Welcome to an all-new feature, exclusive to LRM: The Rumor Report Card.
For this recurring feature, I'll take a look at the week's biggest rumors, analyze them, break them down a bit, and then let you know whether or not you should believe them. Since there's constantly so much floating around out there and it can be hard to sift through what's real and what's shaky, I figured you could use the input of someone who's been dealing with this stuff every day for several years.
Today, we're going to tackle a numbers of rumors that are related to films like Wonder Woman, Green Lantern Corps, Deadpool II, and the Harry Potter franchise.
We'll be using the BOCHINCHE SCALE to grade these rumors. "Bochinche" is a Spanish slang term that means "gossip." The higher the grade, the more likely you should pay attention to this Bochinche; The lower the grade, the more you should ignore it.
Let's get started, shall we?
RUMOR REPORT CARD- 1/23/17
I. "Is WONDER WOMAN In Trouble?"
Early last week, we shared with you a story that came from a revelation on the Shmoes Knows podcast. On that show, Sasha Perl-Raver revealed that she'd spoken to someone who had seen Wonder Woman and described it as a disappointing, discombobulated mess and another Batman v Superman in-the-making.
It was sort of fascinating to see what came of this. Shortly after the word of these remarks hit the net, Perl-Raver took to twitter to issue a clarification. What's notable is that her clarification didn't backpedal on anything. She merely wanted people to know that she was still hopeful that the person she'd spoken to was wrong about their assessment of the film, and that she was optimistic that the final cut of Wonder Woman will be great. None of that invalidated what her source told her, it just meant she didn't want people saying that she was crapping all over Wonder Woman. Then another journalist took to his Facebook to decry the way Perl-Raver's comments on the podcast were being reported. He, too, didn't deny the idea that she'd spoken to someone who had seen the film; He was just trying to make sure that people weren't sensationalizing her words.
So where does that leave us? Well, at the end of the day, Perl-Raver's and the other journalist's remarks don't detract from the idea that someone with insider standing saw Wonder Woman and thinks it's going to suffer from the same issues that plagued Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad.
Wonder Woman has been in post-production for an extremely long time. Longer than usual, if you think about it. Most movies of this magnitude get around 6-8 months of post-production. As of this writing, Wonder Woman has been in post for 8 months, with another 5 to come before its release. I bring this up to say that it's absolutely likely that there are test screenings taking place by now, and that there's an early cut (or seven) of the film getting shown to people behind closed doors. So there are people who've seen Wonder Woman.
As I've stated before, as optimistic as we'd all like to be about the Patty Jenkins film starring Gal Gadot, there's a very sobering fact that cannot be overlooked:
Wonder Woman is a product of the same collective of filmmakers that gave us Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad, i.e. "The Old Guard."
In other words, even though it's coming out almost a year after Geoff Johns was appointed the Chief Creative Officer for DC, at the same time that Zack Snyder was taken out of power as the architect of the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman is actually a movie that came from the same people that necessitated these ground-up changes. So how different can it really be from what came before it?
BOCHINCHE GRADE: A-
You should believe that people have seen Wonder Woman, and that one person- in particular- said it's a mess. But this is a funny one because it's based on a person's subjective opinion. In other words, just because they thought it sucked, doesn't mean you will. So the big takeaway here, simply, is that someone with access to an early cut of Wonder Woman saw it and thinks Warner Bros. has another Batman v Superman on its hands. Not hard to believe at all.
II. Warner Bros. To Give Us New HARRY POTTER Movies Starting In 2026!
Late last week, a report hit the net based on remarks made by a journalist known for his deep ties to both Universal and Disney's Orlando resorts. His name is Jim Hill and during a podcast he revealed that buried deep in the language of a new agreement between Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal is verbiage that reveals that the studio is planning a new Harry Potter Trilogy that's based on Harry Potter and The Cursed Child- the stage play that's currently doing so well in London. He even said that Warner Bros. had already reached out to original series stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint about reprising their iconic roles in 2026 after the Fantastic Beasts prequel series of films has concluded.
Hill isn't someone who seems prone to run at the mouth. He's got a cushy relationship with Universal and Disney, and there's no real upside to him fabricating the idea that he looked at the new deal between Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal and saw that there were initial plans for a new slate of Harry Potter movies. That's what made J.K. Rowling's denial of this rumor so notable. She flat out said that there's no truth to Hill's words.
What's interesting about her denial of the rumor is that it's very specific. She states that there's no truth to the rumor of a Cursed Child trilogy. That doesn't mean there haven't been preliminary talks about new Harry Potters in general, just that they won't be based on Cursed Child.
Look, Warner Bros. wants more Harry Potter movies. There's no way to realistically deny that. In an age of blockbuster tentpole franchises, Warner Bros. has been dying to find its "next Harry Potter" ever since the original series of films concluded in 2011. It was a huge cash cow for them, and it worked across every feasible revenue stream. It had everything that a studio could want, and you need not look further than its current spinoff series Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them to see that the studio wants to keep that IP alive.
They'd be nuts not to.
BOCHINCHE GRADE: B+
I think it's safe to say that the guts of Hill's comments are true, but some of his specifics were just creative flourishes on his part. I don't think it's a lock that Cursed Child would be the basis for a new Harry Potter Trilogy, especially considering that the story of that play focused more Harry, Hermione, and Ron's kids than it does on the Core 3. Unlike Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which found Luke, Leia, and Han as seniors because of the ages of the actors portraying them, which made it necessary to focus on new, "next generation" characters, a Harry Potter flick that enters production in 2024 for a 2026 release would have stars that are between 33 and 35 years of age and still in their prime to be the main stars of the story.
So it's very likely that Warner Bros. wants to make more Harry Potter films, but not necessarily base it on Cursed Child.
As for whether or not they've tried to secure the services of Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint, I think that was another embellishment on Hill's part. This is all still very far off into the future, and it would be rather unprecedented for actors to enter serious negotiations for films that are still seven years away. If there have been any conversations at all, they were probably extremely casual and light on specifics. Just a, "Hey, do you think you'd want to do this someday?" sort of thing, and nothing to get too excited about just yet.
But make no mistake about it, Warner Bros. is absolutely brainstorming how to bring back the proper Harry Potter franchise, and are doing all of their due diligence to make that a reality someday. Especially now that they've seen how audiences embraced The Force Awakens and the way it brought back its beloved cast for a continuation of that treasured mythology. And audiences did that without series creator George Lucas, so it stands to reason that Warner Bros. thinks they could one day do the same without J.K. Rowling. Just sayin'.
III. "List of Front-Runners For Hal Jordan In GREEN LANTERN CORPS"
On Friday night, The Wrap shared a report that included a list of who they claimed DC Entertainment wanted to pursue to play Hal Jordan in Green Lantern Corps. The list was comprised of the following names: Tom Cruise, Joel McHale, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Armie Hammer, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
As of now, only one of the actors mentioned in this report has responded. Armie Hammer stated that The Wrap's report was the first he'd heard of his candidacy for Hal Jordan. This comes a month after he, himself, stoked fanboy flames by having some fun on social media with Joe Manganiello (who's playing Deathstroke in The Batman).
This list is kind of fluffy, considering there have been no offers made and it's just a "wish list," really. All we can really take away from it- if anything- is that these are the types of people WB/DC are thinking about for Green Lantern Corps, which is still several years away.
BOCHINCHE GRADE: D
Look, I just don't buy it. A couple of red flags? The huge disparity in age. Tom Cruise would be 57 when Green Lantern Corps comes out in 2020, while Hammer would be 33. Assuming they know what story they're going to tell with the movie, you'd have to think they'd know by now whether they want someone in their early 30s or a dude who's pushing 60.
Also? RYAN REYNOLDS IS ON THE LIST. I have an extremely hard time buying that they'd even consider bringing Reynolds back for a multitude of reasons. For starters, his Green Lantern in 2011 bombed. Then there's the fact that he's now a household name as Deadpool. Then there's the other fact that Reynolds has never hesitated to throw dirt on the grave of Green Lantern's legacy. None of this says a thing about what a huge wrench it would throw into the continuity of the DCEU to suddenly acknowledge the 2011 movie, when we've known for years that 2013's Man of Steel was the start of the DCEU as we know it.
Then there's the source. This is the same person who claimed that Zendaya is playing Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming (she's not), and recently said that Ryan Reynolds would show up as Deadpool in Logan (he's not).
IV. "Pierce Brosnan Will Play CABLE In DEADPOOL II"
Last week, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman took to social media to share variations of the photo you see above. This gave way to a ton of rumors about Cable finally being cast in Deadpool II, and that it would be former James Bond himself, Pierce Brosnan.
There's really not much to this. It's a picture that includes the actors who play Wolverine and Deadpool for Fox's X-Men Cinematic Universe (XCU), and they're sandwiching an actor who could easily fit the bill for what fans would like to see when it comes to Cable. It's one of those things that, on paper, seems like it makes sense. But, as things stand, there's nothing else to look at here. No one has commented, and the rumor's gone quiet since.
BOCHINCHE GRADE: B-
Considering both Jackman and Reynolds are currently deeply entrenched in XCU activities- with Jackman promoting his swan song Logan and Reynolds lining everything up for Deadpool 2- I think it's too much of a coincidence that they'd post this picture with Brosnan. I think the actor is absolutely in contention for the role, but that they probably still have to iron plenty of things out which is why nothing has been made official.
So I think you can put stock in the idea that Reynolds and Jackman wanted to test the waters and see how fans would respond to this little stunt because Brosnan is being considered, but I also think that nothing has been set yet so it can still go either way. We know that Reynolds likes getting Deadpool fans involved, and that their response to the leaked VFX test footage was a major reason the first film even got made. I think he put this picture up to see if fans would create another wave of enthusiasm and then gauge things from there.