On the BAFTA red carpet last night, Simon Pegg was caught on video by Absolute Radio. At the very end of this clip, you’ll hear him say that JJ Abrams will direct Star Trek 3, or whatever it ends up being called.
So Pegg has inside knowledge and Abrams has signed on and Abrams-loving Trekkers can open the champagne and… no, not really, no.
What does Pegg really mean here? Well, on the surface of it, this can be read as a show of confidence, Pegg expressing his belief that Abrams will direct the film.
Pegg and Abrams share a lack of patience for the constant merry-go-round of movie spoilers that I would agree make up far, far too much of online writing about film.
Abrams is notorious for playing games with us, and trying to twist the hype that could be burned up on spoilers into spirals of mystery and confusion instead. This keeps the conversation going, but usually preserves the secrecy.
Pegg just tends to get blunt and call out anybody who is dropping spoilers, or even chasing them too doggedly. But that’s understandable.
As Pegg says elsewhere in the video above:
We’re just trying to protect the film. We seem to be up against a continual barrage of people trying to spoil it.
Spoilers aren’t called spoilers for nothing.
It’s no secret that Bleeding Cool does share spoilers but I think it’s fair to say that we discuss them, not just repeat them. Nonetheless, this practice does inevitably involve passing them on. I always take great pains to mark them clearly and to give the reader notice that they’d maybe rather not read what we’re publishing.
This isn’t Pegg’s idea of sport, though. I get it. I understand why it wouldn’t be.
Now, if a film is built to stand up to multiple viewings, it’s only the first that would be effected by the “threat” of spoilers. There’s more to movie than it’s story – there’s the telling too.
But yes, you can flip that. There’s more to a movie than its telling – there’s also the story.
I think it’s fair to say, some people will be more bothered by spoilers than others. The problem is that the people who click on and read spoilers aren’t exclusively those who don’t care about them. I’ve seen countless tweets and forum posts and other comments here and there where people are all but kicking themselves for reading a spoiler.
Is that an argument against publishing spoilers in the first place? Not at all. Readers are responsible for their actions, not anybody else.
I think we’re at an impasse. Filmmakers might prefer that sites like this one don’t publish spoilers but, caught up in some kind of arms race, we’re all fighting to get the best, most meaningful content, and that can often depend on the fattest traffic* – and what drives in whole droves of clicks? Spoilers do.
If spoilers were suddenly made illegal and vanished from the blogosphere overnight we might all be better off, but it’s simply not practical for any lone site to stand down and back away and see their access to the most interesting assets, interviews and screenings wither up and blow away because their traffic plummets.
I think Simon Pegg has little patience for online film blogging as it stands. What effect might this have had on his comments in the video above? Well, the surety of his statement about Abrams and Star Trek do feel like a book being slammed shut to me.
If it was me, and had I said that myself, I think I might have really wanted to say:
Why are you even asking me this now? We’re years away and he’s obviously busy with something else.
I understand Pegg’s frustration.
Now. Back to work, looking for spoilers to share…
*Actually, I think some sites are just racing to get the fattest traffic and that’s the end game for them. That or the ad revenue.