Fanboys will be fanboys

by Paul William Tenny

The Weinstein Company has a film in the works called Fanboys that appeared at first glance to be a soft hearted comedy about a couple of kids who break into Skywalker ranch for their sick friend. It figured right away to attract real-life Star Wars fanboys and it's not surprising at all that in typical fanboy fashion, they've turned on the film with menacing threats like "you can look forward to a lifetime boycott of your studio by every 'Star Wars' fan on the planet" once they realized it wasn't a movie made for them, but for people to laugh at them.

The friend-has-cancer angle may have given the film some emotional traction, but I can see those who would rather make this a straight up comedy. Now all of that is really uninteresting and not worth writing about. Rather what makes me perk my ears up as how serious and over-the-top fanboys get when they aren't getting what they want. You've got to ignore that crap the best you can since fanboys are such a tiny segment of the population that having even a blood oath sworn out against you isn't going to dent your box office receipts. The detachment from reality is sometimes startling: don't you dare make your movie the way you want to make it, or we'll make you wish you were never born. All five of us.
Seriously, the people who actually bothered to show up and protest the cuts to Fanboys at a recent TWC premier showed up like this:

The Los Angeles protest drew very few supporters. Those who did show were decked out in "Star Wars" regalia.

Pardon me for being snotty, but how could you not want to make a movie that makes fun of people like that? Coming out to protest in person is one thing, but dressing up as characters in a movie that is, at best, only marginally related to Star Wars -- you have to admit that's pretty sad.

It's also delusional for a very tiny group to toss around threats and ultimatums without having anything to back it up. One of the most successful fan-led campaigns in television history to revive a canceled show (Jericho -- revived and canceled again) barely managed something like 50 or maybe 60,000 signatures with an existing fan base of 6-8 million viewers. You're going to get that level of protest against practically any film or show ever made because somebody somewhere is going to find something not to like.

While I'll be one of the first people to complain about cuts that make a film worse, it's kind of pointless before the thing is even finished -- long before any of these "fanboys" have ever seen how it'll turn out. Hating the thing after the fact is plenty fair game but protesting it while its still in development hell is beyond weird.

I'm not sure that I wouldn't take some of this stuff that's happening and actually find a way to put it into the film, because some of it is so absurd that you can't help but laugh at it all.
in Film


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