Yesterday, a former colleague of ours attempted to break a major story. He allegedly discovered the identity of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father in Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2. For anyone who saw the first film, there was a mystery built in to the overall plot surrounding who this mystery figure could be. So it’s a fairly intriguing question that the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and James Gunn, wants you to think about until the sequel comes out. The scooper, in this case, pulled out all the stops to make this EXCLUSIVE of his seem like a big deal: A snazzy video, fancy clothes, a history lesson, and used the story as part of his re-branding process (“I’m now the artist formerly known as…“).
What happened next should surprise no one, least of all us here at Latino-Review. Like clockwork, Marvel and James Gunn shot his story down. No big deal. Happens to scoopers like us all the time. And I’m not even doubting the validity of his scoop. I know the man works hard. I turned to him when I first started here, and he offered me advice like I was the Padawan to his Jedi Master. So I’m not here to refute what he revealed yesterday (from “four/4/cuatro independent sources”), since only time will tell if he got this one right.
I’m here to discuss what writer-director James Gunn stated in his debunking of said story. As I said before, I wasn’t surprised that he shot it down. Heck, I was contacted directly by Edgar Wright when I put out something about Ant-Man (back when he was in the director’s chair), so I know these Marvel directors aren’t above telling you you’re out of your mind. What did strike me about Gunn’s comments, though, was his indictment of the scoop game as a whole:
“Also, I get the desire to get ‘scoops’ on character inclusion and casting choices, etc. But since when is a plot spoiler a ‘scoop’? Is this really what fandom wants to know? Plot details in movies ahead of time? I got in this business because I love movies, and I think most film journalists are the same way. And spoiling plot details doesnâ€™t add to the enjoyment of the film-going experience. So bravo to those folks out there who donâ€™t partake in this sort of thing.”
That struck a chord for me. Somewhere along the way, have scoop sites like ours botched the essence of what a good scoop is? While we’ve always been happy to share with you the latest casting news, or that a studio is planning a particular movie, or that a major character is set to appear in a certain film, I think the invisible line that’s always been drawn there is that we should avoid spoiling a major plot element.
Can you imagine if sites like ours would’ve been around when The Empire Strikes Back came out? You would’ve seen headlines like this:
We would’ve, potentially, ruined one of the greatest surprises in cinematic history. Sites like ours would’ve robbed thousands, if not millions, of fans from the satisfying gut punch that was “I AM YOUR FATHER!” Similarly, let’s say yesterday’s rumor does turn out to be true. What if Gunn put together a wonderful mystery plot line for us, and now our overall enjoyment of the film is muted by the fact that we already know the payoff?
So this begs the question: What Kind Of Scoops Do You, The Readers of Sites Like Ours, Want To See?
Are you of the mind that any shred of information that has yet to be revealed by a studio qualifies as a scoop, whether it’s plot-related or not? Or, would you rather we keep scoops to non-plot elements like castings, movie plans, and the vague inclusion of characters? Are ***SPOILER ALERTS*** enough, thus making ANY kind of scoop okay?
Please discuss. Sound off. Let us know in the Comments section below, so that we know where to place our resources and when to tell a source, “Eh, my readers don’t need to know that yet.” Because while we certainly want your loyalty, and your clicks/retweets/shares, we also want your trust and to protect your filmgoing experience since we’re fans, just like you.
Thanks. Speak up!