Times when celebs accidentally revealed major spoilers
Leading up to the release of a movie, the actors involved typically go on a promotional tour. They give interviews to talk show hosts and journalists to garner excitement for the film. They might tell stories about making the movie, share updates about their lives, and tease plot points. All things considered, there are very few rules as far as what you can talk about while doing press for a movie. But there is one rule that actors and fans alike know shouldn’t be broken: The stars of the movie definitely should not spoil the plot of their movie while promoting it. Come on, who wants to watch the lead actor tell Jimmy Fallon the ending of a highly anticipated blockbuster before it hits theaters?
Yet, despite the fact that actors are also often required to sign legal non-disclosure agreements to prevent them from spilling key plot points to third parties, they slip up and give up big twists quite often. It seems that superhero franchises are the most likely to be accidentally spoiled by an actor. We’re about to detail some of the most memorable times actors revealed major spoilers, so proceed with caution. You’ve been warned, so don’t blame the messenger.
Marvel has a Tom Holland problem
Tom Holland plays Spider-Man/Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he is so well-known for spoiling elements of Spider-Man and other Marvel films that there are lengthy compilations of him doing so on YouTube. He eventually ended up at press junkets with Benedict Cumberbatch who acted as a “babysitter” to the loose-lipped actor. As Cumberbatch joked in an interview with Access, he was only there to make sure Holland didn’t let any plot details slip.
One of Holland’s gaffes happened at Comic-Con in 2016 when he told ET too much about Spidey’s web-spinning powers. “We’re working on different ways of doing [the wrist flick to release the web] for different types of webs,” he shared. A flicker of panic hit as he said, “Oh, I might’ve given something away there.”
We’re not sure if that example is better or worse than the time he accidentally revealed to AlloCiné (via Inquistr) that Spider-Man would be a trilogy. When the interviewers told him they knew about the second film but not the third, Holland simply said, “Yeah, well now you know. Now you know.” He instantly realized he made a mistake adding, “Sorry, Marvel. Whoops. That’s out.” Honestly, those two examples seem mild compared to the time he gave away the ending of Avengers: Infinity War to a theater full of fans who had yet to see it when he yelled, “I’m alive!” We really don’t blame Marvel for pairing him up with Cumberbatch.
Darth Vader told the world he was Luke Skywalker's father
Twitter wasn’t around in 1978, but spoilers were — they just didn’t spread in a matter of seconds. The late David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope spoiled some paternity results that would be revealed in the subsequent film, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. Per Retroist, he offered up a rather curious remark when speaking to a crowd of Star Wars fans in Berkley, California. “Father can’t kill son, son can’t kill father,” Prowse said. “So, they live again to star in ‘Star Wars: IV.'” Bear in mind that this happened two years before Vader’s iconic “I am your father” line was said on the big screen.
Retroist‘s Vinvectrex remembered reading this story in his hometown’s newspaper. “Anyway, my mother was good to keep an eye out for Star Wars news — and when this particular item showed up in our local paper, she cut it out for me,” he recalled. “I still have it to this day. And, it was my first introduction to spoilers.”
As Gizmodo noted, Prowse probably was only musing about what would happen because “I am your father” wasn’t in his version of the script. Rather, they used a placeholder line when filming: “Obi-Wan killed your father.” And then, as Gizmodo pointed out, “James Earl Jones’ real reveal was dubbed in later.” Even so, Star Wars fans in the Berkley area were given a lot to think about for two years.
Rachel McAdams might want to turn back the clock
Rachel McAdams probably wished she could turn back time while promoting her 2009 film The Time Traveler’s Wife. In the flick, McAdams’ character Clare falls in love with a man named Harry who can time travel, but Clare doesn’t have that same ability. And she told Jon Stewart that tidbit and more while promoting the film on The Daily Show.
When explaining the limitations of Clare’s husband Henry’s abilities she said, “He goes as far as his own childhood and he goes forward as far as his own death.” Erm, what’s that? It’s rarely a good idea to spoil a death to entice people to come see your movie. She seemed to know she made a mistake when Stewart repeated what she just said. “Now we’ve ruined everything,” she remarked. But for some reason, she did not stop there.
Next, she revealed that in order to get back at Henry for having a vasectomy, Clare sleeps with his younger self and gets pregnant. What’s that? Oh, just another plot twist ruined. But McAdams was not finished. “[The daughter] time travels, too,” she added. Consider the plot good and spoiled, even though, as Stewart said, “You don’t have to tell me any of this.” It was too late.
Sylvester Stalone's spoiler was a TKO
Sylvester Stalone is of course known for the Rocky film franchise. The first Rocky film premiered in 1976, decades before Twitter was an idea in anyone’s mind. The character of Rocky Balboa has lived to see the social media era thanks to spinoff films like Creed. But it seems like no one has given Stallone lessons on what should and should not be shared there.
In December 2014, about a year before Creed came out, the actor tweeted a picture featuring a page of the movie’s script and some of his notes. “Where screenwriting is done,” Stallone wrote. This might be fine if it were only the title page that Stallone shared with the world — but it wasn’t. What he actually tweeted was a snippet from the final pages of the script, and thanks to Twitter detectives, we know it was Adonis Creed’s (Michael B. Jordan) final match of the film… so uh, you know, the climax of the whole thing.
Per /Film, the page in the tweeted photo detailed the crowd screaming Creed’s name with Rocky telling his student to “Listen to ’em.” It also described the final scene of the movie, which featured Rocky and Creed standing on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Spoilers be darned, the movie was a box office success and a sequel hit theaters in 2018.
Hugh Jackman didn't wait to talk about Wolverine's fate
Marvel’s superhero actors sure love spoiling their characters’ fates. This definitely doesn’t seem like it would be an ideal habit, but it’s one that Hugh Jackman fell into while promoting Logan — his last film in the MCU as Wolverine — in 2017. The film was released on March 3 of that year, and in an Entertainment Weekly piece published just a day later, Jackman addressed what happened to Wolverine in the flick.
To be fair, it’s the writer who reveals to readers that it was director James Mangold’s idea that Wolverine/Logan die — something Jackman agreed with because he didn’t want to do more films. But Jackman definitely gives away details regarding his character’s death. “Logan is someone who is most scared of intimacy, and so he wants to be alone and do things for himself,” he said. “The idea that, in the end, he must give his life to save someone else… I thought that was really powerful.”
We understand that the internet is a hotbed of spoilers that are hard to avoid, and Entertainment Weekly does warn readers that there is a big reveal in the piece, but it’s still fairly shocking that such a detailed spoiler about a character’s fate would be released so soon after a movie’s premiere.
David Letterman is a magnet for Batman spoilers
Marvel isn’t the only cinematic universe susceptible to spoilers. Fans of DC and Batman have to dodge their fair share, too. Strangely enough, though two of the biggest examples are decades apart, both are connected to veteran late-night talk show host David Letterman. While on The Late Show in 1989, Michael Keaton was excited to chat about working with Jack Nicholson, who plays the ultimate villain in the film: the Joker. When describing what makes them foes, Keaton confirmed Letterman’s guess that The Joker killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. “Yeah, but he doesn’t know it ’till later,” Keaton said. “I’m kind of blowing the plot, here.” If you admit to spilling a plot detail after you’ve already let the cat out of the bag, it doesn’t undo the spoiler, but hey! It’s worth a shot.
Years later, history repeated itself when Anne Hathaway appeared on The Late Show to promote 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. This time, it was Letterman who spilled the beans, and they sure were big ones. “And in the end, Batman is dead,” he said (via TV Replay). Hathaway was wise enough to distance herself from the comment. “The wrath that you have just invited onto yourself,” she said. “[Christopher Nolan], I had no part in it, I’m sorry.” That’s a smart lady.
Marvel also has a Mark Ruffalo problem
Tom Holland is most notorious for spoilers in the MCU, but make no mistake, other Marvel actors have let secrets slip, too. Mark Ruffalo has blown the gaff at least twice, and we’re not sure which instance is worse.
In 2017, he accidentally spoiled the first 10 minutes of dialogue from Thor: Ragnarok when he forgot to end an Instagram live and put his phone away at the film’s premiere, per The Hollywood Reporter. Around 2,500 people were on the livefeed and able to hear audio from the movie. Explaining the incident on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Ruffalo said, “I thought I was gonna get fired.”
But he seems to be a man with many Marvel lives. In the summer of 2017, he accidentally revealed the ending of Avengers: Infinity War about a year before its release. “Wait until you see this next one ha— everybody dies,” he said, while on Good Morning America. Did you catch him about to say half? Apparently, he stopped himself because it was too close to the truth. Don Cheadle, who was seated next to Ruffalo, looked nothing short of disappointed in his castmate.
Will Smith made a legendary mistake
If superhero flicks aren’t immune to spoilers, neither are post-apocalyptic action thrillers — and Will Smith proved this while promoting his film I Am Legend in Tokyo in 2007. Reuters reported that he shared so much of the plot of the film, co-producer and co-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman couldn’t help but yell, “Don’t give away the ending!” Apparently, Goldsman was too late, and the press in the room had to be asked not to reveal the details they just heard in their coverage of the movie. Sure, the movie is based off of a 1954 novel of the same name, and yeah, anyone could’ve looked up the ending of the book to get an idea as to how the adaptation might end. However, Smith has done the press circuit enough times to know that giving away the ending of a movie is a no-no.
At the time, the journalists honored the requests not to report the details, so no one knows what Smith spoiled. But director Francis Lawrence reportedly told Sci Fi Wire (via Shock Ya!) at the time, “I don’t want to actually discuss the ending, just because I don’t want, I want people to make up their own minds, but maybe there’ll be an alternate version at some point.” At the time, it was reported that the ending might’ve been changed because of Smith’s word vomit. Zoinks!
Jason Mamoa told Aquaman's secrets
Batman isn’t the only DC Comics superhero whose movies are vulnerable to spoilers thanks to the actors who play them. Jason Momoa sealed Aquaman’s fate for fans during an Entertainment Weekly Facebook livestream at Comic-Con. “This whole journey of him going to become the king,” Momoa explained. “I think the last, last frame of this movie of this movie you’re gonna see him actually become what he’s destined to be.” He’s the king, you say? Maybe diehard comic book fans know that, but it’s still a spoiler.
Momoa went even further on The Late Late Show with James Corden. While talking about the fight scenes he filmed with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II — who plays his nemesis Black Manta in the film — Momoa says, “But then there’s a whole emotional scene with him and his father, because I killed his dad.” He utters an “oops” and puts his hand over his mouth afterward, but what’s said is said. “Oops” never un-ruined a movie, no matter how many actors wish it did.
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