Yesterday, the hearts of comic book news sites were all aflutter after movie pitchman Mark Millar posted a photo of a "Hollywood actress" in a scarf and sunglasses that he said would play Empress in the upcoming movie based on his upcoming comic designed to score a deal for an upcoming movie.
Many sites took the bait, including ComicBook.com, where doofus reporter Russ Burlingame recounted some of the names being thrown around on Twitter - Anne Hathaway, Alicia Vikander, Lady Gaga, Charlize Theron, and Megan Fox - and then added a bit of gossip of their own. Burlingame, looking to appear to have inside sources, wrote:
Of course, most of those names would be discounted if earlier reports that the part would go to a middle-aged actress, in the 35- to 50-years-old range. At the time, we were hearing that since it's rare to have an action role for a 40-year-old actress, the part had created a bit of buzz around the part, with Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock both in the mix.
Really, Russ? Is that what you're "hearing" from your Hollywood contacts?
Unfortunately (for Burlingame, hilarious for us), the person in the photograph isn't a Hollywood actress at all. Just take a look at these tweets from screenwriter, editor, and, according to an anonymous source that tipped off The Outhouse, pal of Millarworld Editor Rachael Fulton, Nicola Murray:
In total, Murray tweeted the photo at sixteen news outlets, hoping to bait them into picking up the story. But it's not the content of Murray's tweets that should catch your eye. It's the profile photo of Murray herself:
The same "Hollywood actress" as in the "viral" photo? It certainly looks like it.
Murray is definitely part of the Millarworld "gang," and can be seen in this photograph on the Millarworld forums from Glassgow Comic Con:
Of course, this doesn't mean that Murray will be playing Empress in the film. More likely, the whole thing is just a publicity stunt by Millar to drum up interest in the film and comic. Which is, of course, fair game, and well played as well by all involved, since the story has been all over the media. If it ends up getting a big name actress to take interest in the role, all the better. But shame on the media sites that fell for it, hungry for some clickbait on a slower than average news week and too lazy to do any fact checking. Especially the ones that pretended to have insider sources about the actress's identity to make themselves look important.
So which Millar pal is wearing the mask in the "viral" photo for the male lead? Post your guesses below.