Can The Internet Affect Movie Casting?

TV & Online Video Web 2.0

As the Internet becomes a means of finding, sharing, and discussing information more quickly than traditional sources, movie studios are getting a glimpse of initial reactions to [supposed] casting choices. The lastest info that turned out to be a rumor, which said rumor then turned out to be based on little more than one website’s claim: Matt Damon cast as Captain Kirk in a new Star Trek movie set for a 2008 release.

The International Movie Data Base (IMDB) confirmed that Damon was to be the next Kirk, followed by an inquiry from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required, but this particular article is free). Soon after, IMDB updated the movie’s status to show that this casting was only rumored. But in the mean time, many online communities took IMDB’s original claim as fact enough to start a wave of dissenters and supporters sharing opinions on both sides.

Though some positive feedback exists, the majority of Kirk/Damon discussion participants are not pleased. Not to worry though, because according to Damon’s publicist, Jennifer Allen, “Nobody’s approached
Matt. There’s no movie.” A spokeswoman for Paramount
Pictures also dismissed
the rumor, explaining that no one has been cast as Kirk.

A spokesman for Amazon.com Inc., which owns IMDB, said that casting information is “generally” received from studios or “others” involved with a movie. In the case of the Kirk/Damon episode, the info was posted by an IMDB editor who “had seen it reported elsewhere” and that they weren’t “sure of the original source.” Perhaps this source?

In any event, one might wonder if any truth might have existed behind this rumor. And if the director was interested in casting Damon like one variation of the rumor claims, to what extent will the negative response online affect the casting decision? If Damon does eventually get cast, we’ll know that Hollywood isn’t too worried about pre-production online negative buzz. Otherwise, we may never know if original casting intentions might have changed due to the Kirk/Damon rumor.

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