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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: What do filmmakers owe the fans of favorite universes?

J.J. Abrams is telling diehard Trekkies to avoid his new Star Trek reboot: “Don’t see the movie,” he has said. “You’ll just get angry. It is not Shatner playing Kirk, so I do apologize.” (I think he’s wrong about how serious fans will react, but I’ll get to that in my review, which I’ll post in a little while.)

Meanwhile, at Empire Online, Helen O’Hara explains why the studios should not listen to fans when it comes to beloved franchises. It’s because Fox did heed fan wishes, she says, and tossed Gambit and Deadpool into the mix of Wolverine that those same fans are unhappy with their treatment now: because those characters were shoehorned into a story in which they didn’t really belong.

So, my question today is: What do filmmakers owe the fans of favorite universes? Does it make more sense for filmmakers to do what is right, creatively, for a movie, even if it doesn’t satisfy the cravings of fans, or should filmmakers give the fans what they want, even if it doesn’t quite make sense within the context of the story they’re telling? Or is there a third option?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)

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