“In the dark of the cinema, sucking anise drops, far from any problem.” The song sung by Rita Lee reflects the feeling that the return to theaters brings, after nearly two years of pandemic. At the epicenter of this event, Spider-Man: No Return Home is a suggestive title for a society that has become disconnected from the rituals of encounter. The ambitious project by Marvel and Sony is the return to the big screen of many moviegoers, who, in abstinence and eager for news, are with high expectations. Created especially for the delight of fans and to capture the new generation in its narrative web, the film is a hallmark of fan service.
Fan service jumped from the anime and manga universe to the cinema, and in its wake brought controversy and divisions of opinion. But, after all, what is fan service? Literally translated, it means “fan service”, and it is part of the entertainment industry’s menu, present in series and film sagas, with ideas grafted onto the works to attract and satisfy the desire of fans. It’s almost genie-lamp style: what’s your wish? As there are many voices and wills, the danger is to lose its identity and turn the work into a bland, soulless fast food.
Social media have increased engagement and have also placed a megaphone in the hands of the public, which shamelessly externalizes the screenwriter in him, with the power to change the course of history. It’s a symbiosis: the public and the market feed on this interdependence – one, with doses of entertainment; the other, at a profit. The films that are more successful are the ones that arouse the most appeal, so making concessions and satisfying the fans’ yearnings has become common practice in franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Marvel Universe, which work magic at the box office and in streaming.
Buzz is not synonymous with success
Winter is coming! When it arrived, it was not idealized by most Game of Thrones fans. The series, through season five, was based on the eponymous books by George Martin; then, it brought a free interpretation to the outcome. The Iron Throne, the last episode, was the most watched in HBO history: 19.3 million people in the United States. The eighth and last season had a stratospheric audience, registered in the Guinness World Record, but, on the other hand, it had the worst acceptance rates, with 54%, while the others had above 90%. Repercussion, buzz, is not always synonymous with acceptance and success.
When fanservice matches the narrative
Spider-Man: No Return to Home, which premiered in Brazilian cinemas on Thursday, 12/16, on the other hand, appropriated the characteristics of fan service with intelligence and made it an emotional trigger, without overpowering the plot. In opening a dimensional portal, he brought five known enemies of the vulnerable superhero: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Lizard and Sandman. The reference to previous films only increases the feeling of belonging and the commotion of, after an arid time, returning to a dark room, putting life on hold and surrendering for almost two and a half hours to a universe of familiar fantasy, which it is in the imagination of generations. Audiences identified themselves and cheered after the screening in the US – the film registered a 98% approval rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website.
The pre-sale of tickets for the film was disputed by fans. Anyone who struggled to see it has no idea how much actor Tom Holland worked out to bring the character to life. Spider-Man may not have the shape of Captain America or Thor, before Avengers: Ultimatum, but the arachnid hero needs a defined body, agility and speed. In activities that require stamina, in addition to a balanced diet prescribed by a nutritionist, supplements such as whey protein are used to increase lean muscle mass. The actor gained toned muscles, accompanied by specialized professionals, and assistance in activities such as boxing, electrical muscle stimulation, altitude mask circuit and sledgehammer on the tire. That’s right, he didn’t lift Thor’s hammer, like Captain America, an acclaimed Marvel fan service, but hammered a lot of tires to embody the character’s spirit.
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Spiderman: No Return Home uses interactivity with fans