This was inevitable. Joss Whedon has moved on from his tour of duty in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A chair (or two) has opened up behind the camera of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe. It was only a matter of time before the Internet – the harbinger of movie-related rumor and gossip – would pair the two titans in a peanut-butter-and-chocolate fashion. Only, this pairing comes with a series of warnings about speedy cyber journalism and the rush to comment.
In case you missed it, a rumor that The Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon was eyeballing Star Wars: Episode IX made the rounds recently, turning heads and raising eyebrows. The rumor could be traced back to the Get Your Geek On Podcast… though anyone who listened to the "report" in its entirety would have heard that the show’s host was inventing the Whedon-to-Star-Wars rumor as a joke, essentially trying to prove how quickly unfounded rumors can make their way around the Internet.
Guess what happened?
Yep, Twitter rumbled – without actually exploding – with news tied to a MoviePilot story that used the word "Confirmed" in the headline. Their source? The Get Your Geek On Podcast. Yes, the one that we just said made up the rumor to test and see how far false rumors could spread.
The snake officially ate its own tail.
In the midst of this fake rumor making the rounds, though, a real Star Wars news site that has broken legitimate scoops in the past – Making Star Wars – addressed the Whedon possibility, and went on the record to state that they had heard from their sources that Joss Whedon’s name was in the mix, and while they weren’t ready to report anything, they would say:
Of course it is. Joss Whedon is the director of two extremely lucrative and massive-in-scope blockbusters. He has an ear for science-fiction (see Firefly and Serenity), an eye or action set pieces (see Buffy or either Avengers movie), and a white-hot creative streak. He is burned out at the moment, for sure, but he absolutely could sign on to direct a future Star Wars movie years from now – from Star Wars: Episode IX (after Rian Johnson takes a crack at the franchise) to the Star Wars solo movie that Josh Trank just abandoned.
But none of this has been reported yet. None of it. The possibility was floated. That’s all.
And so, in the age of hyper-fast movie-news "reporting," this is a perfect moment to remind fans (and journalists) alike. Read everything. But believe half of it. Trace everything back to a source. Join in the conversation. But know for sure that very little is set in stone – particularly when it comes to the massive franchises of Marvel, DC and Star Wars – until you are watching it unfold on the big screen.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.