I get all uppity about ethics when it comes to reporting the movie news, but every now and again I just want to throw all of that away. Every now and again I feel like I want to toss in the towel and say fuck fact checking and double sourcing and all that jazz. Those are the days we find out we’re just plain being lied to.

Today is one of those days. Remember when the erstwhile Russ Fischer asked Bradley Cooper if he was, in fact, going to star in The A-Team and the actor straight up denied it? ‘I haven’t read a script or met Joe Carnahan,’ he said. Which we, being journalistically ethical types, published.

Now it’s revealed that he is in talks for the role of Faceman, as originally reported by IESB. Now, maybe Cooper really didn’t know anything about this. Maybe the folks at Fox were waiting for The Hangover to hit before talking to the guy – which would be a terrible idea, as the film being a success makes Cooper’s position stronger.

What do I think happened? Cooper hadn’t read a script or met Joe Carnahan, but he had been in talks with producers. Somebody had spoken to somebody. When Cooper talked with Russ he was in the earliest, most deniable stages of talks, but he had The A-Team on his radar. He probably wanted to hold out for The Hangover to be a hit, something Warner Bros had been feeling very gung ho about for weeks. A deal signed last week wouldn’t be the same deal Cooper can get this week.

While all of that was happening it also turns out that Liam Neeson is in talks to star as Hannibal, the leader of the group. Neeson’s an interesting guy since he’s managed to maintain an air of respectibility despite appearing in a lot of crap. Every time you hear he’s in a Clash of the Titans or a A-Team you go, ‘Wow, Neeson is in that?’ despite the fact that he’s been in almost nothing but mainstream big movies for the last decade (with a couple of Oscar grabs thrown in there).

This is all great news for Joe Carnahan, who is notorious as a guy whose projects fall apart. Just last week I had heard that The A-Team was on the verge of shitting the bed, but now it looks stronger than ever.

via the Hollywood Reporter and Variety