Social media plays a huge and ever-increasing role in our world today, with the numerous available platforms giving virtually everyone who wants it unfiltered access to voicing their opinions on whatever they want. And just like every time such huge technological advancements are made that affect every part of our society, not everyone decides to use the internet for positive and productive means.
Obviously, the problem isn’t just limited to popular culture, but the unstoppable growth of social media has given rise to the culture known as ‘toxic fandom,’ where people head online in their droves to bash the latest movie, franchise, actor, performance, filmmaker or studio that’s angered them. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is just the latest example, with everyone from stars of The Mandalorian to the former Disney CEO letting it be known that the movie wasn’t for them.
Even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most popular and lucrative franchise in the history of cinema, isn’t immune from this. A campaign was launched to try and sabotage the critical consensus for Captain Marvel, with petitions even doing the rounds in an effort to have star Brie Larson replaced in the title role.
In a recent interview, Kevin Feige discussed how much internet culture has changed since his beginnings at Marvel and how the idea of reshoots are viewed online as a code for a movie being doomed, and he had some seriously strong words for how he views today’s online society.
“There used to be stories of reshoots in the press when I started… it was literally the dawn of the internet and the dawn of film blogging… and now we live in the hell pit we live in today, but at the time it was like, ‘Wow, people have opinions on movies’, and on X-Men they didn’t like anything about it and there was the quote, ‘Well, it’s a Marvel movie so you know it’s going to be bad’.”
The Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Studios wasn’t exactly going to throw his fans under the bus and say they’re causing the problems, but a lot of these fans went crazy and bashed Martin Scorsese when he criticized the franchise for not being cinema. You could see where they’re coming from, but as one of the greatest directors in history and also a 77 year-old man who has no interest in either Marvel comic book movies or studio blockbusters in general, he’s certainly entitled to an opinion just like the rest of us.