With the follow up to The Dark Knight gearing up, The Hobbit entering principle photography, and the most ambitious cinematic comic book crossover event yet attempted edging ever closer towards production, it’ll be a wonder if the online fanboyverse doesn’t explode. It’s a good thing Avatar 2 has a lot of research and development left to go before Cameron really gets started, or I’m not sure the geek world could keep its collective composure. As the fire hose of production coverage begins to shower forth, the horse race rumor mill fires up and you have situations like yesterday’s, where two major outlets with serious sources start contradicting each other. This started with Variety’s assertion that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be settling into the Batman Nolanverse as Alberto Falcone- son of Carmine Falcone, played by Tom Wilkinson in Batman Begins.

Staggeringly retarded hopes that he might take the Joker mantle from the < alive Heath Ledger aside, the role of Alberto Falcone is probably the character most often mentioned alongside Levitt’s name in fan-casting. It’s no stretch of the imagination to conceive of JGL playing the wiry, brooding gangster’s son. He’s a key character in the The Long Halloween series that’s influenced Nolan’s films more than most others, and is both related to Catwoman and ultimately a supervillain in his own right. He’s known as The Holiday Killer, whose year-long string of festive murders sent Batman on a adventure that pitted him against the most iconic members of his rogue’s gallery.

Except Entertainment Weekly is calling bullshit.

With little to say other than “a source close to the situation says that recent reports that Gordon-Levitt will play Alberto Falcone… are incorrect,” EW has shifted the discussion once again. It seems more and more likely that JGL will ultimately be playing a character of Nolan and Co.’s creation, or perhaps EW has just been fed some misinformation. Even if he were to play Alberto, it’s unlikely that the character would be paid off as he was in the comic or be used to bring back Wilkinson or something. Ultimately JGL will probably play a charismatic bad guy, mafia related or not, who somehow helps curate the madness Batman will have to deal with. The name or comic allusions of the character will probably matter very little.

What’s interesting is how this is another example of long-standing industry papers with long-standing, deeply embedded sources and relationships with the studios are getting into the blockbuster minutiae-news that bloggers started. By using their much deeper and well-established access to drudge up horse-race, blog-style content to compete with the online sites, we are hearing more and more about short-lists, “conversations,” and other early-production bullshit than ever before. I don’t know what, if anything, it means but it’s interesting to see Variety and Entertainment Weekly going after something like an individual character name from a comic book movie, and coming up with different conclusions.

Unfortunately, Warner Bro’s won’t be able to keep the wraps tight enough for character names not to escape all the way to release, so those who need to know will be able to eventually. Then we can move on to what Bane will look like, or how far into the movie Catwoman will show up, or if Ra’s Al Ghul will return, or, or, or orororor

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(via Dark Horizons)