Today’s edition of Entertainment Weekly features the cover story that Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in a semi-autobiographical animated television series called The Governator. Today being the first of April, there is unlikely enough salt in the whole of Britain with which to take this allegedly exclusive news story.
Once we had overcome the crushing disappointment that Arnie might not really be taking on dastardly villains – The Gangsters, Imposters, Racketeers, Liars and Irredeemable Ex-cons (or “G.I.R.L.I.E. Men” for short) – for our entertainment, this potential April Fool’s joke (really, it sounds too brilliantly bonkers to be true) got us thinking about which other stories from the last year could have done with a well-timed rug-pool, the consolatory knowledge that it had all been some elaborate joke replacing the uncontrollable anger induced by each. As such, listed below are five news stories from the last twelve months that we wish had in fact been April Fool’s jokes.
The last time Jennifer Garner was left to star in her own movie, the world was punished with Marvel’s first truly irredeemable comic book adaptation. The star of Elektra, Garner’s utter failure as a leading lady ensured that she was sidelined for such ensemble projects as Valentines Day, and downgraded to love interest in such movies as The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and The Invention of Lying. That she is now set to play a British pensioner, who solves crimes the local police department can barely raise an eyebrow at, simply screams April Fool’s. Or, sadly as the case may be, doesn’t.
It is hardly controversial to claim that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a bit, well, rubbish, so when Darren Aronofsky signed on the dotted line to helm the inevitable sequel, the character’s devoted fanbase breathed a much needed sigh of relief. Promising to return the character to his animalistic roots, and limit the number of superhero cameos to a welcome zero, Aronofsky looked like the best thing to happen to Wolverine since Alkali Lake. Sadly, the prospect of close to a year away from home lead to Aronofsky leaving the project and Fox beginning its search for a new director. With The Wrestler and Black Swan’s combined critical success, however, his The Wolverine will forever live on as one of the most intriguing “what if…” scenarios of recent years.
Ever since Kramer vs. Kramer dragged the versus concept out of video bargain bins and into the mainstream, there has been a growing insurgence of “vs” movies at the box office. Whether it was Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Predator or Monsters vs. Aliens, the genre has so far proved disappointingly weak, with this year’s Cowboys vs. Aliens and the likely slew of future period drama/zombie mash-ups ensuring the genre’s sway for at least a few years to come. What makes this particular mash-up all the more uninspiring, however, is the news that MICHAEL BAY‘s Platinum Dunes is set to produce it. Isn’t the prospect of a fifth zombie-filled Resident Evil movie enough undead action for one year?
One of the fist acts of our coalit-Conservative government was to abolish the UK Film Council, a money saving ploy that hit the Department For Culture, Media and Sport particularly hard with cuts of up to 25% over the next four years – presumably so David Cameron could finance a new estate, fly Nick Clegg into town for some more caviar and sew “Free Hugs” into every hooded-sweater made while he’s in power. Provoking objections from the likes of Emily Blunt and James McAvoy, and earning a letter of protest from Clint Eastwood himself, the ill-advised closure marked the end of an institution responsible for such classics as Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, Shane Meadows’ This is England and Robert Altman’s Gosford Park.
After early reports and speculation back in 2009, it was confirmed in November of last year that Buffy The Vampire Slayer would be adapted to the big screen sans Joss Whedon, the original cast and anything that might be deemed responsible for making the acclaimed television show such a pop-culture phenomenon. With little known TV writer Whit Anderson having successfully pitched a new take on the source material (read: the laughable Kirsty Swanson vehicle directed by Fran Rubel Kazui back in 1992) to Warner Bros., the scene is now set for an apocalyptic travesty that even Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mr. Pointy may be powerless to stop. Even as an April Fool’s joke this would have been in pretty bad taste.