This Fake Trailer of Dylan O'Brien as Spider-Man Has Been Watched 6 Million Times | The Mary Sue
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This Fake Trailer of Dylan O’Brien as Spider-Man Has Been Watched 6 Million Times

A “teaser trailer” for a SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN movie starring Dylan O’Brien has racked up a jaw-dropping number of hits. The only problem: the movie is not real.

The “concept trailer” here is quite well done, especially considering that it uses pre-existing footage of O’Brien—primary from his years as the snarky Stiles Stilinski on MTV’s Teen Wolf—to create another cinematic version of Peter Parker. For the length of this conceptual tease, the narrative holds up, even giving O’Brien’s “Spider-Man” blond and red-haired love interests (Britt Robertson from The First Time and Holland Roden from Teen Wolf) in the old Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson model. Add in a few spliced scenes of biting spiders and jumping off buildings, and you’ve got a far more cohesive trailer than many actual movies put out.

Smasher, the folks who pieced this together, tout themselves as “the #1 destination for ALL NEW Movie & TV official trailers, concept trailers, exclusive clips, TV spots & more” but it’s clear that a lot of viewers don’t exactly read the fine print on the description and zero in on that “concept” part. Smasher often pulls off this sort of winking “trailer,” like their takes on a Friends movie that does not exist (10 million views) or that not-yet-confirmed Obi-Wan Kenobi movie (11 million views).

While this is an impressive creative endeavor, some of the viewers’ confusion—and the trailers going viral as real—seems to result from labeling sleight-of-hand, like really burying the lede on the word “concept” until after you’ve clicked. I mention this because in our age of conspiracy theories and highly varied interpretations of “news,” it’s always important to keep the source in mind and credulity in check.

Here’s how this video’s description looks at first versus after you click “show more.”

The onus is on the viewer to do a little digging and find out what’s real and what isn’t before passing it on to friends as legit. That aside, this “Spectacular Spider-Man” mock-up is fun, and excitement over mere concepts can sometimes prompt Hollywood creatives to consider the real thing.

O’Brien is an excellently charismatic actor with a big following from Teen Wolf and Mazerunner fans, and it’s surprising he hasn’t already been snatched up as a superhero by the studios. Maybe 6 million interested clicks could change that.

(via Smasher, image: screengrab)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.