The common complaints about movie marketing run the gamut from campaigns that give away for too much before the movie opens, trailers that spoil key moments in the film or just flat out inaccurate representations of what the finished product may be. But the thing is, marketing departments don’t care about any of that stuff. Their only job is to make people interested enough in buying tickets on opening day—that’s it. So if that means showing the sexiest part of the climatic moment in the film, so be it. Or in the case of Warner Bros., if it means making up dialogue to fit the tone of a trailer, that’s what they’ll do.
During a panel at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (via Thompson On Hollywood), director Wally Pfister revealed that a dramatic line in the “Transcendence” trailer—Morgan Freeman uttering “It will be the end of mankind as we know it”—wasn’t his idea.
“…that line is not in the movie,” Pfister told attendees at the panel, saying that WB’s marketing team put it in there. “I’d never write something like that.”
It’s a startlingly candid admission from a filmmaker and one wonders what else Pfister and the marketing team might have battled over. But the bigger question is what purpose it serves making up dialogue for a trailer that won’t be in the film. Is it effective advertising or does it create false expectations? Let us know below.
“Transcendence” opens on April 18th.