The Trouble With IMDB

Don't trust everything you read at the Internet Movie Database.

Every now and again someone will claim a truth about an upcoming movie - a bit of casting, a character name - by pointing to an entry on the IMDB. I always ignore such a person. There is nothing less reliable than the IMDB, at least for pre-release movies. 

Screenwriter John August discovered just how unreliable the IMDB can be:

If you click over to my IMDb profile, you’ll see two new projects: “Phil Coulson: Agent of Shield” and “Coulson’s Day Off.” I’m listed under the writer section, having contributed characters.


Only I didn’t. At all.

I’d never heard of these shorts until I saw them on my profile page. Yes, I worked on the original Iron Man, but I’m not a credited writer and didn’t have any input whatsoever on the character played by Clark Gregg in the franchise.


I’m fairly certain the director simply attached my name — along with Joss Whedon, Fergus & Otsby, Marcum & Holloway — to attract attention to his Marvel fan film. And now that I’m blogging about it, he probably will get some attention.

He’ll also probably get a scary letter from Marvel legal.

That's the worst case scenario at IMDB, actual lying. Most of the time IMDB is just honestly wrong. 

Why? Because the content is user-generated. Everything you see on the page for an upcoming movie was put there by IMDB users. It isn't until the movie is about to actually come out - when the marketing machine gets moving - that the studio's social media people bother going in and making sure the cast and crew lists are correct. 

The next time you're on IMDB checking out the entry for an upcoming superhero movie, beware. It's probably full of shit.