Last December, one of the worst-kept secrets in Hollywood was confirmed to the world: Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprised their roles as Peter Parker for the multiverse-hopping Spider-Man: No Way Home. (And it didn’t help that Kim Kardashian posted one of their scenes to her Instagram story.) A new article from The Hollywood Reporter says that Marvel movies are now more prone to spoilers leaking online, thanks to employees working from home and social distancing protocols on set.
“I had to go through a whole training course to make sure that I know exactly what I need to do and where to report [anything suspect],” one VFX artist says, speaking to the publication anonymously. The source also tells THR that workers are expected to keep their home offices in areas “not viewable from the outside world.”
Beyond footage being shared with numerous effects production companies, leaks can also come directly from the set. Since the pandemic started, people are no longer gathering around a single monitor and are instead checking footage on individual devices, which creates more potential for unauthorized access.
Though Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland have become synonymous with spoilers amongst fans, actors are rarely given complete scripts. Cast and crew members cracking jokes about the “Marvel snipers” have become de rigueur on promo tours.
In a recent appearance on the podcast Yo, Is This Racist?, head writer Jessica Gao refers to the She-Hulk: Attorney At Law office as “a windowless room,” seemingly a common experience. “Their stance is literally don’t tell anyone anything,” she says of working with Marvel.
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Leaks can also emerge from Lego sets and other merchandising. Over on the Star Wars side of Disney, The Mandalorian managed to keep Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, a complete surprise because toys of the character were withheld from production until he was revealed to the general public.
Of course, despite all this secrecy, there was still that whole thing with Garfield getting recognized by a DoorDash delivery driver after arriving in Atlanta for the Spider-Man shoot, so it seems like there’s only so much that can be done.