A lot has changed since Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope ... including the fact that nobody used that long unwieldy title when the film first came out. But could its surprising success be repeated today? Producer Gary Kurtz isn't so sure.
In an essay for The Guardian, Kurtz worried that our spoilerific times (among other things) mean that Star Wars couldn't happen now:
Could Star Wars happen again today? It's hard to say because things were so different back then. The biggest difference is that it's now impossible to keep anything secret because there's too much information surrounding a film before anyone has even seen it. Even screenplays are published online prior to release.
In 1977 only a few thousand people knew about Star Wars when it first arrived in cinemas, but it spread like wildfire and soon there were queues everywhere. These days you would never see that because everybody gets into the first screening they want to get into, even if the movie is doing really well. Back then a film might open in just a few cinemas nationwide. When I lived in New York we used to drive around and see if there were any queues for the latest [Ingmar] Bergman. If there was nobody outside you wondered if it wasn't any good.
Is Kurtz correct? If Star Wars were released today, would we all know so much about it before it even opened that the magic wouldn't happen? And with movies vanishing from theaters faster than ever, would it ever have had a chance to build momentum?
We're not 100 percent sure that Kurtz is right. But still, as we've mentioned before, it has us kinda worried.
How about you?