AND SOME INTERN WILL SEE THE LIST AND THINK "SO AND SO IS IN THE RUNNING FOR X JOB!" IDEAS AND SCRIPT DETAILS GET CHANGED CONSTANTLY, ALL THE WAY UP UNTIL THE FINISHED FILM. IT'S AN ORGANIC PROCESS THAT IS CONSTANTLY IN DELICATE FLUX AND SO TO REPORT ON IT WITH ANY KIND OF CERTAINTY OR DEFINITIVE VOICE IS... WELL... RIDICULOUS. WE CAN'T PRETEND THIS IS SOME WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN SHIT. THE ONLY THING WE CAN SAY IS CAPITAL-T TRUE IS AN ACTUAL ANNOUNCEMENT. AND EVEN THEN, THE ONLY THING THAT IS OF ANY CONSEQUENCE IS WHATEVER ENDS UP IN THE FINAL FILM.

THE FUNNY THING IS THAT THIS ALL JUST FEEDS BACK INTO HULK'S WORRY THAT WE ARE AN ANTICIPATION MOVIE CULTURE INSTEAD OF A REFLECTIVE MOVIE CULTURE. THE EXHILARATION OF HAVING SEEN A GREAT MOVIE SEEMS TO BE DWARFED BY THE FERVOR AND EXPECTATION OF FANDOM GOING INTO IT. HULK UNDERSTANDS THE INCLINATION, AS IT IS ENTIRELY HUMAN. BUT IF WE TAKE THAT FERVOR INTO DIRECTLY GLORIFYING, SUPPORTING OR GIVING A PASS TO THAT WHICH IS INACCURATE, THAN HULK ARGUES WE ARE INDEED DOING SOMETHING WRONG. OR IN THE VERY LEAST, THAT WE CAN TO DO BETTER. AND HULK REALIZES THAT THIS COMPLAINT AND SMALL ARTICULATION OF THE CASTING / PRE-PRODUCTION PROCESS MEANS VERY LITTLE IN THE END, BUT ALL HULK CAN DO IS PLEAD WITH YOU NOT TO CARE ABOUT OR OVERREACT TO CASTING RUMOR NEWS. BECAUSE NOT ONLY ARE THE ODDS THAT SAID RUMOR IS COMPLETELY BOGUS, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY BETTER CONVERSATIONS WE COULD BE HAVING.

<3 HULK

Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
t