At the time, a loss of hoped-for tax breaks from the Australian government were cited, but later (largely unsubstantiated) rumors suggested that Christopher Nolan himself had torpedoed it after he became enraged that the film's story was attempting to tie in with the events of his Batman movies. To date, no one has actually come out and said exactly what led to the shutdown and ultimate cancelation of the project.

People Making Movies Do Not Always Tell the Truth

The big take away from that giant wall of text in the previous section should be that, because moviemaking typically exists in a state of flux, you can't really take people with money and/or time invested at their word, particularly in the entertainment press.

To go back to Green Lantern again, the only thing less likely than Warner Bros. making a sequel to that movie is Ryan Reynolds - a rising star who most certainly doesn't need his career hitched to this particular anchor - appearing in it. However, you will almost certainly not be hearing Ryan Reynolds himself say so for probably over a year. See, until everyone can say, "it's not happening," no one can say it.

But in a more general sense, one of the reasons you can seldom trust 100% of what you hear quoted from moviemaking folks in the press is the simple fact that they often don't know what the truth is themselves. Again - the movie doesn't exist until it's been made and released, so as such nothing about it can be true or false until then, either. So when some enterprising journalist corners Jason Statham at Cannes and asks him if Transporter 4 is happening, and Mr. Statham says something that sounds vaguely like "I'd do it" or "maybe," it's probably best not to get overly excited. He's not really the guy who makes the initial call on that (French mega-producer Luc Besson has that job), but he's also not likely to openly write off his own moneymaking franchise in public even if he is done with it.

Hollywood Knows How to Work the Press

For a moment there at the tail end of the 1990s, Hollywood actually got terrified of the independent movie geek press. They were slow to adjust to the presence of the internet, and devoted early adopter movie fans like Harry Knowles of Ain't-It-Cool-News were able to throw the once tightly controlled marketing/movie press alliance into a tailspin by publishing set photos, concept art, early script reviews and other things that the old guard film press would never have reported on in a kind of gentleman's agreement.

When Batman & Robin failed to set the box office on fire, filmmaker Joel Schumacher made international headlines by blaming the negative pre-release buzz on the influence of websites, which caused an explosion in the field (and let's be honest, kinda sorta creating the scenario wherein I can make a living doing this so ... thanks, Joel!) but also clued Hollywood in that they needed to get on top of the new medium.

Today, marketing departments employ specialists in controlling the flow of news to certain audiences and demographics, particularly on the web where the demand for new content often trumps that whole "verification" thing. That's not to say that the stories themselves aren't true, but they're often adjusted by studio sources in order to skew the buzz in the direction they want. For example, even though the scene itself was ultimately cut from the film, word of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo by the frozen body of Captain America in The Incredible Hulk - a huge deal back when fans were still wondering if Marvel Films was serious about The Avengers - managed to hit the online press circuit earlier than some of the casting or character designs did.

Think that was an accident?

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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