When I first heard this rumour, it was via e-mail but… well, for reasons I don't need to go into, I held it back. Now that The Playlist have pushed it out into the open, then I think it bears discussion.
In short, the story is this: Sony want Christoph Waltz to play the villain in Marc Webb's new Spider-Man film. There's a lingering assumption that this villain will be none other than Dr. Curt Connors, The Lizard.
The Playlist's primary source is Production Weekly, though they'd heard whispers earlier in the week too.
Last week, the site quoted another story from the same publication, and that one turned out to be somewhat shaky. The truth of the matter is, Production Weekly doesn't actually exist to report on which actors are attached to projects, so it's something they're a bit hit and miss with. Often, it looks like they've taken gossip from industry tracking boards and simply transposed it their listings.
If you understand that this is what is going on, then it's fine… If you expect their credit rolls to be gospel, then you can get burnt.
What Production Weekly really exist to do is keep industry professionals up to date on job opportunities, and they provide that service brilliantly.
The original source of the rumourous e-mail I received were some postings on industry tracking boards. I asked the individual who sent them just what they knew about the person who had made these postings in the first place. After a little investigation they came back and said that, sadly, there were a lot of reasons to doubt this original source.
So we agreed to not go any further with the rumour, pending further investigation.
Now, I'd love to see Christoph Waltz going eye-to-eye with Andrew Garfield in the next Spider-Man film. Hell, I'd love to see him in anything. And, as far as I know, this may well be on the cards, but – and I think it's a big but – the evidence so far is far from bulletproof.