Leaked footage of Marvel's highly guarded Avengers: Endgame has prompted spoiler-averse fans to retreat from social media.
Fans tweeted that they were "terrified" to read any spoilers online, and others wrote that they'd be leaving social media until they watched the movie – the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been more than a decade in the making.
Others criticised the person who leaked the footage, or they muted keywords and names on Twitter to avoid major revelations. Some clips have already been removed or disabled because of copyright infringement. Representatives for Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The source of the leak was unclear, but some footage appears to have been filmed off a large screen in a screening room. Images and GIFs generated from that footage then loomed large online, and Reddit threads have been devoted to discussions of the plot and character reveals seen in the leak.
Anticipation for Endgame has been building since last year's game-changing Avengers: Infinity War, a billion-dollar blockbuster that saw many of the franchise's beloved superheroes disappear in a genocidal snap of the finger. This week's leaked Endgame footage and subsequent discussions revealed the fate of many of them, which had been suspected but not yet confirmed.
Journalists had not been allowed to screen the Disney-distributed film before interviewing its stars earlier this month. Those stars – Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson and Chris Evans – had been barred from providing any details on the Russo Bros.-directed film. (Though Karen Gillan might have accidentally given something away.)
Ahead of Infinity War, directors Joe and Anthony Russo penned a letter asking moviegoers to keep the film's secrets so as not to spoil it for other fans. It circulated under the hashtag #ThanosDemandsYourSilence. After the leak, the directors wrote another letter for Endgame with the same message, and using the hashtag #Don'tSpoilTheEndgame.
Last Wednesday, they took part in a coordinated debut of yet another Avengers teaser that revisited every Marvel film – and hero – leading up to Endgame. "If we can't protect the earth, you can be damn sure we'll avenge it," the teaser says.
The same could be said for movie spoilers. – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service
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