The 5 Biggest WTF Moments of 2019 in Movies, TV and Comics
If one thing can be said about the state of pop culture in 2019, it’s that it certainly was eventful. With genre movies, television and comic books at the forefront of the entertainment industry, and with millions of dollars on the line and fan expectations higher than ever, it should be no surprise that things got a little wild. These are the biggest WTF moments across the pop culture landscape in 2019.
Sony and Marvel Split (and Then Make Up) Over Spider-Man
Hands down the biggest shock of the year came when Sony and Disney had a very public breakup over Spider-Man. It quickly became a game of pointing fingers, with studio figureheads on both sides making carefully sculpted statements about why it was the other guy’s fault.Tom Holland’s Spider-Man had become the heart and soul of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was set up as the successor to Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, so hearing he’d been abruptly ripped away from all that sent fans into a frenzy.But like Spider-Man swinging in to save the day, a very drunk Tom Holland had a very emotional conversation with Disney CEO Bob Iger where pleaded (and cried a little) for a new deal to be made so Spidey could continue hanging out with the Avengers. And it worked! Sony and Disney struck a new deal that would allow for one more Spider-Man movie and another non-solo movie appearance in the MCU.
The Game of Thrones Showrunners’ Reputation Burns Like King’s Landing
Suffice to say, it was not the best year for Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Though they enjoyed years of praise for creating an unbelievably enthralling and successful fantasy TV series, 2019 was the year they lost all of that fan goodwill.There was already a sense that Game of Thrones was rushing through its story in the past couple seasons, but the final season delivered one unsatisfying plot twist after another in haphazard fashion and culminated in one of the most polarizing character turns in the history of television when Daenerys Targaryen went full Mad Queen on King’s Landing. Though one could argue that Dany’s fateful turn to the Dark Side had long been seeded throughout the show, many fans expressed how the moment didn’t land because it happened so abruptly. Fans knew that Benioff and Weiss had signed on to make a series of Star Wars movies for Lucasfilm, so the prevailing thought was that the showrunners were rushing to end Game of Thrones because they were eager to move on to that galaxy far, far away. Regardless of what Benioff and Weiss’ true motivations were, swaths of viewers did a complete 180 on the show they used to love — and they held Benioff and Weiss personally responsible for botching the landing of their favorite show.Not long after, Benioff and Weiss canceled their fan-facing panel at San Diego Comic-Con, presumably to avoid enduring fan backlash in public.Then, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy broke the news that Benioff and Weiss would no longer be making their previously announced series of Star Wars films. Industry insiders reported that the duo didn’t want to put themselves in the crosshairs of angry fans yet again, after what they just went through with Game of Thrones.The duo did finally break their silence and speak at a (much smaller) panel at the Austin Film Festival, but when a second-hand account of their responses to fan questions was posted on Twitter, they received another round of criticism for their answers that made them sound like unqualified buffoons. However, if you actually listen to what they had to say in an audience member’s recording of the panel, they certainly don’t sound like anything of the sort, so this was a case of their words being taken out of context and twisted via a game of internet telephone played by people who already had their knives out for the showrunners.But still, the damage to their already crumbling reputation was done, and now they’ll likely forever refer to 2019 as Benioff and Weiss’ terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.