Published on September 12th, 2013 | by Craig Silliphant

Casting Rumours and Fan Entitlement Syndrome


The 24-hour news cycle has caused irresponsible reporting in the real world, but our need to force feed our faces with content like the gluttony guy in Se7en has reached fever pitch in the pop culture world with the most senseless of all breaking news — the casting rumour.  And worse than sites and entertainment programs posting this shit, is the fact that we’re buying into the cheap grab for viewers and web hits that offers no actual news.  We’re furthering the silly art of turning speculation into news.

Now, I’m not talking about Batfleck here (yet); obviously, that’s not a rumour — it’s a guy officially being cast as one of the most popular fictional characters of our generation.  That is actual entertainment news.  I’m talking about the rumours — gossipy supposition that amounts to nothing.  For example, Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, and the host of other speculative mentions for the new Star Wars films.  It’s not like they’re even recasting Han Solo or Luke Skywalker.  Unless we’re a bunch of 10-year-old girls, why do we care that some cute guy with rock hard abs is going to play a character we’ve probably never seen on screen before?

At least Star Wars is, well, Star Wars.  Am I really supposed to care who is being cast in 50 Shades of Gray?  A fucking mind-rotting piece of garbage that was originally a pervert fan fiction version of Twilight?  You have to be digging around in the basement of the basement to be ripping off Twilight in the first place.  I’m scared to share the Earth with the kind of vacant moviegoers who would give a shit about who is going to play any character in the screen version.

Worse than the posting of rumours as news, are the fanboys taking to the net to express their displeasure with casting choices once they’re announced (okay, we’ll get to Batfleck now).  It has recently caused the coining of the term, ‘Fan Entitlement Syndrome.’  These entitled whiners even created an online government petition via ‘We The People’ to protest this casting choice.  I care about movies way more than a normal person should, but there are much bigger things going on in the world to warrant turning into an activist over.  And by the way, fanboys, you’re playing right into the studios’ hands by causing such a stir — it’s free exposure for their properties.


Now, I’ll admit that I have an opinion on Ben Affleck as Batman.  While he’s got the square jaw for the part, I think he’s a mediocre actor who has become a dynamo behind the camera (and he may just be cast so they can get him to direct a Justice League movie).  But am I going to condemn him in a blast of hot fanboy tears, without seeing the movie?

Ah, what short memories they have.  They’ve already forgotten that Michael Keaton was bashed until he proved that he had the right stuff to wear the cowl.  They also beat Heath Ledger about the figurative face and neck, and he made the role of The Joker his own, which wasn’t easy, considering he was going up against the memory of Jack Nicholson’s take (which may have been a fatter Clown Prince of Crime, but was awesomely homicidal).  And aside from the Bat-franchise, need I remind you of the catcalls of “James Blonde,” that plagued Daniel Craig when it was announced that he’d fill the tux as 007?  The joke was on them, because Craig and co. reinvented Bond as an awesome brute, a blunt instrument for the post-9-11, post-Jason Bourne, post-whatever, age.

So, can we at least watch the damn movie before we decide the actor did a shit job?  Isn’t it usually the writing and construction of the film that decide its worth, anyway?  Did Affleck actually suck as Daredevil, or was the movie just boring and poorly written?  Did George Clooney suck as Batman, or did that movie just bend the laws of physics by blowing and sucking at the same time?

Okay, I’ve ranted enough to equal the kinetic energy of ten entitled fanboys.  But please, I implore you, stop treating casting speculation as news.  If an entertainment outlet or website has good content, they don’t need to masquerade casting rumours as real news.  And when they DO cast a role, let’s sit back and wait for the movie to come out so we can decide whether the actor hit the mark or not.  Ben Affleck may embarrass us all, but then again, he may just be the best damn Batman you’ve ever seen.


(Okay, that’s pretty hilarious meme).

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About the Author

is a D-level celebrity with delusions of grandeur. A writer, critic, creative director, editor, broadcaster, and occasional filmmaker, his thoughts have appeared on radio, television, in print, and on the web. He is a juror on the Polaris Music Prize and the Juno Awards. He loves Saskatoon. He has horrible night terrors and apocalyptic dreams.

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