Warning: this story contains spoilers for Last Christmas.
Now that the holiday rom-com Last Christmas has ended its theatrical run with global earnings of more than US$120 million (S$167mil) on a US$25 million budget, director Paul Feig felt free to get something off his chest.
The London-set Last Christmas is inspired by the George Michael song and follows Kate, a messed-up woman (Emilia Clarke), who gets her life sorted out after meeting Tom (Henry Golding), a mysterious bloke with a thing for birds and giving out sagely advice.
Speaking to Collider to promote Last Christmas’ Blu-ray release, Feig said he wasn’t too thrilled with the movie’s spoilerific trailer and the intense media scrutiny it sparked.
After the first trailer came out, eagle-eyed viewers suspected that Tom might be a ghost — and as it turns out, he is. They can see the twist coming from a mile: In the trailer Tom dons the same clothes while Kate doesn’t, and he’s the only one interacting with Kate. Also, by revealing that Kate has a serious medical condition, it drops hints that Tom will do something to save her, like giving his heart away (just as the title song says).
In the interview, Feig said, “I wasn’t really frustrated that people were trying to guess it.“What I was very frustrated with was that the media was just picking up on that and then putting out these theories, some of which were true, but printing them like spoilers, and I just had never seen that happen to another movie before where people, even though they didn’t know if it was that they were just actively trying to spoil something, you know what I mean?
“It’s not like when Knives Out came out, people were like going, ‘I bet so and so was the murderer.’ So I didn’t quite understand why that was happening to a romantic comedy, so I found it very frustrating to be perfectly honest.”
But the trailer wasn’t the only killjoy: The poster tagline was a, ahem, dead giveaway too: “It’s a (wonderful) life”, which is a reference to the Frank Capra classic involving a suicidal man and his guardian angel. So expect something supernatural!Feig isn’t the only director with issues with the trailer of his own movie. In 2015, Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow told 8 DAYS that he “pushed very hard to keep as many secrets — including how the hybrid Indominus Rex looks — as I could, especially what happens in the movie’s last 20 minutes.”
But the trailer killed many of the movie’s surprises. It wasn’t enough that it showed you the Indominus Rex, it also show how the beastie escaped its pen; its camouflage abilities; and the security guard that ended up in its belly. Let’s not forget the crucial plot turn involving Chris Pratt and a pack of raptors.
Elsewhere, Terminator: Genisys director Alan Taylor reportedly had “unpleasant conversations” with the studio over the reveal of John Connor (Jason Clarke) as a villain. The trailer also exposed Connor as a cyborg. Man, that’s a double spoiler!
And if we have the chance to interview Fast & Furious 9 director Justin Lin, we’ll ask if he was okay with the trailer giving away too much of its ridiculous stunts (hello, a jeep crossing a collapsing rope bridge?!) and — the biggest spoiler — the return of fan-favourite Han (Sung Kang) from the dead.
Last Christmas will be out on Apple TV, Singtel TV VOD and CatchPlay+ on Mar 17.
Paul Feig Photo: TPG News/Click Photos