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Hollywood, the "internet" isn't all bad

JJAbrams.jpgYou know we've read about the Mission: Impossible IV story last week when I wrote about J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise getting together to produce the fourth Mission: Impossible story, but this announcement in the more official and traditional sources contains more guesswork, rumour and negativity on the story than your average "Internet" story, and it's the "Internet" stories that are always fired at by Hollywood types for wild rumour-mongering.

What the article does confirm is that the previous story of J.J. Abrams publicly saying that he's delighted to be on the fourth film is now official, now confirmed by the Hollywood accepted writers, but I was slightly surprised reading the rest of the article.

When directors, producers and actors are denying rumours they often say "that's just the Internet", or sometimes they go much more serious, clearly pointing the finger at people like me writing about the industry we love, or about other, larger, more commercial sites writing stories from sources and eager to get an exclusive. It's often banded in a dismissive, and very negative way, and then a little while later we can sometimes find out that the story was true all along.

So when I was reading The Hollywood Reporter announcement of Mission: Impossible IV I was a little surprised to see that the content reads like one of these "internet sites" more editorial pieces.

Here, let me quote a few lines, and before I do note that there's no official quote from anyone, the article just says it's true.

"Relatively speaking, "MI:3" was a boxoffice disappointment, since the second film grossed $545 million worldwide and the original raked in $452 million."

Relatively speaking? Well it earned US $395 million and the budget is said to be US $150 million, and I'm sure it still takes in a little through rentals, etc. Isn't that still profitable? Why the dig? A boxoffice disappointment with a US $245 million taking?

Okay, let's look at the rest of the story, filled with what-if's:

"Rumors circulated last year about a Paramount exec suggesting that Cruise would do well to merely produce another sequel and reboot the franchise with a younger star...

...Though the ostensible meeting to discuss that scenario was denied by those who would know...

...he and Cruise could reconceive it in a way that is closer to the ensemble approach of the TV series.

Or they could reconfigure Cruise as Ethan Hunt in a less front-and-center role, as some kind of mentor to the new M:I crew...

...Then again, no one can rule out Cruise as the guy who will carry the franchise for the duration."

Now that's a whole list of rumour and speculation about the project, and actually nowhere does it state a named source for the story or an attributable comment to back it up. If we hadn't seen the story flying round the "internet" this past week then what would we think? Just take this as fact?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing The Hollywood Reporter's story, I could have easily written something similar with some guesswork about what the franchise would mean, and in my week old story I did a little of that. What I am bashing is Hollywood's response to every rumour and speculation, banding around the word "internet" for blame and making it a dirty word pointed at those who write about film from the individual fan through the group writer based site to the corporate backed site, and all the while suggesting that the official sources are the ones to look out for.

Perhaps they should rethink that and not fire at such easy targets. This Hollywood Reporter article is just like anything that these sites, and myself, would and do write, and it's one stop further away since it doesn't even state their source for why the story is fact, even though we know it all is.

Oh I know some of those "internet" sites that the Hollywood types like to slam do have rumours from "sources" and "insiders", I poke fun at them all the time when I quote their stories, but they do it no more than the tabloid press both in America and the UK, and they are really bad, I'd say often much worse for gossip, negativity and the implication of fact than any "internet" site.

One thing I think Hollywood continues to forget is that the real fans of film aren't on the end of the official press announcements, they're on the end of these "internet" sites, they're often behind them like myself.

Stop generalising and stating all the online sites are negative, and start being a little more respectful and appreciative of them, particularly the ones that are written with genuine passion for the film industry. If the Hollywood types out there don't get that, then they're missing the easiest route to a healthy percentage of their viewing audience.



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