The spoiler debate

"Rosebud is the sled."

“Rosebud is the sled.”

With yet another James Bond movie in production, the old debate about spoilers flares up again.

Over the past couple of weeks, Eon Productions has been filming a car chase for SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film. This has occurred on public streets in the capital city (Rome) of a major European country (Italy).

This is the kind of thing that draws publicity, including a video posted by The Associated Press, one of the largest news-gathering organizations in the world. Some 007 fans want to learn more. Some 007 fan sites have written about it. But others complain it’s a spoiler and shouldn’t be covered by the media at all and shouldn’t even be discussed by true fans at all.

Once upon a time, some of the biggest 007 spoilers came from the official Bond apparatus. The novelization of The Spy Who Loved Me came out before the movie’s U.S. debut. That pretty much gave away the ski jump stunt performed by Rick Sylvester in the film. Ditto the novelization of Tomorrow Never Dies, which gave away much of that film’s plot and action sequences. The only differences were changes made in the script after the novelization was written.

Nor was this restricted to novelizations. 007 soundtracks gave away key plot points. Goldfinger’s soundtrack had a track called Death of Goldfinger. Thunderball’s soundtrack had a track called Death of Fiona. You Only Live Twice’s soundtrack had a track called Death of Aki. Doesn’t leave too much to the imagination.

Still, this is the 21st century. There’s this thing called the Internet. Once upon a time, fans who experienced momentary disappointment with finding out details about a movie ahead of time had to accept their fate and move on.

With the Internet, you don’t have to worry about moving on. It becomes a big echo chamber.

As that applies to spoilers, well, people will complain about spoilers when a movie has been out for three months. (CLICK HERE for a September 2013 post on this blog and scroll down to one of the comments.) Some will even complain about spoilers seven years after a movie has come out. (CLICK HERE for a November 2011 post and scroll down to one of the comments there.)

The blog got some flak on Facebook this week for THIS POST, which embedded a couple of SPECTRE car chase videos, including the one the AP posted to YouTube. We arranged the post so, on Facebook, its preview would only show a SPECTRE logo. To actually see the videos, you’d have to click on the link itself. Still, that wasn’t good enough for some, who argued “true fans” shouldn’t even be interested in any video of one of the most expensive movies of all time filming a scene in a major European capital.

To be fair, SPECTRE is an unusual case. Because of the hacking at Sony (which will release the film in November), it’s possible to read memos and a script and get information as late as November. the Gawker website did so back on Dec. 12. (Warning: there are spoilers if you click on that link.)

In a perfect world, fans curious about the movie and those not wanting to see anything before it comes out could come to an understanding. But the Internet, for the most part, works against being reasonable. When people cry foul about movies that have been out for months and years, it’s hard to be reasonable.

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3 Responses

  1. In this day and age if people don’t wish to see or hear about film spoilers then they really must stay off any form of media. Internet, radio, tv. LOL. I love spoilers. never have they detracted from my love or disgust of a films final production.

  2. […] March 6, we ran a post ABOUT DEBATES AMONG FANS WHAT CONSTITUTES A SPOILER. It turns out some fans are even more sensitive than we […]

  3. […] fans fretted this was a spoiler. It wasn’t. “I definitely think I’ll try” isn’t really a […]

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