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Of Incomplete Stories Regarding SPIDER-MAN and THE HOBBIT

Hey folks, Harry here with a story that Deadline's Michael Fleming is running. Regarding a whole host of young actors reportedly up for SPIDER-MAN and how SONY is reviewing screen tests anxious to make a decision... probably because they'd like to announce their new Peter Parker at Comic Con I'd imagine. Click on the link to read the whole story, but this isn't the type of story that Fleming used to really run at Variety... and I know of at least one, EXTREMELY HIGH PROFILE STORY - that another editor posted on this site that originated with Fleming that is filled with reading into what he perceives is going on. Regarding THE HOBBIT. Just because producers are meeting with actors, doesn't mean they're making final offers. There are other possibilities. Like, keeping the momentum of production on path so that the film makes its 2012 date. Since joining Nikki Finke - it seems Fleming has decided to go a bit rogue, putting an emphasis on "first". It is funny, that's kind of how I started out too when I became an Internet Scooper. But now, often times I find myself with direct access to folks and well... at least on that project all I can say is... things are completely unresolved at this juncture - and yet the production must continue to move forward. Who will ultimately be directing, instead of a guessing game, why not wait till people are really making the deal to do it. IF things were as far along as Michael said... Why hasn't there been an official reaction? Because... there's still a lot to be worked out. Some of the same reasons Guillermo left. These issues are no doubt numerous, complex and unwieldy. I bring this up in a SPIDER-MAN article because I find myself wondering how solid this SPIDER-MAN story is. He seems to be doubtful of screen tests even existing for some of the candidates on his list. So did SONY watch screen tests of all those names or not? And were there others watched before that day or more the next day? How many screen tests are shot and reviewed on a film like this? I'm betting a ton. But at least with this SPIDER-MAN story - I believe that SONY would have it pared down to a few at this point out of the desire to deliver the biggest splash with an announcement either right before COMIC CON or during. It is definitely fun to wonder about these mysterious studio deliberations. It is fun to publicly speculate and wonder aloud. But then, I thought that's what disqualified me from being an official journalist... so I guess Michael Fleming is no different than the rest of us now. Getting pieces that don't quite fit and speculating publicly about them out of fear of being beat to the scoop. I guess, I shouldn't be upset at Fleming's fill in the blanks approach to Journalism now. After all it is the way of things these days. I just liked it when there was a bigger difference between those on the net, and the sort of writers that come from places like Variety & Hollywood Reporter. When you read from those guys and girls it used to really be rock solid. Now, even the old guard have turned the Film Business into a pure spectator sport... without all the facts. Essentially becoming like Talk Radio, Network News and the Blogosphere. Are there any real soldiers of print anymore? That call the direct people involved and can have an honest conversation where one would realize that the story isn't ready to print yet. Maybe it was Peter Bart that stood over Fleming's stories saying "You haven't got it yet!" ala Jason Robards' Ben Bradlee in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. "Get someone on the record!" Both this SPIDER-MAN story and THE HOBBIT story don't have a single source. I reached out. And I'm waiting till I can get the story on the record. The only quote that I'll attribute to my source, whom I'll call "DEREK", when I asked if he was directing, "No, nothing has really changed - I've always said that me directing was one option, and so that's not really news. The studio are working out what that deal would look like, because how else do they know if it's a viable option? But it's honestly one of several different options - many irons are in the fire right now. What's of great concern to everyone right now is trying to stay on schedule and not slip back another year, because we will start losing people - and that's increasingly difficult as each day passes. A lot of people - both film makers and studios are working very hard right now, trying to get a positive outcome here."

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