WARNING: mild spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming (a movie I haven’t seen yet), 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man (a movie I barely remember), and an article posted this morning on Vulture. Read on at your own risk!
You still here? Cool. So I checked Vulture this morning, as I typically do while I sip my coffee and try to figure out whether there is any interesting Nic Cage news out there for me to write about, and I saw this article (again, spoiler!) which caught my eye. On the surface it’s no big deal. Apparently there is some subtle little reference to The Amazing Spider-Man hidden away in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming. Something involving branzino? Granted, that movie has only been out for like a day so admittedly it’s not like EVERYONE would have seen it by now. The new one, not the old one. What is this, the Clone Saga? Ha! Comics joke!
(Uh, spoiler alert: In the Spidey comics there was a Clone Saga storyline.)
So anyway, I opened and read the article because a) I was pretty sure a callback to another Spider-Man film/timeline/universe wasn’t going to be a major plot spoiler, b) sometimes I like to have a heads up on those little details that are easy to miss on a first viewing, and c) I doubted I was going to rewatch The Amazing Spider-Man anytime soon so why not get a little help? Hell, in my own review of The Mummy I pointed out a similar (and similarly minor) callback to the Brendan Fraser Mummy movie.
But then I read the comments. There were two of them. Both complaining about there being spoilers in the headlines for articles about a movie that was just released the night before. So I looked back at the headline, which just asks if you caught the shout-out. So the spoiler is that there was a shout-out? Frankly I’d be more upset about the actual web address for the article, which clearly states “branzino” (which, again, is apparently something worthy of shouting out but I don’t remember at all).
I know people have to avoid Twitter and/or all of the internet on nights when a big TV episode is airing, because obviously conversations will be occurring.
And sure, I can see how having something spoiled in a headline could be a bummer because you don’t have the option to NOT click through. It’s just sitting there, taunting you, whether you want to read it or not.
I guess my question is: Is a shout-out ever spoiler-worthy? It’s not a cameo. It’s not a twist. Hell, maybe it wasn’t even meant to be a shout-out to anything! And more importantly, is just knowing there is a shout-out in and of itself a spoiler?
So what do you think? How much spoiler is too much spoiler? How much is on the writers to censor, or on the readers to avoid? Should we just burn the internet down and go back to smoke signals? Is anyone really going to rewatch The Amazing Spider-Man?