So tonight there are big scoops about how David Fincher walked away from the movie Sony and Scott Rudin are developing about Apple visionary Steve Jobs, based on the Walter Isaacson book. What an unusual outcome to a story that was almost completely the result of overeager journalists. I remember when the Fincher rumor first circulated on tracking boards, and while every trade called to check, only one broke the news, claiming a deal for the director was nearly done. Then another publication splashed a story that Christian Bale was Fincher’s top choice for the role, another nugget that came from these tracking board sheets that are becoming too much a staple of what ends up being published and accepted as fact. All along, people close to the project cautioned that while they’d gone to Fincher and he liked the script, the director had not committed. Fincher is famous for falling in and out of love with projects. Insiders in the Bale camp were steadfast that while they’d heard the rumors their guy was coveted, the actor never had a single conversation with anyone. I am not sure that ever changed. So the media christened a director who didn’t have the job, and then the media cast the actor. Not surprisingly, the media has made a big deal out of Fincher dropping out of a project he never signed on to direct (the exit rumor went out on the latest tracking board sheet a few days ago). Studio insiders are denying it fell apart over a $10 million ask and requests for all kinds of controls, as THR has reported. Since the same trade prematurely set Fincher as the director and started this whole news charade, who knows what to believe? The way this business works, he could be right back in the mix in a week. Working this beat and trying to break stories is getting to be a slipperier slope each year. These journalists are under all kinds of pressure and they work hard and have to make real time judgments. We all mess up sometimes, and I understand why each of those stories was put into play. Restraint is the hardest thing. I guess the point here is that when a story leads to so many splashes that build into a mountain of speculation that crumbles under its own weight, it’s worth at least noting that is what happened.
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