20th Century Fox has apologized for an online marketing campaign for the upcoming A Cure For Wellness, calling the campaign—which created a number of fake news articles in order to promote the Dane DeHaan-starring film—“inappropriate on every level.”
The campaign was apparently meant to capitalize on the movie’s own tenuous grip on reality, positing stories about Lady Gaga planning a tribute “to Muslims” for the Super Bowl, or Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin meeting at the film’s malevolent spa. That willful blurring of reality would actually be kind of clever, in a news environment where the truth wasn’t already as blurry as Donald Trump’s smartphone screen after a KFC-powered Twitter burst.
Fox has assured fans that it knows the campaign is a mistake that won’t be repeated, saying, “We have reviewed our internal approval process and made appropriate changes to ensure that every part of a campaign is elevated to and vetted by management in order to avoid this type of mistake in the future. We sincerely apologize.” A Cure For Wellness is getting mixed reviews—although our own A.A. Dowd praised Gore Verbinski’s film for its ambitious weirdness—and is expected to stumble pretty badly at the box office when it opens this weekend.