*NOTE – CONTAINS HUGE SPOILERS*
In the age of social media, it is getting more and more difficult for the film industry to hide anything about their films prior to release with set pictures, leaks and reveals by those involved on the likes of Twitter. Not that any of that really matters, considering studio marketing departments are perfectly content with giving away huge parts of movies in the trailers and marketing material! Here are five notable examples of movie trailers that gave away huge spoilers about the films they were advertising…
5 – LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (2002)
The middle entry into Peter Jackson’s trilogy, The Two Towers came out hot on the tails of 2001’s Fellowship of the Ring. For anyone who hadn’t read the J. R. R Tolkien’s books before seeing the movies, shock and devastation occurred upon witnessing the death of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) in the first film. Any chance at surprise was swiftly ruined by the trailer of the second film however when, right at the end, it reveals the wizard alive and well. While from a marketing perspective it probably makes sense, but with a franchise that had already proved to be lucrative and successful, was there really any need to ruin this big reveal?
4 – TERMINATOR GENISYS (2015)
The Terminator franchise is actually quite notorious for spoilerific trailers – T2 trailers gave away that Arnold Swarzenegger was a good guy, whilst the Salvation trailers were happy to reveal their big twist too (a terminator that doesn’t know he is a terminator). Genisys is no different, though things started out promisingly enough. The initial trailer underwhelmed fans of the franchise, painting the film essentially as a reboot containing a mixture of elements from the first two films. It was therefore a decision made under pressure that caused the second trailer to give away the big reveal – that John Connor had been turned into a terminator. This would have been an excellent twist if kept quiet, and with the film significantly under-performing everywhere but China, it would have perhaps been better to keep it under wraps.
3 – THE AVENGERS (2012)
This is another example where they should have held back from the reveal – who wasn’t going to see THE AVENGERS back in 2012? The slow-burn build up had paid off for Marvel and anticipation was at an all time high, and the first two trailers promised big things for earth’s mightiest heroes without giving too much away. Then came that third trailer, where right at the end we see the Chitauri in the heart of New York City, all for the sake of getting in yet another Tony Stark quip. This reveal would have been fantastic if kept under wraps, with non-comic book fans being totally unaware of what Chitauri even are (big scary alien things?) and perfectly content with thinking Loki was the big bad. This trailer reveal felt like an unnecessary attempt to drum up anticipation that was already reaching its limit.
2 – CASTAWAY (2000)
Castaway tells the story of FedEx delivery man Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) who, following a plane crash, is stranded alone on a desert island. This is immediately an interesting premise, and it was a film which brought Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis together again after the huge success of the Academy Award winning Forrest Gump (1994), so it seems probable that people were going to be interested in seeing it. So why Paramount ever thought it was a good idea to market the film by providing a trailer that had a blow by blow account of all of the main plot points will forever be a mystery. This doesn’t contain A spoiler, it contains THE spoiler – that Noland gets off the island. They even tell you how long he was on the island for. And how he gets off. It’s madness.
1 – CARRIE (1976)
Probably the only film trailer that can outdo Castaway in the spoiler stakes is the one for Brian De Palma’s take on Stephen King’s first novel. Carrie tells the story of a troubled young girl who has the power of telekinesis – think Matilda grown up and gone creepy. The trailer gives away pretty much the entire film, with the majority of it showing the films famous finale at the titular characters High School Prom. Again this is an interesting premise on its own, though this time the marketing perspective is clearer. Stephen King was still an up and comer of sorts at this point, with the novel Carrie, his first, only coming out in 1974. The film release also came a year before King penned The Shining, his most well-known work. De Palma was in a similar situation – whilst not an unknown, he was still yet to produce the work he is known for (Scarface, The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible etc.) It is therefore clearer why so much was given away in an attempt to draw audiences in.
You can watch all the trailers below:
What do you think – are there any movie trailers that you think give away huge spoilers? Let me know in the comments section!