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Watercooler – April 7, 2009

Posted on April 7th, 2009

watercoolerRoger Friedman Fired for Downloading ‘Wolverine’

When Fox News gossip columnist Roger Friedman caused a mini-scandal the other day by casually mentioning he’d illegally downloaded X-Men Origins: Wolverine from the Internet — and then proceeding to review it! — a lot of us assumed he’d get away with it. Yeah, 20th Century Fox was talking a big game about chasing pirates and punishing downloaders, but we didn’t think they’d go after a high-profile writer who works for their same parent company.

Well. Seldom have I been so pleased to be wrong. As first reported by Nikke Finke on Saturday and confirmed by a statement from Fox parent company News Corporation late Saturday night, Roger Friedman has been fired. News Corp.’s statement was blunt: “We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. When we advised Fox News of the facts they took immediate action, removed the post, and promptly terminated Mr. Friedman.”

Iron Man 2 Gears Up Production; New Details Emerge

…when I read that Robert Downey Jr. told ET Online this week that the sequel will have “twice as much action as we did last time, so it’s going to be nuts,” I’m instantly sold. He also mentioned that the film will be focused more on character, especially the one behind the mask. “Essentially Iron Man 2 is about looking behind the armor, or the armature, of a superhero,” Downey explained while doing press for The Soloist. “It’s one thing to say you’re Iron Man, it’s another thing to be fully ready to do that.”

He was also asked by the folks at MTV about the famous “demon in a bottle” storyline. For non-fans, this is the storyline in which Tony Stark’s alcoholism and deviant behavior begin to affect his role as Iron Man, creating a situation in which he alone becomes his own worst enemy. According to Downey, this is best left for future films: “I think that’s probably best saved,” Downey tells MTV, “because it’s such its own storyline. We’re going for the interim space [between the origin and “Demon”], which is more a look behind the mask of someone who says he’s Iron Man and what it really is to become a superhero.”

Finally, Downey also gave us an update on the physical shape of Scarlett Johansson, who has been tapped to play Natalia Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow, a sexy leather-wearing super-spy with questionable intentions and even more intriguing methods. The nature of her storyline and how it fits in with the storylines of characters such as Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and Whiplash (Mickey Rourke). According to Downey’s interview with ET, she will be fitting into some tight clothes for our viewing pleasure: “We’ve been rehearsing and she’s in insane shape. She’s getting lean and mean.” And as much as I love to talk about how great Emily Blunt would be as Black Widow, I’m certainly not opposed to seeing Scarlett in that particular costume. As for the rest – as in, her performance – I’m sticking to my guns and trusting that Jon Favreau guy. I know he has my fanback.

Kevin Smith on the Bright Side of The Internet

Last month we posted a segment of Lee Stanhan’s interview with Kevin Smith, where the filmmaker talked about the dark side of the internet. But what about the other side of the internet? You know, the side where fans can form a community, everyone is happy and angry talkbackers don’t exist… Smith talks about how he found and learned to love the internet in the latest segment of Stanhan’s interview, embedded after the jump.




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