Note, the following might contain SPOILERS, but might also mean that a whole lot of previously possible SPOILERS are not, in fact, SPOILERS at all...
The past week or two has seen an almost constant deluge of rumors, murmurings and general hearsay, targeted squarely at that most tempting of targets: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The most notable among them - the reveal of several of the film's villains - coming from a single, typically reliable source: El Mayimbe of Latino-Review. All was well, and we were all able to revel in the brilliantly geeky possibilities that they offered up.
What came next, though, looks set to incite a rapid and dramatic unraveling of confidence in the story - and may even suggest that Warner Brothers themselves - with a celebrity collaborator - faked a script for the film, to throw us all off the scent.
It all began when one man started to ask questions:
That man was Devin Faraci, of Badass Digest, who revealed his skepticism about the script's veracity - alongside a stream of other details:
As he put it:
"I'm on the fence about the legitimacy of this script. I trust El Mayimbe's network and the other information he has beyond this script, but something about the actual script itself - whether it be the errors or the cascading fan-service (Kord Industries, Jason Todd, a Shuster Street in Metropolis, Kyle Rayner, Carrie Kelley, Thanagar, mentioning Hob's Bay, the President is named Diane Nelson, who just happens to be the president of DC Entertainment) or the fact that tonally it is nothing like Man of Steel (Themyscira has an embassy in Metropolis!) forces me to remain humbly skeptical. If this is the script then Warner Bros has learned some lessons from their last couple of movies, although I worry the sheer weight of fan service in this script could crush the film."
He also mentioned that the script, as he'd seen it, was full of spelling and punctuation errors, and, in his words, "feels just a tad too fan-friendly to be real."
Which all sounds like a pretty legitimate set of concerns - certainly enough to make us all take a far closer look at the reveals coming out of Latino-Review.
What came next, though, was far, far bigger:
Not long after Faraci's announcement of his reservations, MovieWeb released details of an anonymous tip from deep within the throat of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice production - and if what their source revealed is true, the fallout could be explosive.
The source, who claimed to have worked on the film's marketing, revealed this:
"Early this year a Screenplay for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which was commissioned by Warner Bros was leaked to several gossip sites. It was a scanned PDF of the entire screenplay baring a official Warner Bros watermark."
This script, the source suggested:
"has been the source of almost every leaked detail about the movie for the last six months. It has been posted on sites then quickly removed due to cease and desist letters from Warner Bros.
Which fits nicely with what we already know. Except for one thing:
"While the screenplay is legit and the watermark is legit and it is was commissioned by Charles Roven himself...
Wait for it...
"it is written by neither David S. Goyer or Chris Terrio.
In which case, who wrote it? Well, that might just be the strangest part of this whole story. According to the source:
"It was written by Kevin Smith."
The Inside Man:
Which is a pretty major revelation - and, if true, absolutely mind-blowing. Especially when you consider how the script was reportedly distributed:
"Late last year both Charles Roven and Zack Snyder approached Kevin Smith with a early treatment for the film and It was Kevin Smith who came up with the idea to write an entire screenplay based on it but with several huge red herrings and changes which do not appear in the final film. These include plot points and characters etc etc. and 'leak' it online. This script was distributed by myself and others to gossip sites and movie sites like aintitcool, latino review, movie pilot, etc etc"
Now, this report could just as easily be false as the original script in question - and it's certainly out of the ordinary enough to be taken with several pinches of salt. That being said, if there's any truth to the rumor, the impact on Warner Brothers credibility - and ability to work effectively with the press - could be huge.
For Kevin Smith, the impact could be even more substantial - he's remained an iconic figure within comic-dom, in part because of his work, but also largely because he's always been one of us. A true fan's fan. If this 'red herring' script is his work, then his credibility could be completely shot to pieces.
Fortunately, Smith is unlikely to stay silent for long - so hopefully we'll have some clarification on all of this soon.
Either that, or footage of a maniacally laughing Kevin Smith launching a death ray, and finally announcing himself as a supervillain.
It could really go either way.
[Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870) is set for release May 6, 2016.
What do you guys think? Who's behind all of this?