Welcome to Heroic Hollywood Mark II! I’m so excited to FINALLY share the new site design with our readers. It’s been an interesting 9 months so far. I paid close attention to your comments, your criticisms, and especially your suggestions.
When I first launched Heroic Hollywood, my goal was to just get content rolling, score some scoops, and put a staff together. The site didn’t really have no functionality, and the user experience wasn’t all that great. As our readership grew, it quickly dawned on me that I had to do something and fast.
Thank God for the good folks at LOUDD who pitched me last year on a new site redesign. I finally pulled the trigger back in December and I’m glad that I did because I think they did an outstanding job. There were some technical issues with our former content management system Squarespace which delayed the launch by a few weeks.
I hope you guys dig the new design. I wanted a new site that was aesthetically pleasing, optimized for site speed, responsive, and a better user experience. So I’m looking forward to your thoughts.
Going forward in 2016 and beyond, after much reflection, I made a decision to no longer chase pre-release plot spoilers on Marvel and DC movies. Spoiler culture has finally jumped the shark and evolved into troll culture. Spoilers are simply not cool anymore.
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released back in December, my heart broke as I watched major plot points go viral on social media outlets. Most were done with malicious intent. When I previously published spoilers, I did so in a fashion where we gave readers a warning and gave them a choice to read the spoilery details. That’s not the case anymore. When you got a clown posting a major Star Wars plot spoiler on the back of an SUV, that’s not giving the reader a choice, that’s trolling.
This is in no way meant as a brag, but I think I was responsible for about fifty percent, or sometimes more, of the spoilers published about upcoming Marvel and DC movies. When there wasn’t casting stories or other news to break, spoilers would feed readers hungry for information who couldn’t wait 2-3 years in between installments about their favorite heroes.
As an independent breaking news reporter not staffed at an entertainment magazine or Hollywood trade, I built a pretty solid track record of breaking legitimate news. However, when I go into spoiler territory it sours that track record. Spoilers are risky territory because what is true today in a screenplay, with a just a simple rewrite, is no longer true tomorrow.
I think it’s time we treat these movies and their filmmakers with a tad bit more respect for their work and their process. I didn’t launch Heroic Hollywood to demonize filmmakers and incur their wrath. I recently ran into filmmaker Anthony Russo at Collider’s Deadpool screening. It felt really good to say hi to him without worrying would he would have said, had I reported what he shot on the Disney lot that week.
Just because I’m out of the spoiler business doesn’t mean I’m out of the scoop business. I’m still going to chase scoops, just the legitimate stuff like character inclusions, talent attachments, inside baseball, and behind the scenes developments. I was already part of a rogue outlet once, and I’m not interested in that business model. I rather build out a respectable brand that is enjoyed by all.
I informed both Warners and Disney of our new initiative going forward, and both studios seem to be on board. We’re still going to report and speculate on rumors broken by other outlets and what not. It is impossible not to do so. But I’m no longer going to be the guy breaking most of those rumors. With great power does indeed come great responsibility. I understand there are readers who want spoiler stories, but that subculture has become a very small niche.
On a personal note, when I beat cancer three years ago, I made a promise to myself to always do the right thing. Waiting for an mri test result to see if I am still cancer free is always stressful. On New Year’s Eve, as I nervously sat alone in my surgeon’s office for an hour waiting for the latest test result, I was brutally honest with myself and asked if I was doing the right thing. I been given a major second chance at life, and it wasn’t to spoil movies. I hope the readers that left us because of our previous spoiler activities come back and give us a second chance as well.
I’m incredibly blessed because it’s an exciting time to be alive right now. I’m looking forward to Marvel’s Phase Three, the birth of the DC Films slate, and the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. With diversity being a key issue here in Hollywood, I’m also proud of the multicultural staff we assembled on the site. It’s really cool to see brand new voices emerge that come from different backgrounds.
Superhero cinema is very healthy right now. Deadpool is currently smashing all sorts of box office records, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out next month and Captain America: Civil War is not too far behind. I’m hearing Suicide Squad is awesome, Doctor Strange is currently in production and Justice League: Part One ramps up production later this spring. We are indeed in the midst of Hollywood’s Heroic Era. There is a new superhero movie being released theatrically every four to six weeks this year.
So welcome to Heroic Hollywood Mark II. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to email us. I’m excited for our new look and direction and hope you guys are too. I also want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support. It means the absolute world to me.
As Stan Lee famously says, “Excelsior!”