Blonde Bonds and Batmobiles: 7 Times Fans Overreacted

movie fan controversies

Edgar Wright and Marvel Break Up

The Film: Ant-Man (2015)

The Controversy: Just weeks before cameras were set to begin rolling, Edgar Wright departed his long-gestating Ant-Man movie. The exact reasons for him quitting the project remain unknown, but the Shaun of the Dead director did tweet (and quickly delete) a picture of Buster Keaton, the iconic filmmaker and silent movie star whose creative clashes with movie studios are the stuff of legend. And since Wright is a rightfully beloved figure among movie fans across the internet, the response was unanimous: Ant-Man was doomed and Marvel’s desperate, last-minute attempt to find a replacement were laughable. They might as well cancel the movie.

What Happened: Then Marvel Studios hired Bring It On and Down With Love director Peyton Reed, who shot the movie, delivered it on time, and watched it become a solid international hit. The movie itself is very good, far from the disaster every single person on the internet predicted. Deep down, everyone knows that Wright would have made one helluva superhero movie, but Reed’s film fits into the Marvel Studios mold. This is a case where a talented journeyman is more suited to a certain project than an auteur who bristles against a heavy-handed studio.

movie fan controversies

Who is Playing The Joker?

The Film: The Dark Knight (2008)

The Controversy: There is only one sect of fandom that can top Bond fans for sheer rage and there is only one story that can top the ludicrous response to Daniel Craig’s casting as Agent 007. This is, of course, the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Welcome to list for a third time, Batfans. The news that Ledger, an admittedly left field choice, would take on the role of Batman’s arch-nemesis nearly burnt the internet to the ground. The wailing and gnashing of teeth could be heard in every forum and every comments section. “How could this talentless pretty boy get to play the Joker? Why couldn’t [INSERT ONE OF A DOZEN OBVIOUS FAN PICKS] get the part instead?” It didn’t help that faked photos of Ledger in a “make-up test” (i.e., poor Photoshop) began circulating, convincing everyone that director Christopher Nolan needed to be taken off the project before it was too late.

What Happened: Yes, there was a brief window when Batman fans thought Christopher Nolan should be fired. Yes, there was a brief window when Batman fans thought Heath Ledger would be the worst thing to happen to this franchise since Batman & Robin. And then The Dark Knight was released to massive box office and critical acclaim. And then Ledger tragically passed away, making everyone feel suuuper shitty when they actually saw his performance and realized just how brilliant he was. Ledger’s posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor feels genuinely insane to those who lived through the early days of his casting. That something so instantly and blindly reviled turned out to be so wonderful is an example of cosmic… Well, cosmic something. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

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