Swinging into theaters Friday is Sony's blockbuster movie "Spider-Man: No Way Home," in which Tom Holland reprises his role as the title character.
But this time around, the web-spinning superhero seems to be facing battles on and off the screen. It began with COVID-related delays. The film was originally slated to hit theaters on July 16, but the pandemic forced that release date back five months. The extended hiatus seems only to have increased fans' excitement.
Social media has become a tangled web of fan theories and speculations – with some coming dangerously close to spoiling the plot. Marvel and Sony have had to go the extra mile to keep the movie from leaking.
Marvel executive Victoria Alonso has been pleading with fans not to ruin the film for fellow moviegoers. "Don't talk about it," she urged fans. "Let people experience it the way they want to experience it. Because if you already know what happens, there's no point. There are many surprises, so let people enjoy it."
Sony has also joined the fight, going so far as to eliminate specific actors from press junkets to keep fans guessing on who might appear in the film. At a recent presser screening, journalists were made to temporarily hand over their phones so no one could snap stills or videos to release to the public.
With movie studios knowing the difficulties around keeping things hidden, Sony deployed the main stars of the film — Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and even Jamie Foxx — to release a video on how to avoid spoilers. The caption that accompanied the video reads: ""NO SPOILERS. Don't be that person."
YouTube movie insider and host of "Beyond the Trailer," Grace Randolph, called fans "very good detectives." In one of her latest videos, she pointed out that some fans leaked the soundtrack for the movie to see the song list to find out surprises for the film.
Despite the early precautions, video and screenshots of the film could be found popping up online early Wednesday thanks to the film being released two days prior in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Many of the posted videos and movie stills were immediately removed by Sony with the message, "Video Unavailable. This video contains content from Sony Pictures Movies & Shows, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."
It isn't just the studios who are unhappy with the leaked material. Fans are working just as hard to keep the movie a secret while they await their show time. The hashtags #DeletingTwitter and #Spoilers began trending this week on social media as people tried to avoid ruining the movie. Some diehard fans even deleted their Twitter accounts altogether.
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