It’s funny how some companies will go out of their way to avoid acknowledging the competition. Universal Studios has a panel at Comic-Con promoting the movies Paul and Cowboys and Aliens. Here’s how they describe Paul and its part of the panel:
Paul— Scheduled to appear for Universal Pictures’ sci-fi comedy-adventure Paul are a who’s who of film comedy. Director Greg Mottola (Superbad) will be joined by cast members Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Kristen Wiig (Date Night), Bill Hader (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover), Joe Lo Truglio (Role Models), Seth Rogen (The Green Hornet), and Sigourney Weaver (Baby Mama) as they discuss the movie about two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage to Comic-Con ultimately takes them to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who takes them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. Q&A session to follow.
Does anyone really think that the Comic-Con audience will best remember Sigourney Weaver for a supporting role in Baby Mama? (I didn’t even know she was in it.)
Not, say, her starring role in the Alien series?
Or if you want to go for something more recent, it’s only been half a year since Avatar.
Or heck, since it’s a sci-fi comedy about fans and conventions, how about Galaxy Quest?
Guess what? Those movies weren’t produced by Universal. Baby Mama was.
Talk about underselling the guests! That’s like promoting that you’ve got Harrison Ford from Sabrina!
I see it in comic books as well, though not quite to this extent. DC, when it realizes that someone is best-known for their work at Marvel or somewhere else, will at least mention the fact…but they always seem to want to downplay it. Standard practice is to put the DC titles in all-caps and anything else in standard title case. For example: Flash: Emergency Stop by “Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) and Mark Millar (Civil War),” or Superman: Earth One by “J. Michael Straczynski (BRAVE AND THE BOLD, Thor, Babylon 5).”* It always leaves the impression that they’ve kind of hoping that, even though they’re banking on the name recognition, you won’t really notice.
*Ironically, Babylon 5 was produced by another subsidiary of Warner Bros….and the licensed comic books were published by DC.