This hugeness of the companies—the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing—is the thing that fans still and most radically misunderstand. This is even more the case with movies than with television shows. Movies, as projects, are handed off from a development team to the production team to a marketing team, in that order. Typically no single team is responsible for communicating with fans and engaging them over the course of that cycle. When Movie #1 in a franchise comes out, there’s a gap in which no one at all is messaging the public about the movie, because Movie #2 isn’t in development yet. So not only do each of these teams have many, many people on them (sometimes hundreds of people) but they also have discontinuity. In other words, it’s a miracle that anybody manages to have a coherent message about any movie franchise, ever.

But humans are pattern-making animals, so fans tend to read way too much into every statement and decision made by a franchise, which can lead to huge disappointments. Ninety-nine percent of the time, fans need to use Occam’s Razor. Is the simplest explanation for this just “nobody thought too hard about it”? That’s probably the answer.

TWC Editor. 2018. “Interview with Flourish Klink.” In “Social TV Fandom and the Media Industries,” edited by Myles McNutt, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 26.
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