What is the appropriate length of time for spoilers to remain spoilers? If you were a Game of Thrones fan, then the answer was probably about 20 minutes after the airing of the final episode as people started talking about spoilers on social media almost immediately after the episode aired, given people who hadn’t watched it yet little escape from some of the big reveals along the way. Something which is a little disappointing considering the impact spoilers make on the original viewing experience.
However, while everyone should always do their best to not spoil the viewing experience of another, how long should we wait before making it part of regular discussions? 6 months, a year? What about 5 years? This debate seems to have arisen once again after Edgar Wright noticed that Netflix’s auto-trailer for his 2013 film The World’s End contained spoilers that were an important part of the film:
Although the movie aired over 5 years ago and is familiar with most of Wright’s fans as the final movie in his self-titled Cornetto trilogy, Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) being the other two films. Still, Wright took offence that what Netflix was showing in its trailer would ruin the film for those who were eager to watch it for the first time.
His argument certainly highlights the importance of which certain plot details remain sacred for many people and should never be revealed. It’s also something which few studios seem to understand as there is an increasing trend of films where major plots are spoilt in trailers which makes watching the films almost feel unnecessary. While you can sort of understand fans excitement for wanting to talk about spoilers with friends, it is inexcusable for networks, even if the movie is many years old. Netflix clearly erred on their side with this specific incident, though the question still begs to be asked, how long is long enough for a spoiler to remain a spoiler?
Last Updated: May 28, 2019