Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fandom Chill Pill

All fandoms need to just calm down!I'm all for being passionate about things you love.But I'm not in favor of the massive overreactions of the past few weeks.I'm talking about two major casting announcements.A few weeks ago, Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman.This week, Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were announced for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.And, both fandoms went berserk with indignation.

This is by no means a new thing, fandom overreaction.It's probably been going on since the dawn of time. Just kidding.But it has been going on for a long, long time.It's just been made worse and seems more prevalent thanks to the internet.

I'm a fan of Christian Bale's Batman.I am wary of the Affleck casting but I'm also curious to see what he does with the character.From what I've read, people were very unhappy with Michael Keaton playing Batman until they saw the movie and then people shut up.I'm willing to give Affleck a chance. [Update:I just found out there's also a petition to remove Affleck as Batman.It has over 90,000 signatures so far.Really, people?]

The Fifty Shades casting uproar is just ridiculous in my opinion.(Full disclosure:I have not read the books nor do I care about the movie.)The Fifty Shades fandom has started a petition to get Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel to replace Hunnam and Johnson because that's what the fandom wants.Who cares that the author has given her approval and the director and others involved are obviously happy with their choices.Maybe Hunnam and Johnson have amazing chemistry and are great in the parts.Maybe Bomer and Bledel are unavailable and/or don't want to star in this movie.Maybe, no, definitely, the fandom needs to chill out.

Other things fandoms freak out about: sections/events/scenes left out of movies, physical differences of the actors from the characters they portray, and expecting the movie to look exactly as the book does in your head.Some examples:

*I was particularly dismayed at the portrayal on screen of my favorite chapter in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "The Lost Prophecy".It was like a little blip in the movie and I felt a lot of valuable information was left out.

*I read a comment somewhere about how Emma Watson was just too pretty to play Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series and that she should be recast with another, uglier actress.This same commenter also said that Daniel Radcliffe doesn't have green eyes so he shouldn't be Harry Potter.

*There was much discussion and excitement when the first stills of The Hunger Games were released online.I received an email from an acquaintance railing about Katniss's leather jacket she wore to hunt in.Apparently, it was too nice and expensive.

*People were also pretty darn upset that Madge didn't give Katniss the Mockingjay pin (me too) and that Peeves the poltergeist was left out of the Harry Potter movies.

*My cousin mentioned that he liked Hugh Jackman as Wolverine but it wasn't completely faithful to the comics because Jackman is too tall to be Wolverine.

*History fandom:I was initially against Daniel Day Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln when I first heard about Lincoln.Then I saw the movie and immediately admitted to being absolutely, completely, 100% wrong.

*I've read comments about many other movies based on books that could be summed up with, "Well, that's not how I pictured it."

I could probably think of a few more examples but I'll stop there.I err on the side of caution instead of overreacting nowadays.I've had a few good natured, spirited "arguments" about some of these fandom gripes but I've never gone so far as to petition J.K. Rowling, David Yates, and Steve Kloves to include a 20 minute scene to properly do "The Lost Prophecy" justice.If I want to revisit that chapter, I read that chapter.I understand that there's much that goes into making a movie and they can't please everyone.

Should a fandom get what they want?Within reason.Should a fandom lose their minds over a casting choice that the producers and author are involved in?Probably not.Will fandoms ever calm down?Never.

To all fandoms:Let's take a chill pill and just see what happens.And instead of petitions, let your money do the talking if you're really against the cast, etc.

Here's to my favorite fandoms: Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. I love these fandoms and am proud to be a part of them.And, I'll try to remember my own advice in this post and take a chill pill when I feel an overreaction coming on.

Happy Movie Watching!
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