Connect with us
Rumor mill source quality guide

Pop Culture

Rumor mill source quality guide

Wading through the rumor mill is a time-honored tradition for any nerd. This is our regularly-updated list of how much you can trust each source.

Wondering how reliable a cited source is when you hear a rumor about your favorite television/movie franchise? This guide should help you decide whether it’s legit or total bunk.

Ratings are based on a 1-10 scale with 10/10 being ironclad and 1/10 being completely bogus. Although there will be some subjective analysis involved, these ratings are based on the respective scoopers’ history along with background information we’ve gleaned over the years while covering various media industries.

This database can and will be updated as source reliability changes and new sources are added.

Rumor mill source quality guide10: 100% Reliable
If you’re reading it from this outlet/person, then you can bank on the information being completely accurate. This rating is typically reserved industry for trades. These publications either have beat reporters with very highly placed sources or are purposefully fed spoilers as a marketing method.

8.5 – 9.5: Virtually Guaranteed
This outlet/person may not have the same access as the major trades, but they’ve proven themselves to be impeccably reliable via a history of accurate scoops. When they do miss, it’s often because studio plans changed after their claim was made.

6.5 – 8.0: Worth Considering
This outlet/person may not always be right, but they’ve been accurate most of the time–enough that there’s definitely a legitimate source or sources behind their reports. Proceed with cautious optimism. This tier can also apply to sites/people with good track records, but not enough history to bank on quite yet. It can also apply to sites that aggregate, accept, and post rumors via an editorial approval process.

5.0 – 6.0: Crapshoot
Hard to tell if this outlet/person has legitimate sources, is halfway decent at guessing, or a combination of both. Either way, a mix of right and wrong predictions mean that you should take anything they say with a giant grain of salt.

3 – 4.5: Mostly Unreliable
This outlet/person may have a handful of scoops to their name, but they can generally be counted on to get it wrong.

1 – 2.5: Mostly Fabricated
This outlet/person throws all manner of wild rumors and ideas at the wall in an effort to generate clicks. No valid sources beyond what they poach from more reliable scoopers. These are the sites that your annoying aunt and/or friend who barely graduated high school constantly shares to Facebook.


100% Reliable

Rumor mill source quality guide

The Hollywood Reporter

The gold standard in confirmed “unconfirmed” reporting. If you’re reading something revealed by Borys Kit, then you can take it to the bank. THR also tends to have the most exclusives out of the industry trade group.

10
Rumor mill source quality guide

Deadline

Not quite as many exclusives as THR, but enough that you should definitely take notice. Justin Kroll and Nellie Andreeva are right there with Borys Kit as reporters who you can always count on.

10
Rumor mill source quality guide

Variety

Nowhere near the number of exclusives as their trade counterparts, but Variety can still be counted on as an ironclad source.

10
Rumor mill source quality guide

Entertainment Weekly

Considering that most of their exclusive reports are accompanied by official promotional photos and interviews, you don’t have to worry about whether or not their information is legit.

10
Rumor mill source quality guide

The Wrap

Over the last several years, The Wrap has basically turned into an industry trade that normally aggregates and/or confirms other scoops. That said, their access has still allowed them to score some major exclusives–like Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman in 2022 for The Flash movie.

10

Virtually Guaranteed

Rumor mill source quality guide

Collider

Collider doesn’t publish very many scoops, but you can normally bet on them when they do. This is evidenced by the fact that they are cited by the major trades for unconfirmed reports and have access to major studios.

One of their biggest recent scoops was revealing all the way back in December of 2020 that Andrew Garfield would be in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Unfortunately, that same report also stated that Kirsten Dunst was a lock to return, as well.

9.5
Rumor mill source quality guide

The Direct

They may be less than two years old, but The Direct has already made a name for themselves as a reliable source for scoops. What they lack in quantity they make up for in quality information. Unfortunately, you may have to sift through a lot of redundant articles/headlines to get to it.

Another point in TheDirect’s favor is how they meticulously document their scooping track record. Clicking on their exclusives page allows you to see their many hits (like Florence Pugh joining the cast of Hawkeye) along with their occasional misses (like Madame Masque being one of the villains in Hawkeye‘s first season). The Direct also maintains an extensive database that tracks and analyzes other sites’ reliability along with their own.

9.0
Rumor mill source quality guide

Murphy’s Multiverse

If you take a look through the exclusive reports from Charles Murphy, it’s clear that he has some very good sources. One of his biggest recent scoops was that Charlie Cox would return as Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The rumor was posted in December 2020 and proven correct a little over a year later.

Other major scoops he’s gotten include:

Charles Murphy occasionally provides some scoops on his personal Twitter account, albeit with a bit more flair/subtlety:

On the rare occasions that Murphy does get something wrong (like Spider Slayers being in No Way Home), he’s good about owning up and explaining it. Other times, it’s simply a case of him having correct information at the time that either changes or turns out to be slightly different.

Just don’t ask him about when any trailers are dropping. It’s the one piece of information he never knows (and fully admits that he never knows), yet ends up being the question that most people throw his way.

9.0

Worth Considering

Rumor mill source quality guide

MyTimeToShineHello

This prolific reddit user may have migrated almost exclusively to Twitter, but her brief track record of scoops continues to impress. Reddit user /u/Tsblloveyou has made a fairly comprehensive list of what she’s gotten right so far. Most of her leaks came only a few weeks before they were revealed, but were detailed enough to indicate some pretty high level information.

MTTSH’s record in 2022 should solidify whether or not she moves up into the ‘Virtually Guaranteed’ category.

8.0

Rumor mill source quality guide

Geeks Worldwide

GWW and their editor-in-chief, Casey Walsh, are definitely worth paying attention to. Examples of major scoops they’ve gotten include:

Unfortunately, most of their rumor reporting leaves ample room for interpretation or is prefaced with qualifiers about potential inaccuracy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it more difficult to cite them as a firm source.

It’s worth noting that GWW has begun to develop inroads and industry access, which should lead to more scoops in the future.

8.0

Rumor mill source quality guide

r/MarvelStudioSpoilers & r/StarWarsLeaks

While both subreddits generally act as news aggregators/discussion boards, the mod teams do a good job of filtering out low quality content. Threads are helpfully flaired to let readers know if what they’re about to click on is potentially solid information or a crazy rumor.

In addition to sourced reporting, these subreddits sometimes host original scoops of their own. The mods allow plenty of speculation and anonymous reports, but not without a substantive degree of vetting. When it comes to stuff that could be 100% true or completely made up (and everything in between), both the mod teams and their very active subreddit members have an uncanny knack for sniffing out what’s what.

Original news items are often provided by people who end up becoming well known scoopers in their own right. While some have proven to be unreliable (like the infamous SookieIsMine84), others like MyTimeToShineHello end up being extremely accurate.

r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers also has an excellent tiered source accuracy index of their own. While their list doesn’t line up 100% with ours, it’s very well vetted and definitely worth a spot on your bookmarks bar. The linked discussion posts they used to create their list were invaluable resources for our own accuracy index when it came to providing evidence of a source’s reliability.

7.0

Crapshoot

Rumor mill source quality guide

The Illuminderdi

When The Illuminderi gets it right, they really get it right. Examples include:

When The Illuminerdi gets it wrong, however, they can be way off base. Examples include:

That last one was so wrong that it got personally (and firmly) refuted by James Gunn himself. Yet despite such a high profile miss, the Illuminerdi’s correct predictions indicate that they have some legitimate sources. This is further bolstered by the fact that they’re often cited and referenced by Charles Murphy, who is an extremely reliable source himself.

6.0
Rumor mill source quality guide

DanielRPK

Most of DanielRPK’s stuff is behind a paywall on Patreon, which is totally fine. We’ve all got to make a living. But if you’re going to charge for inside information, then you should probably have a better batting average than he does. Even if Richtman labels his information as a “rumor,” the attached price tag puts it under a bit more scrutiny.

Some of the things DanielRPK totally whiffed on include:

Most of DanielRPK’s correct predictions (that we can find) appear to be trailer release dates and title reveals as opposed to plot/casting exclusives. Also, a good deal of his information gets leaked or is personally revealed by Daniel on his Twitter account.

It should be noted that DanielRPK occasionally deletes some of his inaccurate claims, which is both weak and embarrassing.

5.0

Mostly Unreliable

Rumor mill source quality guide

Grace Randolph

When it comes to scoops/exclusives, Grace Randolph is often very wrong. Examples include:

One of her biggest misses was claiming that Pedro Pascal had been fired from The Mandalorian and would not appear in most of Season 2. This was allegedly due to him wanting more screen time without his helmet along with another issue she refused to elaborate on. When this rumor turned to be hilariously false, Randolph refused to retract her story.

Randolph has also been called out by directors James Gunn (multiple times) and Cathy Yan for her “scoops” about their projects being totally off base and/or completely fabricated.

All that being said, she does get some things right, like:

You may have noticed that the last citation included her incorrect assertion about Yelena Belova appearing in The Falcon and the Winter Solider. It also includes Randolph’s belief that an MCU project based on the Thunderbolts is in development. Whether that ever turns out to be true or not, Randolph is likely to claim she was right.

4.0
Rumor mill source quality guide

Giant Freakin Robot

Sometimes they’re right:

Most of the time they’re wrong:

They do have a “Top Confirmed Scoops” page, but a brief perusal reveals that they weren’t the first to break most it. For example: They “exclusively” claimed that a sequel to Easy A was in the works back in February of 2021, nearly five months before it was discussed in an interview with actress Aly Michalka.

That would be pretty impressive if not for the fact screenwriter Bert Royal discussed a sequel being in the works nearly a year before that in an interview with the LA Times.

3.0
Rumor mill source quality guide

Geekosity/Mikey Sutton

Mikey Sutton may get a few things right (like Kang showing up in Loki), but he can normally be counted on to completely miss the mark. Examples (via the Wayback Machine) include:

There was apparently a time when Sutton was a much more reliable source, but that era appears to have passed. This section/rating will be updated if his accuracy ever improves.

3.0

Mostly Fabricated

Rumor mill source quality guide

FandomWire

We’ve already covered FandomWire’s failings before, which earned yours truly a block from their official Twitter account. TL;DR: FandomWire saw a report from a parody Twitter account about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series getting canceled, thought the story/account was real, and ran with it.

They also have a nasty habit of deleting the scoops they completely whiff on (although no one is safe from the Way Back Machine) and citing fake official Instagram accounts as official sources. On the rare occasions that they do get something right (like Mockingbird appearing in Season 1 of Hawkeye), it sounds much more like a prediction/guess than information from an actual source.

I would link to even more wrong reports that FandomWire has made, but those have been deleted, as well.

2.0
Rumor mill source quality guide

We Got This Covered

If you’ve followed genre entertainment news for any length of time, then you already knew We Got This Covered would be holding down the reliability rating basement.

This brilliant Twitter thread by Pierre Chanliau gives a horrifying snapshot into WGTC’s “reporting” in 2019. While the site still gets a ton of things completely wrong, they utilize a combination of unverifiable reports and throwing out every possible scenario a potential story could take in order to cover all their bases. On the rare occasions that WGTC does get a “scoop” right, it’s the journalistic equivalent of throwing a million darts at a bullseye.

1.0

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

the free fall the free fall

‘The Free Fall’ review: Chaos leads to clever twist

Movie Reviews

New details emerge for April 2022's return of 'New Mutants' #25 New details emerge for April 2022's return of 'New Mutants' #25

New details emerge for April 2022’s return of ‘New Mutants’ #25

Comic Books

'Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes' #1 feels cutting edge 'Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes' #1 feels cutting edge

‘Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes’ #1 feels cutting edge

Comic Books

Marvel Preview: She-Hulk #1 Marvel Preview: She-Hulk #1

Marvel Preview: She-Hulk #1

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup