In March 2016, several disreputable web sites published fake news articles claiming that a sequel to the 2004 movie The Notebook was being filmed in various cities across the United States. One popular version of the rumor was published to McKenzie Post on 6 March 2016:
The incredibly popular Nicholas Sparks film The Notebook from 2004 is returning with a spirited sequel tentatively entitled The Notebook 2 and will be filmed in and around Des Moines, Iowa. Nick Cassavetes is returning as director and Nicholas Sparks has a finished screenplay in hand as filming is set to begin this fall. Dakota Johnson and Liam Hemsworth are set to star in the sequel which is described by Nicholas Sparks as “a spirited sequel set in the Des Moines, Iowa area of the 1950’s”.
Web sites such as Headline Brief, Aly News, M By News, and KY6 News published nearly verbatim copies of the article, except that each article changed the purported filming locations. This led many people to believe that The Notebook 2 was set to start filming in a variety of cities in the United States, including Jacksonville, Tucson, Des Moines, and Springfield:
However, there is no truth to these rumors. A sequel to The Notebook is not currently in the works and no plans have been announced to start filming in Springfield, Tucson, Des Moines, or any other city. The hoax is similar to another ruse pushed by The Mckenzie Post and sites of its ilk from February 2016, when several web sites put out dozens of articles claiming that various A-list actors were moving to small towns across the United States.
While it’s unclear who is responsible for these “local news” hoaxes, all of these particular web sites — McKenzie Post, Headline Brief, Aly News, et cetera — feature the same layout. They also request that readers send in their own “local news” stories and feature an identical disclaimer:
ALY News is a fantasy news site. All news articles on alynews.com are satire or pure fantasy.