Some huge plot twists from beloved movies were spoiled ahead of time by merchandise, trailers, and even actors who gave too much away in interviews.
- Movie spoilers can sometimes be unintentionally revealed through merchandise, trailers, and even interviews, taking away the element of surprise for viewers.
- In the age of digital media, leaks and spoilers are difficult to contain, as cameras are everywhere and forums are easily accessible.
Even iconic movies like
Toy Story 3, Avengers: Infinity War
have had major plot points spoiled through toys, interviews, and trailers, respectively.
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The digital age has transformed the experience of watching and discussing movies, especially when it comes to spoilers, and some movies have been spoiled in surprising ways. Paranoia about having the misfortune to stumble upon a spoiler proliferates right before a big release. A now-famous instance is the Russo brothers’ spoiler ban in the lead-up to Avengers: Endgame. The directorial duo asked fans not to spoil the movie and members of the cast were reportedly only given sections of the script, to prevent plot details from leaving the confines of the set.
Despite the best efforts of directors and producers, sometimes movie spoilers escape into the world. With cameras everywhere and online forums always within reach, it is impossible to completely contain leaks and the spread of information. However, it is also the digital age lending itself to a movie’s promotion, as well as mass consumerism, which sometimes leads someone involved with the making of a movie to give something away. Merchandising, trailers, posters, and even cast members have been known to spoil movies ahead of time.
Related: The Truth About Spoiler Alerts
10 Toy Story 3 (2010)
A Lego Set Spoiled The Trash Compactor Scene
A Lego set released ahead of Toy Story 3 gave away the movie’s climax and the series’ darkest scene. The image on the outside of the box depicts the evil toy bear Lotso operating the trash compactor while Woody is being dumped onto the conveyor belt and Hamm is being rescued from some Lego flames, scooped up by the claw operated by two aliens. The set might have stolen some of the scene’s drama, but at least a handful of moviegoers got a heads-up before having to watch the happy toys narrowly escape a fiery death.
9 Justice League (2017)
Funko Pop And Other Toys Spoiled Superman’s Return
After his apparent death in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), plenty of people assumed that Henry Cavill’s Superman would return in some way in subsequent films. They were right, of course, but their suspicions were confirmed earlier than expected when a Superman Funkp Pop and other action figures were released as part of the movie’s merchandising. This is only one instance of an early Funko Pop spoiling a movie. Plot details can be inferred from the way the figurine is branded, the clothes they are wearing, or, as was the case with Superman, the mere fact that they are associated with an upcoming movie.
8 Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Mark Ruffalo Spoiled The Snap In An Interview
Tom Holland might be the MCU star notorious for giving away the movies’ endings, but it was actually Mark Ruffalo who spoiled the franchise’s biggest plot twist. Appearing in an interview with Don Cheadle ahead of Infinity War’s release, Ruffalo quipped, “Wait ’till you see this next one, everybody dies.” Cheadle exclaimed, “Dude!” trying to hush him up. Luckily for Ruffalo, most viewers assumed it was a joke, and audiences were completely shocked when Thanos wiped out half of the main cast. However, now fans know that there might be shreds of truth in the jokes actors make in interviews.
7 Shrek (2001)
Burger King Toy Spoiled Fiona’s Transformation
According to CNBC, when Dreamworks was marketing Shrek back in 2001, a line of toys was included with Burger King’s kids’ meals. One of these toys was Fiona and showed her transformation from a human into an ogre. When watching Shrek for the first time, viewers are supposed to be wondering what Fiona’s secret is, because she clearly has one. However, those who had come across this toy would have already known about the new movie’s take on the “cursed princess” storyline which appears in many fairy tales.
6 Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Trailer Spoiled That Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator Is A Good Guy
The plot of the Terminator sequel has long been absorbed in cultural consciousness, so most people already know that Schwarzenegger returns as a good Terminator to protect John Connor from Skynet. However, this so-called plot twist may never have existed for viewers. The movie’s original trailer reveals the premise, including the Terminator saving John and saying, “come with me if you want to live,” while a voice-over voice states that “now his mission is to protect [the future].” It is possible that before the widespread use of the internet some viewers would not have seen the trailer, but the producers were making no effort to hide it this central plot point.
5 Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Trailer Spoiled The Final Fight
In the third act of Civil War, following the all-out airport brawl among most of the Avengers, it seems that Cap and Iron Man have reconciled. Tony has realized that Steve was telling the truth about the “doctor” who infiltrated the CIA and that the other super soldiers are the real threat. All is right with the world. But the viewers know that the dramatic fight between Steve, Tony, and Bucky seen in the trailer has not taken place yet, and something bad has to happen to cause them to descend into a free-for-all again. Audiences have rarely experienced such a knowing dread. The “how” is revealed a moment later when Zemo plays the security footage of Bucky killing Tony’s parents and the promised final battle begins.
Related: Civil War’s Captain America Vs Iron Man Fight Was Planned 20 Minutes Before Shooting
4 Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Leaks Spoiled Andrew Garfield And Tobey Maguire’s Presence
By the time the third MCU Spider-Man movie came out, almost everyone knew that past Spideys were going to be making an appearance. However, first came a long-running back-and-forth between industry-savvy fans and the cast and crew. The confirmed appearances of most of the villains from the Garfield and Maguire-era movies incited the rumors, which only gained momentum over time. The actors denied the rumors numerous times, Garfield going as far as saying that the leaked set photos of him suited up were Photoshopped. In the end, no one was surprised, but at least they gave it their best shot.
3 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Soundtrack Spoiled Qui-Gon Jinn’s Death
The soundtrack album for the first movie in the prequel trilogy featured two interestingly titled tracks: One was “Qui-Gon’s Noble End” and the other was “The High Council Meeting and Qui-Gon’s Funeral.” Fans who purchased the soundtrack would have known that Liam Neeson’s outing with Star Wars would be brief. Yet they may have thought that Qui-Gon’s death was inevitable. It would have made sense for the story to force Obi-Wan to continue his journey without his mentor to mirror Luke’s storyline after Obi-Wan’s death in the original trilogy.
2 The Dark Knight (2008)
Trailer Spoiled Gordon’s Survival
Relatively early on in The Dark Knight Commissioner Gordon “dies,” supposedly taking a bullet to save the mayor of Gotham City. But most of the audience had seen the trailer, featuring Gordon saying, after the Joker is arrested, “nothing in his pockets but knives and lint.” Since he has not yet said this memorable line at this point in the movie, most of the audience rightly assumed that he is still alive. Additionally, it is unlikely the studio would have wanted to rule out Gary Oldman appearing in any future sequels.
1 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
David Prowse Spoiled Darth Vader Being Luke’s Father
David Prowse, the actor who physically played Darth Vader, the character voiced by James Earl Jones, allegedly spoiled the famous familial reveal two years before The Empire Strikes Back was released! Prowse told a magazine that Vader was Luke’s father and “Father can’t kill son, son can’t kill father,” so they would both live to fight in the sequel (via CBR). Again, the plot twist was more or less preserved by the lack of digital media. Today, a plot detail of this caliber would spread like wildfire and the whole world would know in a matter of hours.
Source: CNBC, CBR