And yes, I eluded the name-dropping news thanks to quick-thinking friend and an extensive keyword-block list. Only now do I know what a “Kylo Ren” is.
Creatives like J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner aren't taking the fission of classic blockbustering and mega-franchise-building too well. They cling to the days of Steven Spielberg and James Cameron printing scripts in red ink and building fortresses to protect their production secrets. Even in 2007, before Marvel Studios and its Iron Man series ignited Hollywood with grand ambition. Abrams' "mystery box" speech felt reactive to a mainstream spoiler culture proliferated by Internet. Having been roasted by the movement's chieftains didn't help.
In September 2002, Ain't It Cool News, a digital successor to movie magazines of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, eviscerated a leaked version of Abrams script for a planned Superman reboot. In detailing its every creative decision, writer Drew McWeeny called it "a disaster of nearly epic proportions" and invoked Star Wars - Episode I, a film whose script the site had praised years earlier and come to sour on. The Superman project would never come to fruition, and the TED Talk became Abrams' Howard Beale–Network moment. The miraculous Cloverfield, produced entirely under the radar, would be his beacon of hope (even while fueling spoiler sleuths). Fandom was the enemy of the "holy shit!" spirit, his victory seemed to say. And that determination to cast fandom as the enemy of "holy shit!" spirit would bite him in the ass in attempts to hide the identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness -- a half-baked reveal savvy Trek buffs easily snuffed out.