In a piece by Gina Piccalo, the Los Angeles Times is reporting today — and my own emails are confirming — that 20th Century Fox won’t be screening The Simpsons Movie for critics until three days in advance of its July 27 general release, ostensibly a strategy to the preserve the film’s plot, which has been a source of rabid speculation ever since the project was announced last year with a surprise theatrical trailer. While there’s the typical speculation that such a move means Fox doesn’t feel they really have the goods with the movie, I’m apt to side here with those that believe the surface explanation.
The trailers and TV ads to date have sold the movie merely on its status — as a celebratory filmic extension of the series. To the extent that plot points have been leaked or reported on (a nuclear accident in Springfield, etcetera), there’s been a lot of talk about these being potential misdirection, and large portions of the material from trailers being specially crafted for such. To me, that seems plausible. And you know what? I don’t really mind.