From fans, to fans: How not to spoil the next big superhero movie

April 27, 2018 - 1:54 PM
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Screenshot from trailer of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War

The rise of fantasy, science fiction and superhero media in the past decade has produced some of the biggest hits in the history of television and blockbuster film.

Some even called the phonemenon the “Golden Age of Geek,” on account of the success of fantasy series Game of Thrones, the return of the Star Wars movie franchise and the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The most recent chapter to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “Avengers: Infinity War,” an adaptation of the Infinity Trilogy published by Marvel Comics around thirty years ago. The same way Infinity Trilogy was billed as the era’s most expansive crossover event for bringing together Marvel Comics’ biggest superheroes at the time, “Infinity War,” as the summation of 10 years’ worth of universe-building by Marvel Studios, has been dubbed the pinnacle of the superhero movie genre.

‘Infinity War’ has been dubbed the pinnacle of the superhero genre.

The much-awaited Avengers: Infinity War premiered in cinemas in the Philippines this week, and some have had the privilege of watching it earlier than everyone else. It comes to no surprise then that a lot of fans, both casuals and afficionados, are annoyed that those who watched ahead have been unable to keep quiet about what they saw.

Some fans have gone on extreme lengths just to keep their social media feeds safe from spoilers.

Ethics and etiquette for fans

There are those who have developed a personal code of ethics when it comes to media consumption.

Lorenzo, 25, an avid movie and TV fan, has a hard line when it comes it comes to spoilers. He believes that no one has the right to spoil.

“Right is a strong word. That’s like saying you have a right to punch someone randomly in the face. You technically do, but you’re a a jerk if you do,” said Lorenzo to Interaksyon.

For Lorenzo, universal access to social media gives no one the right to talk about everything under the sun so carelessly.

“Same thing you do when you feel the need to show your private parts to someone. You ask politely, and if they say no, you keep your pants on and walk away.”

Western media: Codifying spoiler prevention

Various entertainment thoughtpieces have attempted to produce the Hammurabi’s Code for spoiler prevention. One of the earliest is Vulture’s statutes of limitations on spoilers. Several other websites have since come out with their own rules and guidelines.

Thrillist in 2017 released a 22-item checklist on how not to spoil friends, family and co-workers on the on your favorite TV series. The list preaches sensitivity, prudence, and knowing when and how to keep a lid when it comes to shows.

Darren Franich on his “Entertainment Geekly” column on Entertainment Weekly published “The News Rules on Spoilers,” where he provides guidelines for just about all types of popular media in the 2010s, from geek movies to book adaptations to video games.

Meanwhile, Gizmodo’s Bryan Lufkin has a fatalistic take on the war against spoilers. On a piece published in 2015, Lufkin argued that avoiding internet spoilers was impossible, citing both social media’s omnipresence and the absence of anything that could tangibly stop fans from discussing whatever they wanted.