The Walking Dead: Do trailers reveal too much too soon?

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, James Parks as Captured Whisperer - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, James Parks as Captured Whisperer - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC /

Buzz surrounding new seasons of The Walking Dead begins as soon as the final episode airs. But how much information is too much ahead of the premiere?

Ask any member of The Walking Dead Family about trailers, teasers and photos and they will tell you that they can never get enough. The demand for updates and first looks is always churning, even when the show is airing. We’re a passionate group, we TWD fans. But is there a risk to revealing too much too soon?

There is much to be learned about a recent incident involving a Christmas movie called Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. The movie borrows from M. Night Shyamalan’s playbook with a surprise twist at the end, only in this case the film’s marketing team may have given away too much too soon.

Director Paul Feig recently spoke with Collider about his frustration at the way Last Christmas marketing revealed a great deal about what was supposed to be the film’s surprise twist. Between eagle-eyed fans scouring trailers to the George Michael song that the movie is named after, along with the media picking up the theories and turning them into possible spoilers, the movie’s twist ending was revealed very early on:

"“I wasn’t really frustrated that people were trying to guess it. What I was very frustrated with was that the media was just picking up on that and then putting out these theories, some of which were true, but printing them like spoilers, and I just had never seen that happen to another movie before where people, even though they didn’t know if it was that they were just actively trying to spoil something, you know what I mean? It’s not like when ‘Knives Out’ came out, people were like going, “I bet so and so was the murderer.” So I didn’t quite understand why that was happening to a romantic comedy (laughs), so I found it very frustrating to be perfectly honest.”"

The Walking Dead fans have been scouring behind the scenes photos, teasers and trailers for years. After all, the show has been around for ten seasons so the marketing team knows how to rally excitement for the zombie show.

But is too much revealed too soon?

Reviewers receive screeners of the first few episodes of each season, for both the first half and the second half. That’s usually when the spoiler sites also start posting spoilers for the same episodes. You can always tell which sites have accurate sources because some of their posts are so off base it’s laughable.

However, even without the spoilers the teasers themselves have a great deal of information in them if you analyze them frame by frame. And there are fans who glean all kinds of information from those frame by frame analyses.

There are also moments when big pieces of the story are revealed by accident. As a reviewer, I was told not to mention the satellite that starts the fire at the start of season 10, but eagle-eyed fans spotted pictures of the satellite in pictures from the table read.

This begs the question: How much is too much?

Naturally everyone is excited to see what happens on the show, but do we need to have so much information beforehand that people “know” what is going to happen before the episode airs thanks to spoilers and careful reviews of trailers?

What would happen if there was a single trailer and nothing else leading up to the season premiere?

Given what Feig said about marketing for Last Christmas, and the fact that he didn’t have much control over what was depicted in the trailers, it makes us wonder who gives the final approval for The Walking Dead trailers and whether Angela Kang has a say in how much is revealed, and when.

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It’s an interesting dilemma, and it’s not one that has an easy answer. Some fans like being surprised, others don’t. Others are indifferent. Needless to say, there will be many opinions on this issue and they’re all valid.

What do you think? Is too much revealed in The Walking Dead trailers, or in television and movie trailers in general? Or is the balance just right? Let us know in the comments!