Fans of the recently cancelled drama “Life Unexpected” might want to avoid the Facebook fan page and Flickr stream of the upcoming “Scream” sequel. Insiders posted new photos from the set of Scream 4 that MTV.com claims reveal the fate of ‘Sherrie’ the character played by ‘Life’ star Brittany Robertson. Whether the release was intended to stoke fan interest or a miscommunication between the “Scream 4” Facebook and Flickr teams, the photos remind us of the dangers movie spoilers and over-sharing by over-eager movie marketers.
Spoiler Alert has become a pejorative phrase ever since movie fan-sites began spreading like wildfire all over the net. Attempting balance fan interest in behind the scenes info and avoiding spoilers has become a tightrope walk for movie marketers and filmmakers who often battle over just how much to reveal in movie marketing.
A 2010 NYMag.com, Vulture blog post related the story of Producer-Director James L. Brooks and his futile battle to keep marketers from putting the best gags from “The Simpson’s Movie” into the film’s trailer. In the end Brooks came away not wanting anything to do with the way his films are marketed in trailers, telling Vulture blogger Claude Brodesser-Akner: “I pick all my own titles, but I don’t go near the trailer.”
In 2009 fans were very surprised when commercials and trailers for “Terminator: Salvation” revealed a pair of key plot points: first, that star Sam Worthington’s character Marcus was a Terminator and second, he didn’t know it. The revelations were key to the way the plot of “Terminator: Salvation” played out and what would have been shocking revelations in the film were reduced to mere trailer bait.
Marketers also gave away the first images of a CGI Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, returning as the original Terminator with astonishing effects that aged Arnold backwards 25 years. Yes, the Gover-nator’s sort of cameo in the film was a well known fact for most fans but it was rather shocking for marketers to give away such a big moment.
As the “Scream 4” spoiler shows, a spoiler can come in very unique ways. Take for instance a spoilers on the soundtrack for George Lucas’s epic “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.” Fans that purchased the CD soundtrack, released 2 weeks prior to the film’s theatrical release, learned the fate of Liam Neeson’s Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, from the tracks titled “Qui Gon’s Noble End.” and “The High Council Meeting and Qui Gon’s Funeral.”
It’s hard to tell just yet whether the fate of Brittany Robertson’s Sherrie, as revealed in these (spoiler alert!) Facebook and Flickr photos, is an important plot point in “Scream 4” or not. We won’t find out until “Scream 4” arrives in theaters on Friday, April 15th.
With or without the spoilers, how excited are you to see “Scream 4?”