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Request[AMA Request] Someone who went to school with "Casey Price", the 29 yr old man who posed as a 12 yr old boy

Jul 20th 2017 by tidalpools • 17 Questions • 58 Points

Thanks for all the good questions, guys. Catch you another day ...

Hey everyone, I’m Entertainment Weekly’s senior writer Anthony Breznican. This week’s double issue is one of our biggest of the year—our annual San Diego Comic-Con preview—and my cover story this week is an exclusive first look from the set of “Black Panther.” It’s on newsstands now and you can check some of it out on EW.com here: http://ew.com/movies/2017/07/12/black-panther-ew-cover/.

I cover a wide range of books, movies, and TV shows — plus, I will be at SDCC next week. I also write fiction (I’m part of a YA short-story collection called "Behind the Song" that’s out in September, featuring tales inspired by famous songs.) Ask me anything about Black Panther, what it’s like to cover Comic-Con, and whatever else you can think of. That’s why they call this AMA.

You can also find me elsewhere on Twitter at @breznican.

Proof: https://twitter.com/breznican/status/887003676052774912

Q:

The fact they've deleted the post implies they realised they made a mistake, so let's assume it was just ignorance of the full story.

A:

Hey Anthony! I'm a big fan of your writing. The other night I noticed a girl on twitter giving you shit for calling Wakanda a fictional place. How often do you encounter these types of people? And do you usually try to respond and set them straight or just not engage with them? Basically, how do you deal with people who are unreasonably offended by something you wrote?


Q:

He was doing it because he's a pedophile and was trying to find boys to molest. Not sure if I would call him a legend...

A:

Yeah, I still can't figure that one out! She seemed to think that I was denigrating Black Panther because I described it as "the fictional African nation of Wakanda."

Look -- I adore Black Panther, and I respect what he means to people. But LOL, "fictional" is not an insult. Come on, folks!

I responded to her because I genuinely wanted to know why she thought that was some kind of put-down. I was just curious. Otherwise, I'd just ignore something like that.

Look, when it comes to Asgard or Tatoonine, you don't have to say "Thor's fictional celestial homeland" or "Luke Skywalker's fictional desert planet." But with realistic-sounding countries like Wakanda or Sokovia, I don't think it's unreasonable to remind people that they're fictional -- especially since young kids often read these stories.

Ask Seth Grahame-Smith how many school kids now think Abe Lincoln killed vampires in his spare time! :)


Q:

How different has it been covering The Last Jedi, compared to covering Force Awakens?

Was TFA more secretive and secure, or has it been ratcheted even higher for TLJ?

A:

They feel roughly the same. I wish I had a more exciting answer.


Q:

Given Marvel is your beat, what was the most interesting thing about your Black Panther interviews / what are you most excited about with the film? The photos are awesome. Thanks!

A:

The thing I find most interesting about Ryan Coogler's movie is the prominent role that women have in it. Danai Gurira -- whom we've seen slinging a katana on The Walking Dead -- is just going to make you stand up and cheer as Okoye, the head of the all-female Dora Milaje secret service. (She also has amazing things to do in Avengers: Infinity War, but we'll have to get into that another day.)

Lupita Nyong'o is going to be like a Bond girl fused with James Bond himself as Nakia, a covert agent for Wakanda who jet-sets around the world looking out for its interests.

Then there's Shuri -- played by Letitia Wright -- who is the younger, scrappier hero. Sort of the kid who rises to become a warrior. She's a genius on the level of Tony Stark and is responsible for much of the Vibranium-enhanced tech that her brother uses.

On top of that, you've got Angela Bassett as T'Challa and Shuri's mother, Ramonda -- who is whatever the panther version of a mama grizzly would be. Poised and elegant -- but ferocious when her cubs are threatened.

As the father of a little girl who loves superhero movies, it makes me very happy seeing women get a chance to be strong and brave.


Q:

How do you see EW evolving over the next few years? Do you think the magazine will live on in the 21st century?

A:

I hope so. I have a mortgage.

Seriously, though, the publishing business has been in upheaval ever since I started 20 years ago. I've become resigned to the fact that this is just a business that will always be sailing raging seas.

I have confidence in our editors and the leadership on the publishing side. We're doing more video, expanding into radio, doing more live events. The weekly magazine still exists, but we're basically a daily newspaper online. So in many ways, we're growing. The big question is just revenue.

The publishing industry took a crushing hit in 2008 not because people didn't want to read stories, but because the economy tanked and auto manufacturers and airlines and other big-money advertisers began pulling back on that spending.

The key is not getting readers to pay for the product -- it's giving them something to read or watch that they can't live without, so they'll chip in. I'm working hard at that.

The other threat we face is what I call "Belloqing" -- after Indiana Jones' thieving nemesis. That's the whole "There is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away" philosophy that some sites employ. I negotiate access, travel to a set, conduct an interview, and write up a story -- and another site copies and pastes all the highlights. Why go to my site when another has the same thing?

I don't do that to other publications. If they get news that we can't ignore, I write up a brief version, cite both the outlet AND the writer in some cases as prominently as I can, and then explicitly urge the reader to click over and read the original report.

I love pick-ups. I love when I've written something that other sites think is worthy of attention, and I'm grateful if they are willing to type a few words about it. But I think we have to respect each other by not fully poaching those reports. Otherwise, it's journalistic cannibalism. And no one will survive.


Q:

Who has been your favourite newcomer interview over the years?

A:

Probably Daisy Ridley. She's a blast.

I also really like Amandla Stenberg. You're going to be seeing a lot of her in the future.

http://ew.com/movies/2017/04/27/everything-everything-amandla-stenberg-interview/


Q:

Rumor has it you're a yinzer. How has that informed (if at all) the way you write for EW?

A:

I am! I grew up in a little town in Western PA called New Kensington, and I went to college in Pittsburgh. I love that city, that area, and I wish I got back there more.

I think it helped to grow up there and be far, far away from the creation of movies. One time, when I was in high school, Bruce Willis came to town to shoot a movie called "Striking Distance." He was on a speedboat, shooting up and down the river. I think the entire region came to the bluffs to watch. Now, it seems so small time. In LA, a movie like that would just irritate people for tying up traffic or something. But to my town, this was like encountering aliens from space.

I really loved movies (doesn't every kid?), so I thought it was cool. I never, ever, ever expected to get a front row seat to the creation of these stories. I like to think that in my writing for EW, I know what might interest that kid like me, who is just dying to know more about the films that are coming his way.

Before EW existed, I subscribed to Premiere magazine and would hang pages from that on my wall, anticipating the films that were coming out in a few months. As someone who writes those stories now, I try to write for that reader -- rather than a business story for someone in the industry. Does that make sense?


Q:

Perfect sense! I've been a big fan of your work in EW for years. You've done a great service bringing scoops to us fans for years. Thanks!

P.S. Next on my reading list: Brutal Youth!

A:

It's a dark, weird story, but a lot of it is TRUE. :)

If you're in the mood for double-crosses, mayhem, and deep, abiding friendship, I think you'll like it. Hope so, anyway.


Q:

What's in the pipeline for Steven Spielberg? Esp on the Sci Fi front?

A:

He's got Ready Player One coming up next March!

http://ew.com/movies/2017/07/14/ready-player-one-first-look-photo/

Right now, he's shooting a movie about the leak of The Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. It's called The Papers and is supposed to be out in January.

That's a tight deadline, but he knows what he's doing.


Q:

Hey, thanks for doing this.

My Question: How do you feel after the films release and how often do you think you predicted the success or failure?

A:

I don't know if I ever predict a film's success or failure. I like when good things succeed, but I'm not really in the prediction game, per se.

For instance, I love Tim Burton's Frankenweenie. Weird name, but that movie is spectacular. Scary, sweet, funny. It was absolutely REJECTED by moviegoers.

Maybe parents thought it was too scary for kids? Maybe the goofy name alienated people? I don't know. It's a treasured movie in our house, though. And it's about something real -- kids lose pets, they lose older relatives, and sometimes, tragically, they lose parents or siblings. Death is a part of life. This movie was about a kid trying to deal with that -- and actually defying it.

But ... it was a total bomb. That bums me out because it makes it harder for another studio to take a risk on a movie like that. But at least it exists.

And I wrote one of my favorite stories because of it:

The Strange Story of Tim Burton's Normal Hometown http://ew.com/article/2012/10/05/tim-burton-frankenweenie-hometown/


Q:

What's your favourite movie of all time?

A:

Hmm ... this will sound weird.

It's Avalon, Barry Levinson's movie from 1990 -- starring a very young Elijah Wood and the German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl as his grandfather. The old guy is a storyteller, and he's the keeper of the family history. Now that the family is in America, they are naturally growing apart and changing. But this little boy and his grandfather, they are the keepers of the stories that hold them together.

It spans a number of decades, and it's just warm, and funny, and heartbreaking. It has a line that I think of all the time: "If I knew things would no longer be here, I would have tried to remember better."

When I go home to Pittsburgh, and places I used to visit are gone ... Or I look at my children, and wonder where the little baby went now that a big kid is standing in front of me, I think of that.

"If I had known things would no longer be here, I would have tried to remember better."


Q:

What is your favorite Stephen King book? Also on a scale of one to jaw-dropping, how awesome/friendly/cool is Stephen King in person?

A:

My favorite remains my first: Pet Sematary. I still have the beaten-to-shit old paperback my grandma bought me -- when I failed to persuade her to take 12-year-old me to the movie. I read that thing and it was SO scary, and SO sad, and SO intense. I immediately bought composition notebook and one of those pens with the soft, squishy thing to hold, and began writing scary stories. (The first was called "The Dare," about a kid who is dared by bullies to dig up a dead body and take its skull. He does -- and then SURPRISE the dead body comes to his house that night to take it back. But the kids at school were weirded out that he actually did it, so he threw the head away. The body ends up taking his instead. Ha ha, not bad for 12!)

Anyway, his work means a lot to me. But I've never met him in person. We've spoken on the phone several times and on email a little bit. I think he is genuinely a decent guy and has a great sense of humor, about himself and the larger, twisted world we inhabit.

I'm glad he exists. He is extremely generous and big-hearted. I always say that the scariest man in the world is also one of the nicest.

(If we ever do meet, I'm hoping he won't mind signing that battered paperback I told you about.)


Q:

what is the most memorable piece you can recall working on?

A:

This was one of my hardest interviews - but also one of my favorites.

http://ew.com/article/2012/12/07/whos-afraid-tommy-lee-jones/


Q:

What is the most egregious thing you have been able to write off as a work expense? What is the biggest work expense that you regret?

A:

Eh, more often I'm the one eating expenses, usually because of a lost receipt or waiting too long to file. I don't have any crazy expenses. One time, years and years ago, Mark Wahlberg ordered a lot of wine at a lunch interview. I was pretty scared about turning in that expense -- around $400. But the AP bosses just shrugged it off. It didn't happen that often, and it wasn't going to break their bank. But to me, at the time, that was a week's salary!


Q:

Star Wars Rebels has 1 more season. Any word on what disney will replace it with?

A:

I don't know! But I'm hoping we get another Star Wars series out of Dave Filoni.


Q:

Do you know what the next Star Wars spin off will be and can't/won't say or could you care to take a guess?

A:

I don't know. If I knew for sure, I would say. Four years ago, I broke the story that Lucasfilm was doing spin-offs focused on Han Solo and Boba Fett and the bounty hunters. Obviously, Solo is happening, and Josh Trank was doing Boba Fett before he was let go and the film went on the shelf. (I think it's still there, mint in the box.)

I've been on record before saying that I expect they'll revisit Obi-Wan Kenobi in those in-between years from Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. People keep asking Ewan McGregor if he's doing one, and he keeps saying "I don't know, maybe, I would love to."

I think audiences clearly want that. But I also think that won't happen until after the new saga sorts out what it wants to do with Obi-Wan's legacy. If he has ties to the new characters, they're going to want to establish that before connecting the dot back to that in-between era.


Q:

If Rey is Kenobi's granddaughter, maybe.

A:

Exactly. Or somebody else's.


Q:

Hi Anthony, love reading your reports especially from the Star Wars universe! I wanted to ask you what has been your favourite story from a film set that you've worked on in the past year? Also, when you're writing, how do you separate the inner fan in you? :) Keep up the good work!

A:

Thank you! Black Panther was incredible fun to cover, but going back a little further, I really loved visiting the set of The Dark Tower. That trip took me to South Africa, which was gorgeous. I tried to work some of the place into the piece.

http://ew.com/article/2016/07/14/dark-tower-idris-elba-stephen-king-gunslinger/