April Fool’s Day is my second favorite holiday personally because I love pulling pranks on other people, and I’ve never been gotten in my life. Oh, my friends try every year, but to no avail. My joy at being unprankable for another straight year was only compounded by my parents falling for me telling them I was pregnant. I said I would mail a copy of Junior to help them cope.
But yesterday’s festivities are also a major headache for me professionally. As much as I respect my fellow film site runners for the solid work they do throughout the year, the trend of making a fake story for April Fool’s Day has gotten pretty tiresome for me. There must be more creativity lying around in all those library-esque film minds.
The other major problem is that, for all the careful news-watching, the internet is already notorious for reporting total bullshit as news, so April Fool’s Day stories look like your average rumor-mongering day. Thus, instead of publishing a roundup of all the fake movie stories from yesterday, which you can easily find on your own, we’ve decided to make a list of the rumors of last year that we wish had been April Fool’s pranks.
11. Linsday Lohan to Star in Nightmare on Elm Street Remake
The Pitch: Just two months shy of being a real Fool’s prank, a story hit the internet via the bastion of truth Just Jared that claimed that the full-time partier and sometimes-actress would be taking a main female role in the re-up of the horror flick with our favorite wise-cracking child-murderer. That’s right – we have a favorite child-murderer. Oddly enough, I’m not sure anyone would mind if she got taken out in some gruesome way within the first ten minutes, Drew Barrymore-style.
10. Keanu Reeves to Play Plastic Man for The Wachowskis
Status: Possibly true (or possibly false)
The Pitch: After commercially eating dirt with Speed Racer, The Wachowskis were supposedly eying the iconic,stretchable comic hero that was born back in the 1940s. Of course, who better to portray a superhero that comes off goofier than Tek Jansen in a pie fight than Keanu Reeves himself? The story is just crazy enough to be true – the Wachoswkis did write a Plastic Man script in the 90s – but holy hell, I’m hoping it’s someone’s hilarious idea of a prank. There’s no confirmation on the project since CHUD reported it last year, but it could logically be in the infant stages of development. Scary.
9. Brett Ratner to Direct Reboot of Conan the Barbarian
The Pitch: It would be easy to say that I wish that any rumor or actual news story about Bret Ratner directing anything should be followed by someone yelling, “April Fools!” However, this one hit home for me because 1) I love the original and B) Ratner couldn’t direct his way out of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s loin cloth. Plus, John Milius’s name is nowhere to be found on the project that is currently in pre-production and slated for a 2010 release. It was still a rumor when Dread Central originally reported it, but I’ve still got my fingers crossed that this is an elaborate hoax.
8. Paris Hilton to Appear in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes
The Pitch: There was basically no gas to this story in the first place – especially since it showed up uncredited in British tabloids, but sometimes all it takes is a bold headline to make me jump out of my seat. /Film did everyone a service by bringing common sense to reporting it as beyond the rumor pale, and even commented that if it was true, it sounded more like the delusions of a non-actress than legitimate rumor-grist. If it had been true, I imagine Guy Ritchie would have had the good sense to either make her play Spoiled Bitch With No Lines #4 or Stray Dog #2.
7. Hayden Christensen to play Superman in Justice League: Mortal
The Pitch: Early last year, Cinema Blend posted a story about a young woman who ran into George Miller and Adam Brody while they were getting sloshed in a bar. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Apparently, the director and The Flash were discussing the cast list and mentioned Christensen was playing the Man of Steel. Try picturing that in your mind for a second. Did you have to go cry in the corner of your bathtub with the shower poetically running to hide your tears? Me, too. Oddly enough, despite the ridiculousness of this rumor, it turns out that the existence of Justice League: Mortal turned out to be more rumor than anything else since Miller couldn’t get it off the ground.
6. Production on Terminator: Salvation Shuts Down
The Pitch: Terminator: Salvation is one of the most anticipated movies of this Summer, striving to earn the title of Most Anticipated against Star Trek, but last year, a rumor that started on UGO claimed that the production had been halted altogether. Apparently someone’s cousin’s best friend overheard a crew member saying his schedule had freed up because the film had been canceled. For some, that would have been music to their ears, but it seems like most people are glad that the show must go on.
5. Matthew McConaughey Cast as Captain America
The Pitch: Once again, Cinema Blend is responsible for making a ton of people punch holes in their walls. After they announced the possibility that McConaughey was Marvel’s top choice for the role of Captain America, a ton of fans were waiting for the punch line. As far we know, the film is on track for a 2011 release, but at this early stage in pre-production with Joe Johnston at the helm, we have no idea who Captain America will be. Still, almost just as scary (but far less plausible) a joke circulated yesterday about Seth Rogen taking the role. It begs the question: who would make a better Steve Rogers? A stoned slacker or a stoned slacker?
4. Tom Cruise to Star in Film about the Hudson Plane Crash
The Pitch: The beginning of the year was marked by a major cultural event that came in the form of a plane crash-landing into the Hudson River. The story spread quickly, as did the word of the heroism of the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger. So, it seemed at least plausible that the story had caught Tom Cruise’s alien eyes and impressed him enough to want to play the hero on the big screen. The original article from the UK Press has since been taken down (probably wisely).
3. George Clooney to Play The Lone Ranger
The Pitch: Right after Disney announced that they’d be developing a Lone Ranger movie, and that Rossio and Eliot would be writing it alongside the twelve other Pirates movies that they have to do, they announced Johnny Depp as Tonto. Then, Aint It Cool posted a rumor tip that the man behind the domino mask might just be George Clooney. Word was that he had shown “great interest” in the role, which means absolutely nothing in real news land, but since the project is still in development, he may end up being the Lone Ranger after all. It sounds beyond absurd, and it haunts my dreams, but it might still have time to become a reality.
2. Keanu Reeves to Play Spike in Live-Action Cowboy Bebop
Status: Sadly True
The Pitch: Back when First Showing first spread the rumor wild, complete with obligatory exclamation marks, more than a few anime fans’ jaws hit the floor. Some are still there. It’s tragic. In case you were wondering, “Why, oh God, why is this happening?” is the proper response. The other acceptable response is to cross your fingers, and wish that this news had dropped on April 1st.
1. Every Single Batman 3 Casting Rumor Ever
Status: Total bullshit
The Pitch: Eddie Murphy as The Riddler. Kristin Bell as Harley Quinn. Angelina Jolie as Catwoman. Rachel Weisz as Catwoman. Shia LaBeouf as Robin. Johnny Depp as The Riddler. Phillip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin. Sam Worthington replacing Christian Bale. Three Midgets in a Trenchcoat as Clayface. This rumor category might as well be a list of its own, but as it stands, it’s the Grandfather of all terrible, forehead-slappingly bad internet rumors. To link to all the sources that got their panties in a bunch over this stuff would crush our bandwidth.