Fandoms really went mainstream in the past decade, and suddenly, talk about superhero movies and other major franchises weren't just happening in online forums and comic book shops. The masses were invested in these franchises, and soon enough, they amassed online in large numbers to share the love of their respective franchises and spout off their opinions.
Over that past decade, fans have learned their voices carry some weight in Hollywood, and have used that in various ways to make things happen. Yes, the DC fandom's recent success with the Snyder Cut will be mentioned here, but there are also other notable instances where an online fandom has impacted the entertainment industry in one way or another. Let's dive in and marvel at how powerful voices on the internet have gotten in recent years.
The Snyder Cut
By now, most of Hollywood should know the story of The Snyder Cut. While a good portion of the world was content with writing off Joss Whedon's cut of Justice League and moving on, there were those who believed and demanded an unreleased cut by original director Zack Snyder be shown. The whole thing was essentially written off as part Hollywood myth and part impossible dream, until director Zack Snyder started dropping breadcrumbs confirming its existence.
Fans were invigorated by Zack Snyder's teases and subsequently coordinated watch parties, trending events and donations to charities, all in the name of seeing the Snyder Cut be released. Finally, it was confirmed that this version of Justice League will be released on HBO Max, much to the astonishment of those outside the movement. Perhaps more than any other example, the Snyder Cut proves most of all how a fandom can influence Hollywood.
Sonic The Hedgehog's Re-Design
When the world got its first look at the cinematic version of Sonic the Hedgehog, it was quite an experience. So much about the character looked weird that the movie was essentially written off on the character's appearance alone. The studio, reacting to the fans, decided to delay Sonic in order to improve the design. Some felt the move was foolish at the time, as it seemed like only more money being pushed into a movie which had a trailer that didn't look too promising.
Now, after the recent news that Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is in development, it's hard to deny the redesign was a good call. Sonic went on to surprise some critics, and fans took fewer pot shots at the movie overall because the final design looked much closer to the Sonic those in the gaming community were familiar with. We'll never know if the movie would've fared the same with the original design left in, though ultimately, I'd say most are happy the movie Sonic looks like the actual Sonic regardless.
Rise Of Skywalker's Shift From The Last Jedi
It's no secret the Star Wars fandom has been quite divisive, and after the fans had a rather contentious split following the response to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a decision was made. Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker would not revisit many of the plot points that The Last Jedi touched on, and instead try to bring in a cohesive story that drew the Skywalker Saga as a whole to a close.
The results of that decision are mixed depending on who you ask, but there's no denying that The Rise of Skywalker's story was largely influenced by the negative criticisms towards Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The movie was commercially successful regardless of audience and critical opinion, but may have solidified the Sequel Trilogy as one of the most uneven in terms of storytelling compared to the previous two trilogies.
Spider-Man's Return To The MCU
The MCU fandom was turned on its head the day it was announced that negotiations had broken down between Sony and Marvel Studios. The short story was that the two wouldn't be collaborating on any more movies, and that Tom Holland's Spider-Man was officially out of the MCU. It didn't take long for the fans to jump all over that news and put the pressure on for the two companies to come back to the table and make this work.
Eventually, both parties reached an agreement, and it's hard not to see how fans played a part in that. Screenwriter David Koepp noted how weird it was fans were siding with Disney over Sony in the matter, and there were plenty of people sounding off with their opinions on how big a mistake this was for both sides. Ultimately, Tom Holland got a lion's share of the credit for bringing both back to the table, but I don't think it's a stretch to say the fan response was just as important to Sony and Disney this time around.
Ryan Reynolds Playing Deadpool And Basically The Entire Franchise
Before the Snyder Cut was an impossible dream that would never see the light of day, there was actor Ryan Reynolds and his dream to play Deadpool in a feature film (remember, that Wade Wilson we saw in X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn't count). Fans were behind the idea for years, but the idea was continually bounced around until one fateful day when the test footage for Reynolds playing the character was "leaked" to the web. Speculation swirled over who leaked the footage, with some believing Reynolds himself did so.
Fans went wild, studios noticed and two films later, one of Marvel's raunchiest characters is the star of a major franchise. Not only that, his R-rated features made some serious money, which has made studios far less jittery about doing more adult-skewing superhero movies. Marvel still has to figure out how to work Deadpool into the MCU, but considering a decade ago it seemed like Deadpool would be one of those characters who would never see the silver screen period, the dream has come a long way.
Fandoms have done a lot of things over the years, so be sure to post your most memorable events down in the comments below. As always, CinemaBlend is the place to be for all the latest news happening in the world of fandoms, movies and television.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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