I’ve written nice things about Steven Awalt and his site, SpielbergFilms.com, so I was a little shocked to see him getting not just uppity about me, but downright personally insulting. There’s a thread on his site’s message boards that links to Moriarty’s recent Indy IV Rumor Control article on Aint It Cool News; in that thread Atwalt says: ‘Imagine a jackass sitting over your shoulder in the dark theater when Indy 4 is unspooling next May, whispering in your ear everything that’s about to happen onscreen. That’s McWeeey and Faraci and any tool who would go out of their way to ruin the film, any film, between now and its release. I bet you’d sock someone in the theater spoiling the film for you right in the eye, and yet some are giving credence to trolls who would do it on the Internet. AICN, CHUD and even IGN’s spoiler warnings and disingenuous piety about not wanting to spoil the film or about trying to keep their readers straight on the rumors don’t wash. They’re still that jackass over your shoulder. It’s not about a love of film. It’s about hits and little men with tiny little egos.’
I sort of get the impression that maybe Steven’s feelings are hurt – here he is running a Spielberg site and yet me and Drew have all the Indy IV information. I also think he doesn’t understand much about the making of movies or the selling of them; Drew and I have both gone out of our ways to make sure we’re not delivering major spoilers to our readers. I am in possession of much more detailed information than I have, or will ever, publish, and so, I am sure, is Drew. What Steven doesn’t get is that we’re just running stuff that will show up in the trades or in the trailers – will he get pissed off at Variety when they publish a story that says John Hurt is playing Abner Ravenwood (as they will, ignoring the fact that we broke that news here at CHUD)?
Steven Spielberg wants to keep every aspect of Indy IV close to the vest, but George Lucas has been telling him that it just ain’t gonna happen… and if anybody knows, it’s Lucas, who was never able to contain the leaks on his Star Wars prequels. Now those were films that were SPOILED, and hard. The only thing AICN and CHUD are spoiling for Indy IV are the trailers and TV commercials and behind the scenes videos – all the stuff Awalt will be hungrily consuming and speculating about.
Do I want hits? Hell yeah. Of course. That’s how my rent gets paid. But I don’t want the hits at the expense of bad info or ruining a movie for my readers, and I know that Drew feels the same way. I’m sorry that Atwalt is so twisted about this, and that his jealousy and ignorance have conspired to make him come across like a jackass. And maybe he’ll get the invite to the Indy IV set that I almost certainly won’t, but in the end I know that I’ve been covering this movie ethically and fairly.
So here’s my challenge to Steven Awalt: Put your money where your whiny mouth is and stop running any stories about Indiana Jones IV since you’re so afraid of spoilers. No more casting news, no more links to official behind the scenes videos, no more interviews with the producers about filming locations – nothing. Just let your readers experience the film new and fresh for the first time next year. I mean, that’s what you’re saying we should do, right?