Blockbusters keep getting spoiled before anyone has a chance to watch them thanks to plot-filled trailers and loose-lipped directors
Hollywoods habit of spoiling movies by giving away essential plot points ahead of release is nothing new. A classic example is the trailer for Robert Zemeckiss Cast Away, which reveals that Tom Hanks shipwrecked FedEx exec eventually escapes from the island. The Terminator franchise has been one of the worst offenders here: newer fans will recall the farrago over the producers decision to give away Terminator: Genisys big twist, that Jason Clarkes resistance hero John Connor has been compromised by the machines. But the sci-fi saga has been at it for decades: one trailer for Terminator Salvation revealed virtually the entire story arc of Sam Worthingtons Marcus Wright, while James Cameron himself couldnt resist giving away the fact that Arnold Schwarzeneggers T-800 had swapped sides in 1991s Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
The difference over the past few years, however, is that the use of spoilers in pre-publicity has become more flagrant and less subtle. In some cases, giving away the plot appears to be a deliberate marketing tool to encourage audiences to hand over their hard-earned cash. The days when every trailer was essentially a teaser appear to be long gone.
A classic example is the new trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, which reveals an epic tapestry of plot points that could surely have been kept under wraps without damaging our sense of anticipation. This is, after all, Spidey in the Marvel Comics Universe, a new wall-crawler who has already spun his magic in that gloriously zippy Captain America: Civil War cameo. People are already excited by the film. Do we really need to know that he messes up and loses the brand-new Spider suit donated by Robert Downey Jrs Tony Stark as a result? And that our hero decides to go it alone against Michael Keatons malevolent Vulture anyway? The answer, clearly, is no, we do not.
One can understand the marketing teams trigger-happy approach. Spider-Man getting a scolding from Iron Man and potentially losing his Avengers membership card before hes even had the chance to take advantage of the discounts available down at the local shawarma emporium is something weve never seen in the Sony movies. It makes this latest reboot seem necessary, establishing its credentials as more than just another big-screen retread. But there were surely better ways to flag up Spideys callow nature and the challenges hes likely to face.
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