Why Do Fellow Fanboys Spoil Movies Before Their Release? | Fanboys Anonymous

Why Do Fellow Fanboys Spoil Movies Before Their Release?

Posted by Unknown Saturday, May 10, 2014
Spoilers are abhorrent acts by trolls, misfits, and sociopaths meant to ruin the joy of surprise and intrigue for adult nerds and innocent children alike. The one exception to this definition is comic book films (and other films that revolve around geekdom). Every detail of comic book films are fair game.

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Casting: Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced

Plot: Rumor: Some Massive Possible Man Of Steel 2 Spoilers

Costumes: Is That Ultron In Unofficial “Avengers: Age of Ultron” Photos?

But should it be this way?

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Comic book fans are difficult to please. There are several iterations of characters spanning decades of epic tales that no single story can cover. This fact doesn’t stop the criticism from fans that complain about the depiction of a given universe in a comic book film. Perhaps this is the reason that spoilers are considered acceptable for comic book films: by unearthing all of the imperfections, fans can influence studios to avoid the pitfalls of comic book film disasters such as R.I.P.D., Catwoman, Superman IV, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, and many other atrocious films adaptations. A commendable goal that sometimes pay dividends.

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Ninja Turtles, the film remake of the iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, was widely rumored to feature the reptilian heroes as aliens rather than the original story of a radioactive mutagen creating their humanoid figures. Most pundits believed this direction would have been a horrible mistake which likely led to a change of heart by Bay and Paramount Pictures.

Thanks to the reaction of fans, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are mutants once again (although created by the Shredder; a complaint for a different day)!

Spoilers can serve the purpose of improving films but we must also consider the opposite effect - what if something really amazing was spoiled and the studio was forced to take a different direction because of the leak?

In the case of The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino immediately halted all work on the film after a draft of the entire script was leaked to the public in January 2014. A live reading of the revised script by the intended cast was performed in April 2014 so perhaps Tarantino will continue the project, but this is clearly worst case scenario for a leak gone awry.

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Studios that produce comic book films have gone out of their way to avoid heavy spoilers by doing a lot of the heavy lifting themselves. For example, Columbia Pictures announced plans to produce Amazing Spider Man 3, Amazing Spider Man 4, a Sinister Six spin off, and a Venom-Carnage spin off before Amazing Spider Man 2 was released. These announcements serve the purpose of gauging reaction from key demographics, and minimizing the impact of leaks that are sure to come. This tends to shift the opinions of fans before films are available for public consumption which could drastically affect what stays in the film and what gets cut (*cough* Mary Jane *cough*). It’s a double edged sword that we should keep in mind going forward.

Perhaps most shocking is the fact that we no longer seem satisfied to simply experience comic book films. We squeeze out every detail possible before release just to see if what’s on screen matches what we imagine in our heads. What’s wrong with waiting to learn Star Wars: Episode VII will feature former Star Wars cast members near the release date in December 2015? The Star Wars hype train won’t be out of coal by that time, but it will take several more leaks to maintain momentum which will basically tell us the plot of the entire film before we see it in theaters.

I’m not saying it’s wrong but maybe we shouldn’t want spoilers to become the new normal. Part of what makes these movie experiences so great is the unexpected. Movies are sometimes going to be horrible no matter how loud our collective voices are, but there’s no point in spoiling the details of a great film for ourselves. Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far. Now the best way to enjoy a movie intended for fanboys is not to be a fanboy at all.

Is this an overreaction to the inevitable consequences of social media in the news cycle, or a rational response to knowing nearly every detail of a movie before walking in? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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