The Increase in Misleading Movie Trailers


Zendaya, despite not being in “Dune” for very long, is a center point of the HBO Max preview.

Bridget Nelis and Jackson Maidy

As more and more movies are being released again after the pandemic, a trend has started to emerge. Many movie trailers and posters have misled viewers and fans. Over the past 10-20 years, movie trailers have tricked people into thinking that a certain scene ends up this way, or an entire plot ends that way, but in reality, when an audience finally goes and watches the movie, it can take an entirely different turn.

One recent example is the movie “Dune” where actress Zendaya is seen throughout the trailer as being a focal point in the Dune story. However, she wasn’t even in the movie for more than 10 minutes. Zendaya herself even said that she was only on set for about 3 days. This came as a disappointment to many fans who were misled by the trailer into believing she had more of a role in the movie.

“It makes it look better than what it actually is,” said Abbey Ekstrom, senior.

However, sometimes misleading movie trailers can add to the suspense of seeing a movie for the first time. Sometimes people favor misleading trailers as it doesn’t spoil the whole movie for you, but instead gives you a taste of the overall tone and story. 

“When done properly, I kind of like [misleading trailers]… it is a nice surprise… the trailer itself is suspenseful enough to convince you to go in the first place,” said Schuyler Sykes, junior.

The realization that the outcome of the movie is different than what the trailers suggested isn’t a bad thing, but rather a nice surprise from the usual cliche that often comes from basic trailers, which either give little to no information, or too much. The makers of these movies make the trailers misleading on purpose in order to get more people to come and see the film. The people interested in the movie pay to see it, based on the trailers explicitly made to appeal to audiences; thus, they fall into a “trap” placed by the movie industry.

The basis of misleading trailers is infuriating to some, knowing that the trailers are tricking you into paying money, but that’s part of the deal. We pay our money for entertainment and a relaxing break from reality, and that is the whole point of movies in the first place. Misleading movie trailers can be annoying, but they can also add an excitement to watching a movie for the first time that would not have been possible otherwise.