Think of it this way. These non-fans, the ones who haven’t decided whether they’re going to see your sequel. What if Regular Joe Non-nerd comes up to me and says, “I liked the first Trek movie all right. What’s this new one about?” I DON’T KNOW, REGULAR JOE NON-NERD, BECAUSE J.J. ABRAMS WON’T FUCKING TELL US. This is not something that will tantalize Joe into pre-ordering tickets. He’s just going to wait until someone can tell him what the premise is.
We can’t do that without a name, and here’s the crazy part — the name barely matters! If I could tell Joe “The Enterprise crew fights Gary Mitchell/Harry Mudd/The Mugatu/Whoever” — the actual name barely matters. The names won’t mean anything to regular people anyway. But it’ll still be a hell of a lot more interesting than “The Enterprise crew fights… somebody.”
I am becoming oddly obsessed with the sense of entitlement and indignation that’s becoming more and more apparent in nerd culture. There is so much to unpick from this above quote, whether it’s the panic at the idea that – by not confirming fan speculation that the bad guy in a movie is someone familiar to the nerd audience – JJ Abrams is somehow preventing them from looking forward to the movie, the notion that not revealing the entire plot of a movie that doesn’t even come out for half a year is somehow selfish, or my favorite, the anger at being removed from the position of information gatekeeper for the non-nerd audience. “Regular Joe Non-Nerd” along is just amazing. Talk about self-otherization.
This is from a piece called “Dear JJ Abrams, Just @#$%ing Tell Us Who Benedict Cumberbatch Is Playing In Star Trek 2 Already,” by the way.
I’ve pitched something to Time about this; it might not be all there yet, but I’m hoping it’s something I can pull together nonetheless.