WikiLeaks’ posting of some 170,000 stolen emails from the Sony hacking has continued to prove an embarrassment for the studio and anyone who might, say, happen to have a few slave-owning ancestors in the closet. But surely there are a few positive revelations to be found in that endless morass—for example, that executives actually rejected the suggestion to turn Spider-Man into a Tough Mudder-running EDM fan with a burgeoning Snapchat circle and a cool “humblebrag” attitude, all the better to appeal to millennials. Given the endless negativity that’s surrounded this story and the development of that franchise in particular, it’s almost surprising that Sony didn’t disclose this itself, just to give it a win.
Instead it was up to Twitter user @DukeLoves You, who unearthed an email to deposed Sony co-chair Amy Pascal from Nick Shore, a former MTV executive whose deep knowledge of the kids and what they’re into led to his current gig at Astronauts Wanted—described as a place for “rising stars of digital space” to go viral and Instagram on the flippity-flop or something. Like an ordinary man bitten by a radioactive style report, Shore aimed to bring that same hip, vague sensibility to Spider-Man, hoping to Skrillexify him by 10 percent or so.
Shore’s entire email (which begins “a couple of rando thoughts,” though you should force yourself to keep reading) offers a poignant glimpse into the desperate demographic-chasing that takes place behind the scenes of most modern entertainment. And it confirms that, for all the flak Sony’s taken for the handling of Spider-Man, it could have been so much worse:
Hey Amy - just a couple of rando thoughts from 35,000 LAX-JFK:
- A rising trend we see with Millennials are the really extreme forms of experiential exercise like Tough Mudder (a sort of filthy triathalon), the Color Run and even things like Hot Power Yoga, veganism etc. Millennials will often post “N.B.D.” on their social media after doing it , as in No Big Deal, also known as the “humble brag”…..wondering if Spidey could get into that in some way….he’s super athletic, bendy, strong, intense….and it’s all NBD to him, of course.
- EDM (electronic dance music) is the defining music for Millennials. Wondering if there’s an EDM angle somewhere with Spidey? His movements are beautiful, would be awesome with a killer DJ behind it
- Snapchat just launched a “story” functionality, which is sort of “day in the life of me” told in a series of snapchats that expire after 24 hours. It has a very VIP quality about it, since invitation only. Getting invited into Spidey’s Snapchat circle would be huge, and very buzzworthy and cool.
Right. Hey, here are some other rando spitballs, now that we’re all crowdsourcing in the digital space:
- Millennials are very into Buzzfeed, so maybe Spider-Man can compile his archrivals into a GIF listicle of supervillains he “can’t even right now.” (Can be shared with his Snapchat circle.)
-Spider-Man says “bae.” It’s like “girlfriend” but NBD, and very buzzworthy.
-An emoji fight? Would be killer to see Spider-Man get all bendy and then emojis come out of him.
-A growing trend among Millennials is feeling an enervating emptiness at the instant commodification of everything they say or fleetingly enjoy into some sort of marketing angle, to be regurgitated back at them by executives who bandy them about in an attempt to prove their continued relevance, even as it immediately dates them and their products. Wondering if Spidey could get into that in some way…