It’s pretty well established at this point that the “fake news” phenomenon is a plague upon humanity, both for the way that it easily spreads dangerous disinformation and in the way the term has been co-opted by Donald Trump to mean “news I don’t like,” but the people behind the upcoming thriller A Cure For Wellness have a different take on fake news. They don’t see it as a dangerous trend that is built entirely on profiting off of people’s worst fears, they see it as a golden marketing opportunity that caters directly to the easily fooled Facebook users and outright racists who are apparently the film’s target audience.
According to a report from Buzzfeed, the marketing team behind A Cure For Wellness has teamed up with (or created, for all we know) a network of five fake news sites that mostly post hoaxes and lies that are unrelated to the film, like one about Trump banning childhood vaccinations or Lady Gaga planning “a tribute to Muslims” during her Super Bowl performance. Sprinkled in that bullshit, though, are stories about Trump and Vladimir Putin visiting a mysterious facility together and ads for a fake water brand with all sorts of supposed healing properties, both of which tie in to the plot of the movie.
A Cure For Wellness comes from New Regency and Fox, and to their credit, they aren’t hiding the fact that they’re embracing fake news to promote their movie. In a statement released to Buzzfeed, Regency confirmed that it is “working with the fake sites” and explained that A Cure For Wellness “is a movie about a ‘fake’ cure that makes people sicker,” so they created a fake wellness site and “partnered with a fake news creator” to help promote it—as if “fake news creator” is a totally legitimate job and not the internet’s version of a snake oil salesman.
A Cure For Wellness was directed by Gore Verbinski, and it will be in theaters on, oh, let’s say June 17. (Sorry, that’s fake news, but like all fake news, we’re just going to assume that everyone is smart enough to know it’s fake, and if not, then it’s their fault if they believe it.)
Seriously, though, here’s a pretty impressive A Cure For Wellness trailer: