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Deadline Hollywood vs. Big Picture: Parting shots

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To those who are new to this, let me bring you up to speed:

I wrote a post yesterday saying that the reports, from Nikki Finke’s blog and later from Variety, that Summit Entertainment had hired a new director for the third installment in its ‘Twilight’ series were erroneous, since the one person who would know best about the hire -- Summit production chief Erik Feig -- told me face-to-face over lunch that it wasn’t so. He hadn’t even finished interviewing candidates for the job yet.

Nikki has now bludgeoned both Feig and me in a new blog post, which makes a variety of wild charges, extracts an apology from the embattled Feig, but never addresses the one and only point of my post -- that Summit has never hired a director, contrary to the headline of her post, which read: ‘Summit Picks Bayona to Direct Twilight Threequel ‘Eclipse’: Will Fans Say Ole?’ (She also claimed that Feig was planning to confront me ... which he hasn’t yet.)

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I rest my case. Actually, I’ll go one better. For everyone who has sent me comments or e-mail, wanting to hear my side of the story, let me point you to an outside observer, Bill Wyman, whose Hitsville blog often astutely covers silly media spitting matches like the one I’m in. For the record: I’ve never even met him, so he has no dog in this fight. Here’s his post, which includes this assessment of Nikki’s handling of the whole affair: ‘[The] funniest thing is that she pegs the whole thing to the head of the studio apologizing to her. Shouldn’t she be apologizing to her readers? ... But the humility gene is one Finke doesn’t have.’

‘Nuf said.

SUNDAY UPDATE: Summmit production chief Erik Feig and I have been exchanging emails over the weekend about my original Thursday post about the erroneous stories, first by Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke, then by Variety, that said Summit had hired Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona to direct ‘Eclipse,’ the third film in the company’s wildly successful ‘Twilight’ series. Feig says the point of my post--that he actually hasn’t come close to hiring anyone--is totally accurate. But he said he wanted to correct the misimpression that Finke had been irresponsible in posting the original story, which she headlined: ‘Summit Picks Bayona to Direct ‘Twilight’: Will Fans Say Ol’e?’

‘He writes: ‘I did not call Nikki irresponsible for writing her post--and had not intended to. Also, I had not said she hadn’t spoken with anyone at Summit. Just not with me or the producers I had asked.’

That seems fair. I think if you read my original post, you’ll see that it was Variety, not Finke, that Feig was calling irresponsible for following up on a blog item without doing any further reporting.

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