In what Twitter has been calling “ScriptGate” (A play on the infamous Richard Nixon scandal Watergate from the 1970s), it appears one Twitter user has bested almost the entire internet with a fake script for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We even reported a scoop from it last week, as many others did, with the “information” that Amanda Waller, Victor Zsazs, Morgan Edge, and David Cain would appear in the film.
The user behind it all, @SonOfArrogance, has come clean on Twitter after notoriously popular comic book fan and nerd-afficiando Kevin Smith posted this entry on his website earlier today:
…However, none of those has been a fake BATS v SUPES script. C’mon, kids… No major studio would let a guy like me near their franchises – even if it was for a dummy script meant solely to fool the news sites. (Don’t know if it’s true or not, but this Twitter user is claiming credit for a fugazi script that’s currently being reviewed online.)
No, anything I’ve said about “Milo and Sage” was based on an image Zack showed me while hosting a MAN OF STEEL online event at Yahoo many months back. The little I know of the flick beyond that I learned from some cats involved (though never BatFleck himself; as I’ve said a few times now on the Babble-On podcast, beyond email, I haven’t spoken to Ben in years). Fun story, though.
This all comes directly on the heels of controversy about Warner Brothers purposely spreading false rumors from a fake script Smith himself had written. On July 3rd, MovieWeb said that this was all part of one of the most grand ruses in all of tentpole history so that people would be so distracted by what isn’t in the film, they’d be blindsided by what was.
And guess where the above information came from? The same man who had written the fake script.
Speaking with us at The Bible of Zack Snyder, Son of Arrogance said his grand scheme was kicked into motion from lurking on IGN comments during Comic Con 2013, when Batman’s involvement in the film was officially announced:
“I am a regular commentator on IGN and when the movie was announced there was this uproar of negativity.People were pissed about the casting, the director, the writer etc etc. And it was completely irrational. There was no sense to it. Just a bunch of people angry over what was ultimately nothing. There is no basis for anger in my opinion unless there is something tangible. Which there wasn’t just rumors. Coming from sites that couldn’t possibly know anything that early in the game.
It was a sort of internet tribalism that intrigued me.
So I decided to exploit that.”
“Late last year I began to get close to several smaller sites and members of the media in an attempt to figure out the best way to get the fake info I had come up with out there. It was difficult at first. Some of my gossip got out. Doomsday as a villain. Green Lantern etc etc; but then enter Jesse Eisenberg and I had something good to work with.”
One of the very first rumors that had been circulated via Arrogance’s script was the description of Lex Luthor (Eisenberg) as a reformed street-thug who had the skyline of Metropolis tattooed across him to always remind him where he had came from. Latino Review posted a scoop in early February based on a snippet of the script that Arrogance had sent in.
“Yes, [Lex] was a total invention of mine. I wrote 5 pages of a meeting between Lex and Bruce Wayne on Superbowl Sunday, while eating a burger and commenting online. I then leaked photos of that ‘script’ under the alias Kal Luthor. Took me all of five minutes. One of the biggest leaks I got out there and validated me with all of the smaller sites which I desperately needed at the time.”
El Mayimbe just made a hollow threat about tracking my IP address. Nothing big.People are pissed. And funnily enough it’s mostly because of rumors of my identity. People assume I’m in deep with the studio. Others assume I’m actually part of a gossip site.So they’re mad and want answers.Truth is I’m a regular guy with a laptop.
Arrogance stated that he had sent out blanket mails, namely the one mentioned earlier to MovieWeb, and that his strategy consisted of the idea that all it takes is one of the smaller news sites to run it before the bigger ones take notice. It dominoes from there.
Speaking about the script, Arrogance said that he would have fleshed it out even more, had he the time to do it. Arrogance says that the reveal had been just a bit premature on the script, but effective none the less on how he views the “fanboy” community when it comes to leaks and franchise wars.
Oh it’s worse than I had imagined. I hadn’t planned on blowing the whistle until I saw just how much my fake script turned fanboys into rabid idiots. Everybody had their opinion.
It is a subculture and it has a very serious darkside. Cyber bullying is rampant in the world on online fanboys and girls and the world of scoops is cut throat.
To the fans I’d like to show them that the majority of what they are arguing about online isn’t real. So when they call each other ‘fags’ or ‘bitches’ they should realize that they are championing nothing but attractive lies and judging things without any real evidence.To the bloggers I say this: don’t exploit the ignorance of fanboys for clicks and have flame war baiting headlines that just seem to encourage that behavior. If [you’re] in the business of potentially damaging a filmmakers process before they even have the chance to present the finished product realize that there are people who will exploit you for that.
Simple the reason my script duped people was that it was earnest and I presented it as such. It was a slight of hand. The scripts being close to what was rumored blinded a lot of people to the obvious discrepancies.