It’s not that I have issues with reporting rumors. Rumors are fun. In fact, there was a ridiculous one making the rounds yesterday that involved a remake of Three Men and a Baby, in which the three leads were in a gay, polyamorous relationship. Even more absurd was the idea that Adam Sandler was behind it, and that Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade would play the leads (I think someone even suggested that Sandler would be playing the baby). Now, that’s stupid. And its fun to report because everyone knows it’s stupid and almost certainly would never happen. Sure, Three Men and a Baby remake is inevitable, and it obviously would suit Adam Sandler, but a gay polyamourous version? That’s just silly. But fun to report.
What irks me is the idea that a lot of sites will get our hopes up about projects, usually mentioned in passing, that no one — especially the guy reporting it — actually believes will happen. Take this Say Anything sequel that was being reported over the weekend. The original source was Daniel Fienberg over at Hitflix; Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall form what is basically the best duo of television critics on the Internet. Fienberg picked up a quote from Cameron Crowe about the possibility of a Say Anything sequel while discussing Pearl Jam Twenty:
“It’s the only thing that I’ve written that I would consider doing that with,” Crowe told reporters. “I’ve thought about it from time to time and talked about it with John Cusack once and just said this is the only story that I kind of think there might be another chapter to that at some point.”
To his credit, Fienberg didn’t give any more value to the story than it warranted. He even included another quote which confirmed that Crowe was basically spit-balling, shooting the shit, bullshitting around: “We have to keep the guy, the drunk guy that Lloyd Dobler has to drive home from the prom party,” Crowe said. “He’s got to come back. I think about him, too. Mike Cameron, yeah.” Fienberg knows what’s up, and in reading that piece, the reader knows what’s up, too.
But when the movie blogs picked up the story, many of them left off the latter quote and led with headlines like, “Cameron Crowe Wants Say Anything Sequel” or “Cameron Crowe Says Sequel To Say Anything Is Possible.”
Look: It’s not. I know that Cameron Crowe will never make a sequel to Say Anything, and the people who were reporting it know that Cameron Crowe will never make a sequel to Say Anything. Directors and talent say a lot of things during press junkets that really don’t mean much. That’s why every time Keanu Reeves has a movie out, you’ll hear another round of rumors about a Bill and Ted’s sequel. Natalie Portman, during junkets for Your Highness, mentioned off-hand the possibility of a sequel to The Professional. These things aren’t real. They’re not even rumors — they’re just amusing off-hand remarks. Cameron Crowe was clearly fucking around, and good for him. It’s a good quote, one that I would’ve been quick to run myself. But to lend it any sort of credibility is silly.
Likewise, Deadline reported — and 25 websites picked up so far — this news item about a Friday Night Lights movie. Peter Berg, who is trying to drum up support for his new series this fall, “Prime Suspect,” confirmed that a movie sequel to the television series is in “active development.” That sounds great, but proper context — especially on the re-reporting — wasn’t given to Berg’s quote, “We’re very serious about trying to do it.” There are 500 - 600 movies in “active development,” and scripts are being written for hundreds of films. There’s been a script in the works for an Arrested Development movie for years, which we all find out all over again every time one of the cast members has a new movie to promote. I would love nothing more than to see a Friday Night Lights movie. Will it actually happen? It seems doubtful. The show has a devoted fanbase, but that fanbase is even smaller than that of “Veronica Mars” and “Arrested Development.” Let’s just say a Friday Night Lights movie, for all the intentions of Peter Berg, is as likely to happen as that Party Down movie that everyone wants to make but will likely never happen.
But at the end of the day, who cares, right? Well, when it concerns a gay, polyamorous Three Men and a Baby remake, nobody. But when it concerns a couple of projects that mean a lot to a lot of people, in Say Anything and “Friday Night Lights,” there is reason to care.