The 10 Most Ridiculous Casting/Development Rumors of 2010

Few Hollywood pastimes enjoy the longevity and influence of a well-placed casting or development rumor. Agents, producers, writers, studio execs and numerous other industry species have used the form to stimulate interest in their projects (or disinterest in others) as long as trade publications have existed to print them; the growth of the Web has seen those projects -- and their insinuation as anything close to reality -- explode. And 2010 was a banner year for BS.

With that in mind, grab some tall rubber boots and a breathing mask for an eye-watering walk down memory lane:

10. Gemma Arterton will replace Megan Fox in Transformers 3

To the extent no one could truly determine whether Fox was bounced from the Transformers franchise for her bad attitude or bad plastic surgery, we had an even more difficult time parsing speculation about her successor. Then one day Arterton -- who already has her hands full with the Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia (and who herself hasn't been especially shy about their demoralizing stupidity) -- arose as the gossip consensus to inherit Fox's place. "Not even close," came the reply from Team Michael Bay, which couldn't have been more true: The director soon afterward went with novice actress and Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. How did no one see that coming?

9. Fernando Meirelles will direct a Janis Joplin biopic starring Amy Adams

The Janis Joplin window closes a little more every year as the boomers who'd pay to not only make but also watch this film totter geriatrically into the sunset. After more than a decade of speculation you might think it had finally closed, but along came "word" from a producer that the one-time Oscar-nominees Meirelles (City of God) and Adams were contemplating sneaking through. And then the project disappeared again, like it always does. Stop falling for this, Internet.

8. Darren Aronofsky will direct Superman, er, Preacher, I mean, Machine Man, that is, The Wolverine

RoboCop is so 2009, amirite? The likely Best Director nominee who spent the first half of the year on the minor art-house masterpiece that is Black Swan spent the second half bouncing between one big-budget studio project after another after another, finally settling on The Wolverine. Much (avoidable) geek whiplash ensued.

7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, er, Tom Hardy will play the Riddler in The Dark Knight Rises

Looking back, I really don't know why we bothered with the JGL gossip, which was even less-founded in anything close to the loose political reality that attends so much of the Hollywood hearsay on this list. I mean, there is a high likelihood this was never legitimately discussed anywhere before just materializing one day. Tom Hardy's participation isn't necessarily any more concrete, but if you're keeping score at home, he's basically the Inception alum you're left with. Grain of salt, etc.

6. Logan Lerman, er, Angus T. Jones, wait, Jamie Bell, that is, Andrew Garfield is your new Spider-Man

What to say? This was the most myopic, over-caffeinated, strenuously agent-managed casting sweepstakes of the year. And in the end, Sony decided to just go with the guy they already had on the Social Network publicity payroll. Synergy! Live it, love it.

5. Ridley and Tony Scott will take over MGM


4. Martin Scorsese and Lars von Trier will collaborate on a remake of Taxi Driver

Rumormongers had this one following the vein of the von Trier-produced Five Obstructions, a challenge to director Jorgen Leth to remake his short film The Perfect Human five different ways. How this scenario ever broke out of the fan-fiction realm is beyond me.

3. Russell Crowe and Beyonce Knowles will lead the latest Star is Born remake

I'd say you can't make this crap up, but apparently you can. And people will believe it. Even Gerard Butler wasn't safe from the WTF-ery.

2. George Lucas is developing a new trilogy of Star Wars films

We spent more time than we really should have had to spend this year charting the outer limits of (often fabricated) Lucasian whim, from reanimated actors to Indiana Jones 3-D. But no BS had us choking quite as severely as the reported new trilogy of Star Wars films that would follow the conversion and re-release of the original six in 3-D and on Blu-ray... around, oh, 2018. I mean, why even bother bringing junk like that around here, rumor gnomes?

1. Heath Ledger will make a posthumous cameo in The Dark Knight Rises

Of course he will. Just... God. Enough, already.


  • CiscoMan says:

    I can't remember, is Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote on again? Wasn't there production with Ewan McGregor? Also, what does God have against Terry Gilliam?

  • Leland says:

    I hear The Situation is slated to play Ignatius in The Confederacy of Dunces.

  • Joanna says:

    Um, didn't Nolan say he WASN'T putting the Riddler in the movie?
    Besides, not going with David Tennant for that part is a MISTAKE.

  • wayne wisecarver says:

    There's a rumor with legs. The first Ignatius bandied about that I ever heard of was in 1977. gonna be Belushi fer shur.

  • Anonymous says:

    Amy Adams is WAY too pretty to play Janis Joplin. They'd have to ugly her up something fierce for that to be believable.

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