The Internet rumour mill is a dangerous machine that will chew you up and spit you out quicker than you can say "yeah, but he's got twelve thousand Twitter followers, so he MUST be legit!" As sites and Twitter users claiming to be "Insiders" desperately race for recognition and clout, fans end up wandering through minefields of spurious conjecture, speculation and outright lies. This is the era of Fake News, folks, and it's here to stay.
As such, it should come as no surprise that one of the hottest available jobs in Hollywood - the new Batman to replace Ben Affleck in Matt Reeves' 2021 stand-alone - is currently the subject of lots of rumour-mongering.
Even before Affleck did what was entirely expected and stepped aside, Jake Gyllenhaal was strongly linked with the role and since then there have been other names - like Kit Harrington, worryingly and Robert Pattinson - thrown into the hat by people claiming with CERTAINTY that it's happening.
The latest name - and it's not a new one - is Armie Hammer. He's been the star of an "exclusive" report by Revenge of the Fans, which says he's held lengthy discussions with Reeves about the role. The language chosen consciously actually reports he's in "final talks" for the role, which would be very promising if you were a fan of Hammer.
But at the same time, it's apparently not true.
According to The Hollywood Reporter's Boris Kit, there haven't even been any actor meetings for the film...
Sure, Warner Bros might have an idea of who they want to play and it would be very surprising if someone, somewhere hadn't suggested Armie Hammer, given how much he's been mentioned by fans. Fandom might not shape movies THAT much, but they will certainly enter the conversation these days and Warner Bros will have taken notice at how excited some fans have got over Hammer.
Perhaps that's where this exclusive comes from? Hearing hooves in the distance and speculating that there's a horse coming based on likelihood. But there's a danger there. It could be a donkey. Or a zebra. Or a little man with coconuts. Assumption is not reporting. Speculation is not fact and in this case, it might be worth paying attention to Kit's credentials.