Some filmmakers can get surly or defensive when discussing their work on social media. James Wan simply asks for your decency.
Wan is the director of Aquaman, the latest DCEU release that opened this month to middling reviews but a monstrous box office.
The undersea adventure, starring Jason Momoa in the title role, just won the domestic weekend again in its second week of release with a US$51.6 million take, according to Sunday estimates – and has grossed more than US$750 million worldwide.
So although Aquaman could soon become the DC universe’s highest-grossing movie yet, some fans apparently still feel the need to go after any detractors.
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“It has come to my attention that some folks are getting harassed by some fans for not liking AQM,” Wan tweeted on Sunday evening (US time). “Please don’t do that.”
That is “not the kind of support I want”, added Wan, whose biggest hit is Furious 7 (US$1.52 billion worldwide gross). “Be respectful.”
And though Wan is tolerant of detractors, he has no time for the vitriol.
“It’s OK to not like my film,” he tweeted to his more than 225,000 followers, “but there’s no need to attack me personally, or tag me on hates. Peace.”
It has come to my attention that some folks are getting harassed by some fans for not liking AQM. Please don’t do that. Not the kind of support I want. Be respectful. Vice versa, it’s ok to not like my film, but there’s no need to attack me personally, or tag me on hates. Peace✌️
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) December 30, 2018
Wan is taking a measured approach to responding to the kind of blowback that trails so many franchise films.
The actor Ahmed Best tweeted this past summer that because of the harsh criticism he began receiving two decades ago for playing Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequels, he contemplated suicide.
Other Star Wars actors, such as Kelly Marie Tran (who also goes by Loan Tran) and Daisy Ridley, have previously sworn off social media following backlash. Tran was bullied online after portraying Rose Tico – the first leading Star Wars role played by a woman of colour – in The Last Jedi; in August, she wrote that she was reclaiming her narrative.
Also this past summer, Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson deleted 20,000 tweets, explaining that he didn’t want to keep potential fodder posted if “trolls scrutinising it for ammunition is the new normal”.