Inside Move: WB wonders at Web rumor

Reports say Beckinsale cast in upcoming film

Did you know Kate Beckinsale has been cast as Wonder Woman?

It’s news to Warner Bros., but dozens of Web sites and several professional media outlets have been reporting this week that Kate Beckinsale was cast as the titular superhero for the upcoming film written and directed by Joss Whedon.

In actuality, no one has been cast, but that didn’t stop outlets ranging from the IMDb and Hollywood.com to the Chicago Sun-Times and Blighty tabloid the Sun from picking up the news.

The real source of the fake news was fan movie news site Joblo.com, which ran an obviously satirical April Fool’s article announcing Beckinsale’s casting.

How obviously satirical was the article? Whedon is “quoted” in the piece calling Demi Moore an “old fart,” implying Beckinsale got the part by agreeing to sleep with him, and calling Freddie Prinze Jr. a “real nerd” for sending old Wonder Woman comics with Sarah Michelle Gellar’s face pasted over the superhero’s in a bid to boost his wife’s chances.

And of course there’s the link at the end of the story to the Web site’s “past April Fool’s Day stories.”

But the first few paragraphs of an Internet article are apparently enough for 21st-century journalists. A Warner Bros. rep said the studio hasn’t received a single call asking to confirm the story.